Mercedes-Benz has begun road-testing the all-new next-gen E-Class sedan overseas. The new sedan could see a global debut sometime next year. The outgoing model (V213) received a mid-cycle update in India quite recently, which means the new model's India launch is still some time away. We tell you everything that we know about the next-gen E-Class.
- W214 E-Class to be slightly bigger than its predecessor
- Will get multiple engine, powertrain options
- Rear wheel steering to be offered in some variants
Mercedes E-Class W214: More tech on the way
Known internally under the codename W214, the new E-Class follows an evolutionary path, with development focused around refinements to its platform, electric architecture and engines. Its electric architecture is being heavily upgraded to support new functions that include level three autonomous driving potential in countries where it is permitted, together with 5G connectivity that allows high-speed over-the-air software updates for the first time. With the new Mercedes-Benz EQE (the electric equivalent of the E-Class) offering electric drivelines, the W214 E-Class will stick with electrified versions of today’s four- and six-cylinder engines that are available globally.
Mercedes E-Class W214: Expected body styles and styling cues
Styling-wise, we are told that the new model adopts a look similar to the latest S-Class, with a bolder front end comprising more angular headlights and a large chromed grille. The rear is described as a mixture between the S-Class and new C-Class (India-bound next year). Alongside the sedan, the next-gen E-Class will continue to have a wagon counterpart and also an all-terrain variant.
Mercedes-Benz is not giving too much away about the future of the E-Class Coupé and Cabriolet, although it is believed a new CLE – a moniker recently trademarked by Mercedes – could serve as a replacement for both of these cars and the smaller two-door C-Class models. Long wheelbase versions of the E-Class aimed at markets like China and India are also expected.
One of the last models to be based on Mercedes-Benz’s existing MRA platform, the new E-Class sedan (standard version) will get a slightly longer wheelbase than today’s fifth-generation model sold abroad. The track widths have also been increased, giving the new W214 model a larger footprint and interior dimensions. The double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension has been modified to fit the new dimensions of the platform structure. It will be offered in combination with an optional air suspension and, for the first time on the E-Class, a rear-wheel steering system offering up to 10deg of steering at the rear.
Mercedes E-Class W214: What's known about the interior
Inside, the new E-Class adopts a similar dashboard architecture to that of the latest C-Class and S-Class. The set-up includes digital instruments in a free-standing display panel, optionally with 3D graphics, and a portrait-style display within the centre console for the infotainment functions.
Mercedes E-Class W214: Expected engine, powertrain options
The engines for the next-gen W214 E-Class, mounted in their traditional longitudinal position, will be reduced in number and – in selected models – capacity, too. Officials have hinted that the existing twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 in the E63 will no longer be offered. As in the smaller C63, due in 2022, its place will be taken by a highly strung turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, the M139, with plug-in hybrid assistance for a total output of up to 600bhp.
The existing M254 four-cylinder petrol and OM654 four-cylinder diesel units will be offered exclusively with an integrated starter-generator and 48V electrical system as well as changes to their exhaust system that allows them to meet upcoming EU7 emission regulations.
The turbocharged 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder M256 petrol and turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder OM656 diesel units are planned to receive similar upgrades and will be offered with both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid functionality with up to 435hp and 330hp respectively.
All plug-in hybrid versions are set to receive a 28.6kWh battery, the same unit used by the S580e, to give them an electric range of over 100km.
Every engine is set to be combined with a standard nine-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox. Rear-wheel drive will feature on lower-end models, with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic four-wheel drive system set to appear on more powerful models, including those from AMG.
Mercedes E-Class W214: more focus on safety
Mercedes-Benz is determined to once again make the new E-Class the safest car in its class. As well as adopting all the various driving assistant systems from the larger S-Class, the sixth-generation model is also set to support level three autonomous driving functionality with lidar based sensors.