First Look at the New E-Class: What to Expect
Mercedes-Benz is gearing up for the next generation of its E-Class, with the W214 set to debut in the summer of 2023. With its sleek design and high-end features, the new E-Class is shaping up to be a smaller version of the S-Class. Mercedes has given us a first glimpse into the new model, and it looks like it's going to be worth the wait.
Interior Features: Three Screens, AI, and Wellness
The cockpit of the new E-Class is designed to make music visible and tangible, learn from its users, and even blow them a little fresh air. Behind this innovation are new electronics and a variety of optional extras. The number of screens in the new E-Class has increased from two in the W213 to three, which can be added as an optional extra. If the passenger is watching something, the driver won't be able to see it, thanks to the camera and software that Mercedes has installed.
When there's no film or game playing, the passenger screen will show a starry sky. An optional 4D-Burmester sound system makes music tangible with body-shaking speakers, while the frequency and rhythm of the music is visible through optional ambient lighting. The new E-Class has three displays that are elegantly integrated into the dashboard. In addition, there is an upcoming wellness program that can be added via over-the-air updates. This program will display vital signs and suggest breathing exercises to reduce stress. Adjustable air vents provide fresh air to help prevent motion sickness, while minor changes in the angle of the seat and backrest help activate the muscles and complement the existing massage programs.
AI will recognize routines like turning on seat heaters in cold weather or playing music at certain times, and suggest appropriate settings automatically. The driver can also hold video conferences using the camera mounted on the dashboard and apps like Zoom or Webex. The new software allows third-party apps to be integrated into the system, making it more versatile. The entire electronic architecture is faster thanks to the use of a central computer for screens and infotainment, while 5G technology means that data and updates are streamed faster than ever. For those who prefer classic Mercedes styling, there's an option to include two round gauges and wooden accents. The driver controls everything using a three-spoke steering wheel with a small airbag. The multifunction lever for turn signals and wipers remains in place. The slim air vents that frame the dashboard are sure to turn heads.
Technology in the New E-Class
In order to maintain its competitive edge, the new E-Class has undergone several upgrades. Firstly, it boasts a slightly longer wheelbase of about 2.96 meters, as well as a wider track and longer length. Additionally, it now offers optional two-axle air suspension and rear-wheel steering for a smoother ride. The drivetrain has also been streamlined, with the return of the four and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. The M 254 and OM 654 four-cylinder engines are equipped with a 48-volt electrical system and an integrated starter-generator. The gasoline engine produces a maximum of 270 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, while the diesel engine can deliver up to 270 horsepower and 550 Nm of torque. For those seeking even more power, the 2.9-liter inline-six engines from the M 256 and OM 656 families are available, providing up to 360 horsepower for the gasoline engine and up to 330 horsepower for the diesel engine. However, AMG enthusiasts will only have access to the M 139 four-cylinder engines in the 53 and 63 versions, which will be performance plug-in hybrids with over 600 horsepower. Finally, there have been rumors that the 63 version may feature a V8 engine once again, as Mercedes is reportedly reconsidering its options.
Hybrid Models and Design
In addition to the drivetrain, the new E-Class also features an increased battery capacity, providing a range of up to 100 kilometers on electric power alone for the hybrid models. The larger battery fits into a new rear-axle design. The new E-Class comes in a range of body styles, including the classic sedan, a T-model wagon, an all-terrain version, and a cabriolet. The latter is a merger of the C and E-Class cabriolets, likely to be named the CLE, and will also be available as a four-door coupe. Like the S and C-Class, all E-Class models are based on the MRA-II platform, which is a pure combustion engine platform. The new E-Class is the last model to be built on the MRA-II platform, which will phase out by 2030.
The new E-Class takes design cues from the EQS and the S-Class, with narrower headlights featuring a single LED daytime running light and HD-beam technology. Black trim elements connect the design to the EQS. The iconic Mercedes-Benz hood ornament will likely be discontinued, and the two power domes on the hood are absent in the latest model. The taillights are also reduced in height, and the exhaust pipes are concealed behind the rear bumper. The handles are recessed, and the lines on the flanks are smoother. The wagon version features a steeply angled rear window, making it ideal for hauling cargo.
Safety and Autonomy
The new E-Class inherits much of the safety features of the S-Class, with several updates to the existing safety system. Mercedes intends to develop autonomous driving capabilities up to level 3 for the E-Class in the future.
Mercedes has added a new function called "anti-reisekrankheit," which translates to anti-travel sickness. The feature aims to prevent passengers from getting motion sickness while driving. It comes with various massage and seat-positioning settings that work together with fragrances and lighting to make you feel more comfortable.
The new E-Class is an exciting addition to the Mercedes-Benz family. The latest model features a range of design updates and technology advancements, including a simplified drivetrain, increased hybrid capability, and autonomous driving capability. The new E-Class will be available in various body styles, including the sedan, wagon, all-terrain, and cabriolet versions.