3/5/16

Mercedes Mainstay Redux – The 2017 E-Class


A, B, C, D, E…   The letter E in Mercedes-Benz speak stands for “bread and butter”.

Or is it “meat and potatoes”...?
Culinary references aside, the E-Class is the centerpiece of the German marque’s lineup.  This has historically been their most identifiable and top-selling model.  When Mercedes revamps the E-Class, they need to get it “just right”.  Sort of that Goldilocks principle.  Otherwise, all hell may break loose in the halls of the Mercedes’ Stuttgart HQ.  They’re a proud bunch, those German engineers.

And here we are now at the W213, factory production code for the 10th generation of the E-Class.  (Today’s trivia: the “E-Class” moniker was not applied until gen six in 1993.)  Due in showrooms this summer, early press information has been released and previews are under way. 
So, what does the Connoisseur think…?

In all honesty, if you bought an E-Class this past year, you are going to kick yourself for not waiting!  The redesigned interior is THAT good.  The recently remodeled C-Class took a giant leap for interior design in the entry-level luxury sedan class, and the E has followed suit and gone another wrung up the luxury ladder.  With several different design options available, this will be one fine place to wile away the hours when blasting down the interstate, or more likely, stuck in stop-and-go traffic on the drive home from work. 
As for the exterior, Mercedes-Benz has now completed a one-design-fits-all remake of their C, E and S-Class sedans.  From a distance the casual observer would be pressed to tell a difference between the three.  Luckily for Mercedes, the form works well on all three sizes, as lines and proportions were well thought out.  None are stunning, but they look like a Mercedes, with just enough freshness thrown in to keep the style arrow pointing upward.

And now, a few quick tech notes for the car geeks out there…
The E300 will get a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder motor attached to a nine-speed G-Tonic transmission.  An E450 model will bring a turbo 6-cylinder motor under hood, and surely a hotrod AMG E63 will have a stonking V8 with something in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower.  All manner of suspension control systems, automated driving and safety aids and interior tech will be along for the ride.  You even get an ambient interior lighting system with 64 different available colors.  By the time you figure out which one you want, it till be time for a new Benz…!

Driving the new E-Class will still provide that famous Mercedes solidity, but don’t be surprised if the overall experience feels a smidge lighter and nimbler.  Credit weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and more granular chassis tuning for these sensations. 
So there you have it, the new Stuttgart “meat and potatoes”, due at a grocery… er… showroom near you this summer.  Pricing will start in the mid-50s…


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