The 5th generation Mercedes E-Class, scheduled to debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January next year, has been recently spotted in the Czech Republic; leading to much speculation over the styling of the newly released model.
With investment in the last E-Class facelift reportedly close to 1 billion euros, it’s clear that Mercedes are taking the latest redevelopment of the E-Class seriously. Whilst the current version has a tight surface with hard edges, the newer model is curvier and the design seems to flow better. It’s grown a little in size but not in weight, the car is to be manufactured with increased aluminium. It will also be using with the new rear-wheel drive platform that’s shared with both the C-Class and the S-Class models, meaning that the 2016 E-Class could be up to 100kg lighter than previous models.
Concerns from the public seem to be mostly focused on the fact that Mercedes could be detracting from the styling which made the E-Class unique, pushing the car closer towards being a clone of the S-Class, rather than maintaining the original style of previous incarnations. However Mercedes are keen to share the new features of the upcoming E-Class, ahead of its release date, which will apparently be manufactured with nine brand-new technologies integrated.
These technologies include improvements to the built-in safety system, now called “Intelligent Drive Next Level”. The new E-Class will offer better steering assistance to help avoid obstacles and accidents, meaning there shouldn’t be much use for some of the extra touches that Mercedes have planned, such as protecting the passengers’ hearing during a crash and pushing the front passengers away from the car doors in the event of a side impact.
The E-Class will also be able to drive itself through twists and turns on the motorway at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, thanks to the steering pilot function. This system uses a complex array of motion sensors, radars and cameras to scan the road ahead, but requires the driver’s hands to be placed on the wheel at all times. Another addition is the Distance Pilot Distronic system, which enables the car to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front whilst travelling at speeds up to 124mph.
Its front end will feature Mercedes’ familiar bullet-shaped headlights and an upright grille, while its rear end will get a pair of LED tail lamps that will extend into the quarter panels. The number of LEDs in the headlights of the car will increase, amounting to 84. With more LEDs, the new headlights can control the beams of light much more precisely in order to avoid dazzling other road users.
Another important feature of the new E-Class will be the car-to-X communications. This will allow your Mercedes to exchange information with other compatible vehicles. This can be information about anything from traffic jams to weather conditions and much more.
It’s not all about safety though. One of the more fun additions to the new Mercedes E-Class will be automatic parking by remote control. If the car detects a space big enough, you can use a smartphone app to park your car remotely. Another party trick will be the ability to use your smartphone as your car key, utilizing Near Field Communications (NFC), even when your phone battery is dead.
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class will essentially be the first step to a fully autonomous driving future.