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First look: Mercedes bends E-class into shape

Slippery: The super-aerodynamic new Mercedes E-class Coupe will go on sales in Australia from August.

First images of CLK-replacing E-class Coupe to go on sale in August with E-class

17 Feb 2009

THESE are the first official images of the all-new Mercedes-Benz E-class Coupe, which will make its global public premiere at the Geneva motor show on March 3 before going on sale in Australia simultaneously with the new E-class sedan upon which it is based in August.

On sale from May in Europe, where the redesigned W212-series E-class sedan arrives in dealerships next month, the two-door E-class will replace the current (C209-series) C-class-based CLK coupe as the entry-level Mercedes-Benz coupe, as the new-look CLC coupe is actually a hatchback.

The second quad-headlight Mercedes model will also be sold alongside the existing 219-series CLS four-door ‘coupe’ launched here in June 2005 and also based on the E-class, while new E-class Estate, which is yet to emerge, will arrive here in the first quarter of 2010.

A cabriolet version of the two-door E-class is expected to emerge alongside the new E-class wagon at the Frankfurt motor show, before also going on sale here early next year to replace the CLK Cabriolet.

The AMG sports package released last month for the E-class sedan in Europe, where pricing starts at 2915 Euro ($A5730) depending on the model, will also be available in Australia from the launch of both E-class models.

4 center imageLeft: E500 coupe, E-Guard and E500 with AMG styling pack.

It comprises AMG front and rear bumpers, side skirts, staggered-width 18-inch alloy wheels/tyres, 15mm-lower suspension and perforated brake discs with silver callipers, while inside reside sports seats, an AMG sports leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, stainless steel pedals and AMG floor mats.

Last week Mercedes-Benz also revealed the first image of an armoured version of the new E-class sedan dubbed the E-Guard, for which no interest has yet been expressed in Australia.

Available to order in Europe from April as a package priced from €45,000 ($A88,450), the E350, E500 and smoothly-titled E350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY can be had in either Avantgarde or Elegance trim levels.

All E-Guard variants feature a special steel bodyshell and polycarbonate glass that are able to withstand handgun bullets of up to .44 Magnum in calibre, while options for the five-seater executive sedan include an external loudspeaker system and underbody armour that is claimed to make the passenger cell resistant to attack with a DM51 hand-grenade.

Other standard features include a special ‘Level II’ version of Benz’s Airmatic air suspension and 17-inch wheels with run-flat tyres designed for up to 240km/h, or to travel up to 50km at 80km/h once deflated.

The B-pillarless E-class Coupe, meantime, appears just three months after the E-class sedan’s Detroit debut and now features four retracting windows but, presumably, uses its larger overall dimensions to offer more realistic two-plus-two seating than the CLK it replaces.

Mercedes-Benz says the E Coupe, which was previewed along with the forthcoming E-class Estate by the ConceptFascination show car at Paris last October, sets a new record in wind resistance by achieving an aerodynamic drag co-efficient of 0.24Cd, which the historic German luxury car-maker claims makes it the world’s slipperiest series production vehicle.

It also makes it more aerodynamic than the E-class sedan, which Benz had billed as the world’s most aerodynamically efficient luxury saloon.

Of course, the whole gamut of Mercedes-Benz technologies will be fitted to the brand’s latest coupe, which will be positioned in price above the E-class sedan but below both the S-class sedan flagship and top-shelf CL-class coupe. These technologies include adaptive electronic shock absorbers, driver drowsiness detection, preventative passenger protection and an active front bonnet from the new E-class sedan.

Among the new technologies developed specifically for the E-class sedan and coupe is a dynamics package that includes adaptive main-beam headlight control, traffic sign detection and an automatic emergency brake.

Two new direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engines that first appeared in the E-class sedan and are said to consume up to 17 per cent less fuel while delivering more power and torque.

Under the same “BlueEfficiency” banner is an upgraded direct-injection turbo-diesel V6 for the E350 CDI BlueEfficiency, which delivers 170kW and 540Nm of torque while returning up to 6.8L/100km on the combined NEDC cycle.

Opening the range is the E250 CGI BlueEfficiency Coupe, powered by a new 1.8-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine that produces 150kW and 310Nm of torque (the latter between 2000 and 4300rpm), and can return up to 7.2L/100km (0.2L/100km better than the heavier E250 CGI sedan) and as little as 175g/km of CO2 emissions. It will be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Next up is the confusingly similarly-badged E250 CDI BlueEfficiency, which is powered by a new inline four-cylinder diesel engine with twin turbochargers to deliver the same 150kW but no less than 500Nm of torque between 1800 and 2800rpm.

Also seen in the E250 CGI sedan, it tops the E-class Coupe fuel economy scale, with a claimed European average of just 5.3L/100km, while CO2 emissions are stated at only 139g/km.

A direct-injection version of Mercedes’ 3.5-litre petrol V6 increases power and torque by 15kW and 15Nm to 215kW and 365Nm respectively in the E350 CGI BlueEfficiency Coupe, while reducing fuel consumption to 8.5 L/100km.

Mercedes-Benz says the new BlueEfficiency slogan refers not just to new engine technology, but also steering and fuel pumps control, low-rolling-resistance tyres and “the control of the alternator in accordance with the driving situation and on-board voltage”.

While the conventionally-named E500 Coupe continues with Mercedes’ 285kW/530Nm 5.5-litre petrol V8 (which in this case returns a claimed average of 10.8L/100km, which is also said to be around half a litre per 100km more frugal than before), expect the two-door E-class to receive the E63 AMG sedan’s 386kW 6.2-litre V8 for the E63 AMG Coupe.

Mercedes-AMG posted its best ever year of sales in 2008, when worldwide vehicle sales increased by 19 per cent to 24,200 (up from 20,300 in 2007).

As usual, most AMG vehicle sales came from the US (38 per cent), followed by Germany (13 per cent) and Japan (eight per cent), with the C63 AMG proving the most popular model with 8100 sold – more than double that of the SL63 AMG (3050 sold).

Full pricing and specifications for the ground-breaking new E-class Coupe (and its E-class sedan sibling) will be revealed closer to their August release date. It is not clear if the E350 and E500 coupes will be available with Mercedes’ 4-Matic all-wheel drive system as the their sedan namesakes are.

Read more:

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First look: Merc's E-class Coupe returns

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