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Detroit show: Mercedes officially outs E-Class

Familiar face: Mercedes' tenth-generation E-Class has been officially revealed wearing similar looks to its smaller C-Class sibling.

New Mercedes E-Class diesel cuts fuel consumption to 3.9L/100km


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11 Jan 2016

AFTER an early unscheduled reveal, Mercedes-Benz has stuck to its original program and officially unveiled the all-new E-Class luxury sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Leaked images gave away the look of the new model after they appeared on the internet from an unconfirmed source earlier this month, but the German car-maker has now released the full gallery of pictures following the E-Class' public debut in the United States.

The first comprehensive details of the car's layout, equipment and specifications also accompany the E-Class' global debut, such as its initial two-engine line-up, basic dimensions and customisation options in addition to the already outlined driver assistance systems.

Kicking off the range when it rolls out in Europe will be one petrol and one diesel-engined option, but other variants will join the range. Australian specification and exact arrival timing are not yet confirmed but the first examples will be landing in the third quarter of 2016.

The E200 is powered by a 135kW/300Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol which accelerates the entry level variant to 100km/h in 7.7 seconds and uses 5.9 litres of fuel on the combined cycle.

Stepping up to the E220d brings a 2.0-litre 143kW/400Nm diesel four-cylinder, which cuts the 0-100km/h time to 7.3 seconds, while fuel consumption falls to a class-leading 3.9L/100km.

The new smaller capacity compression ignition engine replaces the previous 2.1-litre four-pot but produces 18 more kilowatts and uses a whole litre of fuel less per 100km.

With its milestone frugality, the diesel E-Class is also more efficient than all of its key rivals including the BMW 520d which uses 4.3L/100km and the diesel Audi A6 which is only available with a 3.0-litre engine.

Jaguar's current 2.2-litre diesel XF uses 5.1L/100km, but the English car-maker has not yet revealed how frugal its new 2.0-litre version will be when it launches locally later this month although, when under the bonnet of the smaller XE, the same engine uses 4.0L/100km.

The initial two engines will be joined by two further options including the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 E350d with 190kW/620Nm and a E350e plug-in hybrid, which brings 205kW, 600Nm and fuel consumption of just 2.1L/100km.

After that, a new E400 will bring a 245kW/480Nm turbo-petrol V6 option to the range, alongside a new entry-level diesel with 110kW. All engines have idle-stop, petrols are rated Euro 6 for emissions, while the diesels are already configured to comply with RDE limits.

No mention has yet been made of an AMG performance flagship, but a replacement for the current E63 AMG 5.5-litre turbo V8 is almost certain.

Transmissions are Mercedes' much celebrated nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic box across the board.

Overall, the tenth-generation E-Class is longer than the outgoing version, with 43mm added to the length, which now measures 4923mm and a stretched wheelbase of 2939mm – an increase of 65mm.

More extensive use of aluminuim over the predecessor has saved weight while stiffening the E-Class construction, resulting in better handling and reduced fuel consumption, as has the “record-breaking” drag coefficient of 0.23Cd.

The new model rides on Mercedes' optional Air Body Control multi-chamber air suspension, which is self-levelling and operates in three different stages for the best balance of comfort, performance and safety, says the German car-maker.

As previously reported, the new E-Class will be equipped with extensive driver-assistance kit that heralds one of the final steps toward full autonomy in passenger cars.

Drive Pilot takes adaptive cruise control to the next level and can make lane changes even when there are no lane markings, Active Brake Assist can apply the brakes if the driver fails to when approaching a hazard such as sudden congestion or pedestrian hazards.

The system also incorporates a cross traffic function for detecting potential hazards at junctions and intersections, while the Pre-Safe technology can actually move an occupant away from an impending side collision with an air chamber in the side of the seat.

Evasive Steering Assist helps the driver avoid a collision by working with an evasive steering input to both avoid the object and maintain control of the vehicle.

The Advanced assistance system bundles lane-keep assistance and blind-spot monitoring into one system, and owners can use a new Remote Parking Pilot smartphone application to park their E-Class in tight spaces when outside the car.

Mercedes' evolution of Car-to-X information sharing is also available in the new E-Class, allowing the car to receive information that the driver can not, such as warnings regarding weather and traffic hazards.

Like other models in the three-point stable, the new E-Class will be offered in a range of three style and equipment levels – Exclusive Line, Avantgarde Line and AMG Line. Base versions wear a classic Mercedes grille, whereas higher end versions adopt the sportier two-bar nose that is emerging across the range.

Tail-lights can be optioned with a special “stardust effect” highlight with the use of new reflector technology. At the front end, the E-Class has the option of the top-spec Multibeam LED headlights which use 84 individual diodes to steer light around other road users to avoid dazzling.

Like its S-Class big sister, the new E-Class has a pair of large widescreens as the centrepiece of the interior, measuring 12.3-inches each. One screen forms the connection to the various information and entertainment features, while the second forms the driver's instrument cluster.

Touch controls on the steering wheel are a first, says Mercedes, and can recognise handwriting, while voice control spoken instructions are another option that allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road.

Cabin materials range from luxurious to opulent such as open-pore wood finishes, “metal fabric” and the obligatory leather, which can be specified in a range of Nut, Saddle or Macchiato browns.

Seat design differs according to the chosen Line package, but all have the option of heating which extends to the arm rest for the chilliest mornings.

Rear seats are 40/60/40 split for an extended boot space and second row passengers have access to a centre armrest storage box, cupholders and a tablet holder.

The diverse range of interior customisation options can be complemented with the Lighting Atmosphere, which has 64 colours and adds touches of light to various trims, footwells, dashboard, door handles and storage areas.

Advances in Near Field Communication have even made the E-Class key redundant and owners can set up a smartphone to act as the drive authorisation device.

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