The E-Class, a symbol of “
middle-class” luxury, and perhaps Mercedes India’s most important model of all time. The E has been so widely popular in India, that at one point, for every two Mercedes cars sold in India, one E was sold, which meant, the model consisted of over a third of Mercedes’ India wide sales. Impressive!
So, being the S-Class’ sibling, there are some big shoes to fill for the new E.
The front design for the new E has clearly been devised by tossing the EQS’ and the S-Class’ design elements into the blender. Mercedes says that it builds “a bridge to the avant-garde trendsetters from the Mercedes-EQ”. So in simple words, EQS, S, Blender, mix, mix, mix….voila…the new E!
The rear end is a departure, and I mean that in the good sense. I have often in the past complained that Mercedes’ designs look as if they had melted away in the sun *ahem!!! GLE ahem!!!* so, to me, this rear end is a good move. The tail-lights get a three-pointed star pattern in the tail-light casings that oddly look very similar to the S class. Hey, maybe they wanted to introduce an S-class lite which got branded as the new E, end moment!
So it gains the EQ’s design elements, not everything’s lost, it does get the added aero efficiency. The new E gets a new underbody with improved shape and material make-up, and "optimised" shapes all over the body; new sealing around the bonnet and new spoilers in front of each wheel. The coefficient of drag that results is 0.23. So that's a plus. In addition to promising excellent economy, each model's combustion engine is a mild hybrid thanks to a built-in starting generator.
The India-spec details will be out soon, considering that India gets the E as soon as possible, but, on the whole, The 2.0-liter petrol E200 will produce 200 horsepower, the 2.0-liter diesel E220d will provide 195 horsepower with optional 4WD, and the 2.0-liter petrol plug-in hybrid E300e/E400e will produce 300hp and 400hp respectively. With a combined 376 hp and a 0-62 mph pace of 5.3 seconds, the 4WD version of the E400e will be the quickest new E-Class available at launch. A diesel AMG-Line model with six cylinders will be available in the future. All of these are linked to a brand-new, more refined nine-speed Mercedes automatic trans.
And yeah, those ‘e’ models will also have electric-only driving range too! Apparently 100 kilometres of it. All thanks to a 25.4 kWh battery.
The new E is both longer and wider than its predecessor, that is to improve its luxury. But fear not, there’s optional air suspension available which I’m sure will be standard for the India spec, but you know what that means! It means that being a executive luxury sedan that it is, the E has boatloads of computing power and active assists on board. A list, that will by itself exceed my entire allotted word limit for this article. The new E will know what you ate last night might be an accurate description of its capabilities.
The interiors have been out in the open for a long time now, as a result of Mercedes’ teasing for the past few months. In true EQ fashion Mercedes’ ‘superscreen’ takes up the centre console entirely. Whatever is left gets occupied with the passenger display and the digital driver’s display. Mercedes says that there’s “almost S-Class level” space inside. Now those are some big claims, ones we will cross-check down to the mm whenever we get our hands on the car.
The new screen in the centre is so versatile that it might even allow you to play GTA, make video calls over zoom, or even watch Netflix. All of it will of course only be available when stationary. The tech continues to your smartphone though digital keys which can be shared by up to 16 people at once. The car can adjust air vents on its own, automatically. It gets rear axle steering for shorter turning radius.
On the whole, if you’ve been anywhere close to an EQ car or a S-Class, this new E will seem fairly easy to navigate.
Remember that struck out middle class, that was struck out because although, the E is positioned in Mercedes’ portfolio as a middle class luxury sedan, it’s price tag begs to differ. Although pricing is nothing but a guessing game until it hits our Indian shores in 2024, it is safe to say that the top-spec AMG Line trim will comfortably cross the 1 crore mark. That, to me, is definitely not middle-class!
Words: Sresht Garg