New E-Class coupe and cab revealed
Merc’s fresh-faced mid-range sportsters debut. And they’re getting four cylinders...
Posted: 04 Jan 2013
Welcome to the new, facelifted Mercedes E-Class coupe and cabriolet; a sort of living design jam with a Ferrari 360, Kia Pro Cee'd, and a greyhound at full throttle. Oh, and new interior options, some futuristic safety tech, direct-injection four-pot petrol engines, and a brace of diesels.
But first, that design. Its revised snout is the headline news here, with a new single light cluster with anti-dazzle LEDs, new front bumpers that get an accentuated V-shape and those big, snorty air intakes.
The rear's also kept the old car's wing, a set of new tail lamps have been fitted and there are swollen bumpers with chrome-effect trim to, as Mercedes puts it, "discreetly underline the athletic appearance of these model series."
Inside, you can chose between wood and aluminum look dashboards. That three-tube instrument cluster's new, too, with dials backed in white and a trapezoid-shaped high-gloss frame around the infotainment screen. The centre console's also been re-sculpted, and Mercedes has done away with the mid-mounted gear stick.
The rag-top gets whisper quietness with the top down, too. Using the same Aircap technology as the old one (an unsightly peak that sticks out of the top of the windscreen that's curiously undeployed in the pictures MB sent us) that positions itself automatically above 25mph, wind noise is reduced to the lowest in its class. You can also get an optional neck heater for chillier top-down days.
Safety wise, there's the usual bevy of Mercedes futureland assistance systems. By gathering up a 3D view of the road ahead, and using radar sensors, it can detect oncoming or crossing traffic, and pedestrians to stop you crashing into them. It can even read road signs. On the new models, you'll get collision Prevention Assist (it beefs up brake pedal pressure during emergency stops) and Attention Assist (the coffee cup light that pops up if you've been driving for too long) as standard.
Optional extras include Distronic Plus with steering assistance (it keeps you at a set distance behind the car in front at variable speeds, and pulls you back into the right lane if you stray out of line), Pre-Safe Braking (it detects pedestrians and can initiate autonomous braking at up to 31mph), and Adaptive Highbeam (you can leave main beam on all the time without dazzling traffic with a clever cone that blocks light from other cars).
Engine choices range from mild to, umm, slightly less mild, and they all get a stop/start tech. We don't know any performance figures yet, but you'll be able to buy one of two petrol engines (the E200 or E250) or one of three diesels (the E220 CDI, E250 CDI, or E350) to begin with, and a range of direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder petrols later in the year. The latter use the same spray-guided direct injection technology you'll find in the current generation of MB's six and eight-cylinder engines. They'll be mated to two transmissions - a six-speed manual, or seven-speed flappy-paddle auto.
There's also the usual selective damping and electromechanical direct-steer system carried over from the saloon and estate.
So, d'you like it, TopGear.commers? Or is that styling a little too, umm, divisive?