NZ-headed E-Class revealed

One of the more important Mercedes models coming to New Zealand next year has been revealed a week ahead of its public debut.


ONE of the more important Mercedes models coming to New Zealand next year has been revealed a week ahead of its public debut.

A major German automotive publication has gazumped the brand’s hope of keeping the new-generation E-Class under wraps until the first big motor show of the year, the North American International Auto Show opening in Detroit to media on January 11 (NZT).

The official-looking photos here were uploaded to the worldwide web by Autopresse-de earlier today and, while the brand has yet to comment about them, there’s strong conjecture that they are of new model, here in 2017.

The release comes after Benz has been seeking to raise media interest by drip-feeding information and images; most intriguingly offering details of the model’s all-new high-tech cabin then following up with two videos – one released on Christmas Day, the other on New Year’s Day - that provide insight into the model’s development while also taking care to avoid showing much of the radical restyle for this 10th generation line. It also released, on its social media pages, a sketch of what appears to be a CLS sedan/coupe replacement.

Benz has made clear already that this new model will be a technology powerhouse. One feature that builds on the company's advances in autonomous driving is ability to self-change motorway lanes without driver intervention.

That technology will join the now more customary autonomous technologies such as city braking and pedestrian recognition, and adaptive cruise control that operates from freeway speeds down to stop and start traffic.

Taking inspiration from the range-topping S-Class, the E-Class dash is dominated by a pair of high-resolution 12.3-inch displays that stretch across the length of the dash. 

Housed beneath a single pane of glass, the driver can choose one of three display modes that offers different appearance and functionality; classic, sport and progressive. This display is for all but the entry level model; that car – mainly sold as a taxi in Europe - comes with a more conventional dash.

A new steering wheel will come with a pair of swipe-activated pinwheel controls on the spokes – similar in function to a Blackberry smartphone to control multimedia functions without removing hands from the wheel.

It is believed the touchpad control that is fitted to the C-Class is available as an option, complete with control buttons on its rearward edge. The E-Class also features an advanced version of Mercedes’ voice-recognition system.

Mercedes claims it has completely made over its multimedia system, too, implementing a new menu access system that is easier to use.

The E-Class’s interior LED background lighting can be changed to deliver one of 64 background colours for areas like the central display, footwells, centre console, overhead console, door pockets and hand recesses.

Speaking of lighting, a new LED matrix headlight arrangement is also coming. Known as Multibeam LEDs, the headlights feature 84 individually controlled LED globes that not only adjust intensity according to weather, terrain and traffic, but can also execute a corner-following function electronically. Previously, corner-following lights rotated on small motors.

Mercedes claims the new lights have up to 2.5 times greater partial high-beam light output.

As well, Mercedes will offer an optional one-piece LED tail-lamp fitted with so-called Lambert deflectors, which scatter the light output in a pattern reminiscent of a jet engine’s glow