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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - E-class - Coupe

Detroit show: Benz bids hello to E-Class Coupe

Say hi: Mercedes-Benz designers incorporated frame-less doors for the pillar-less look on the new E-Class Coupe that is due in Australia in mid-2017.

New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe set to light up owners’ lives

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Mercedes-Benz logo14 Dec 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

MERCEDES-BENZ’S bigger, roomier, classier E-Class Coupe is set to welcome its new owners – literally – when it begins arriving in customer hands next year after its public debut at the Detroit motor show in January.

Due for a mid-2017 launch in Australia in the two-door E-Class’s 50th anniversary year, the latest coupe will come with world-first LED tail-light technology that goes through welcome and farewell performances each time the car is locked or unlocked.

The lamps progressively light up outwards from the centre of the vehicle when the car is opened, and reverses the process on closing. Once underway, the tail-lamps are said to glow like jet engines.

The slimline tail-lights are among of a number of styling touches that set the svelte coupe apart from its sedan and estate stablemates on which it is based.

Apart from the coupe body with a long, sloped roof, the four-seater gets a single-blade sports grille and frame-less, pillarless doors.

Inside, round air vents that look like turbines set the coupe apart from the sedan.

While the coupe is 97mm shorter than its sedan sibling, it is 8mm wider for a more planted look on the road.

Bigger exterior dimensions than its predecessor translate into a more spacious cabin for both front and rear-seat occupants. Back-seat passengers get an extra 74mm of legroom and 15mm more headroom, thus addressing one of the current coupe’s deficiencies.

While rear-seat shoulder room has grown 34mm, Mercedes has elected to go with two fully shaped rear seats for what it describes as “the classic virtues of a grand tourer”.

At launch, the coupe will be offered with a choice of four powertrains – three petrol and one diesel – all carried over from the sedan and estate.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific has yet to confirm which of these will grace Australian showrooms, but for Europe, they will include the 143kW/400Nm E220d diesel, 135kW/300Nm entry level turbo-petrol E200, the mid-range 180kW/370Nm petrol E300 and flagship – for now – V6 petrol all-wheel-drive 245kW/480Nm E400 4Matic.

According to Britain’s Autocar, the E-Class Coupe eventually will get a petrol-electric variant, dubbed E50 4Matic, that marries Benz’s new 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with a mild hybrid electric motor for a combined 335kW of power.

The base coupe rides 15mm lower than the sedan on a suspension tuned for comfort in its standard mode, but with Sport and Sport+ settings just the touch of a button away. More advanced suspension systems, including air suspension, are optional.

If equipped with the Comand Online connectivity system, smartphones can be charged wirelessly and hooked up to the vehicle’s exterior aerial. As well, the phone can double as a key to open and start the car.

The coupe carries over the sedan’s comfort, convenience and safety features, including the wide-screen dash display (on upper variants), touch control swipe buttons on the steering wheel and centre console, with the latter recognising handwriting.

Autonomous braking with pedestrian detection is standard across the range, along with the semi-autonomous Drive Pilot adaptive cruise control that can follow vehicles at up to 210km/h.

Remote parking pilot allows the vehicle to be garaged and parked remotely, using a smart phone app.

Australian range specifications and pricing will be released closer to launch.

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