The new E-Class is a more contemporary take on the traditional luxury saloon
Latest version of the executive saloon emphasises new technologies, including on-board artificial intelligence
Mercedes-Benz has unwrapped its sixth-generation E-Class, revealing a significantly more contemporary take on the traditional luxury saloon that is planned to go on sale in September at a price tipped to start at over £50,000.
The new four-door, one of the German car maker’s last dedicated internal combustion engine models before it goes electric only, grows in size over the previous model offering a larger interior.
As part of its focus on premium comfort, the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets Level 4 autonomous tech as part of a driverless valet parking function – previously only available on the Mercedes S-Class – as an option in markets where laws allow, such as its home country of Germany.
The Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series rival also offers a revised range of drivetrains, including overhauled petrol-electric plug-in hybrid systems with a greater electric range of up to 69 miles (WLTP) thanks to a 10.6kWh larger 24.1kWh battery.
As well as the two hybrid options, the new E-Class will initially be sold with a choice of four four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, offering a power range from 194bhp to 375bhp. All are mated to a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Design-wise, the new E-Class adopts a lineage similar to the smaller Mercedes-Benz C-Class and larger S-Class, giving the traditional trio of Mercedes-Benz saloons the most cohesive appearance in over three decades.
More conservatively styled than the electric-powered and similarly sized Mercedes-Benz EQE saloon, it retains a traditional classic saloon layout together with a larger grille (and optional illuminated surround), more shapely headlamps, and a longer bonnet.
Together with the standard styling package, Mercedes-Benz has also developed Avantgarde and AMG-line trims, both of which are expected to feature prominently in the UK.
Sitting on an updated version of Mercedes-Benz’s Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) platform, structural changes claim to provide the lightweight steel and aluminium platform with added rigidity compared to that used by the outgoing fifth-generation E-Class.
Together with the initial saloon model revealed here, Mercedes-Benz is also readying a successor model to the E-Class Estate for a UK launch in December. The new luxury load hauler also forms the basis of a follow-up to the E-Class All Terrain, which is planned to head into local showrooms during the first quarter of 2024.
With Mercedes-Benz combining the next-generation C-Class and E-Class coupe and cabriolet into a newly-created CLE model line-up, the long-running E-Class coupe and cabriolet are set to be phased out.
Inside, the new E-Class receives a comprehensive reworking, with a new look cabin featuring more contemporary digital functionality, improved comfort and higher quality materials – all part of a concerted push by Mercedes-Benz to see the traditional saloon reflect a more luxury-led image and a higher positioning.
As revealed back in February, the standard dashboard receives a free-standing 12.3-in instrument display and 14.4- in portrait-style infotainment display. Buyers will also be able to option the new model with Mercedes-Benz’s new Superscreen.
The new E-Class will initially be sold with a choice of four longitudinally-mounted four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, all featuring 48-volt mild-hybrid properties, with a gearbox-mounted integrated starter motor providing added power and torque as well as coasting properties for improved efficiency and fuel savings.
The majority of new E-Class models receive a standard steel spring suspension, with upper-end models set to receive a reworked version of Mercedes-Benz AirMatic air suspension.
Production of the E-Class saloon takes place at Mercedes- Benz’s Sindelfingen plant in Germany. A long-wheelbase version of the new model will also be produced at a joint venture factory operated by Mercedes-Benz and Chinese state-owned car maker BAIC in Beijing, China.