Mercedes-Benz debuts new E-Class

12 March 2020 - 07:45 By Phuti Mpyane
Mercedes E-Class facelift looks much more livened up and will compete with new Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series. Picture: SUPPLIED
Mercedes E-Class facelift looks much more livened up and will compete with new Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mercedes-Benz describes the E-Class as the ‘heart of the brand’ after spanning 76 years in production and now in its 10th generation.

The newly facelifted E-Class promises to appeal more to higher level management still not moved by the SUV craze.

Compared to the outgoing model, the large four-door sedan wears a more youthful face thanks to a redesigned radiator grille and front bumper. The Avantgarde line is the new basic specification for the exterior with redesigned front and full-LED headlamps as standard fitment and multibeam LEDs are optionally fitted. It apes the smaller A-Class range front and back but still looks distinctly regal.

Plenty of work has gone into making the E-Class cabin a more interesting place than any previous model. There’s a new steering wheel that can optioned in all-leather, a wood-leather combo or in supersport trim, while control surfaces sporting a high-gloss black finish and the instrument cluster and the media display are controlled by swiping along the Touch Control buttons.

It also gets the latest generation of the MBUX multimedia system, and as standard includes two high-resolution 26cm screens lined together for a widescreen effect. An even larger 31.2cm pair of screens is optionally available to use and enjoy the new augmented reality technology for the navigation display which uses video imagery of the surroundings.

New E-Class cabin has been tweaked with fresh tech and decorative touches. Picture: SUPPLIED
New E-Class cabin has been tweaked with fresh tech and decorative touches. Picture: SUPPLIED

Furthermore, the E-Class, if it’s the first car at the lights, automatically superimposes the image of current traffic light situations to help a driver when there is an unfavourable line of sight to the intersection.

Next-generation active driving assistance systems include Distronic with route-based speed adjustment, Stop-and-Go, active steering, brake, and blind spot assists including a Parking Package in conjunction with 360° camera and automatic parking. 

Because it debuts in mild-AMG guise, the standard E-Class looks a bit more pumped up than regular models that are set to follow but within the confines of the engine is the same twin turbo 3.0l straight-six engine and still electrified with a 48V on-board system which can inject an extra 16kW to help with acceleration. The extra urge van be used to provide power at crawling speeds instead of the engine, minimising fuel wastage in the process.

To this end Mercedes reckons that the E53 returns an 8.8l/100 km consumption cycle with CO2 emissions of 200 g/km. It still uses the AMG Speedshift T nine-speed automatic transmission, and is underpinned by a variable all-wheel drive system.

The extensively revised suspension now offers even more of a range between long-distance comfort and precise dynamism, says Mercedes-Benz.

Globally the new E will be offered in seven plug-in hybrids, in saloon and estate shape, petrol and diesel, with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

For SA, the new model is earmarked for a third quarter 2020 debut, the range starting with the E200 that features the new M254 2.V-volt electrical system, for a total output of 215kW. The rest of the range will comprise the E220d and include refreshed versions of the Coupe in E200, E300 and E220d as well as the cabriolet in E300.

The AMG 53 pictured and the full metal jacket E63 S will arrive later, perhaps early in 2022. 

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