With exclusively electrified engines – half of the European offer is plug-in – and technologies capable of supporting OTA (over the air) updates, the sixth generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (a model with similar characteristics is however on the market for 70 years) which debuts in the summer is destined to remain on the market for a long time. Since it is the latest to be developed on an architecture reserved for conventional engines, it should last at least until 2035, the year in which the authorities of the Old Continent ordered a ban on the marketing of cars and light commercial vehicles with internal combustion engines.
In Europe, the house with the star only lists 2.0-litre units, including petrol (204 HP) and diesel (197, including all-wheel drive), mild hybrids and plug-ins only with petrol and always also with two or four-wheel drive .
With the 25.4 kWh battery and the fourth generation of plug-in technology, the rechargeable versions are accredited with greater zero-emission autonomy, between 95 and 115 kilometers depending on the engines (between 313 and 381 HP of power system maximum, also due to the effect of a 129 HP electric unit) and traction. The mild hybrid versions are fitted with a new accumulator which has allowed Mercedes to increase the additional thrust (boost) of the zero-emission engine from 20 to 23 HP.
The length does not change and remains 4.95 metres, even if the wheelbase gains a couple of centimeters (2.96) for the benefit of the occupants of the second row sofas. With the rear seats in the normal position, the luggage compartment of mild hybrids has a maximum capacity of 540 litres, which drops to 370 for plug-ins, which weigh on average 400 kg more.
Anticipated as a three-volume sedan, the new E-Class will also be station wagon (a body variant still popular in Europe), All Terrain and also “open” like CLE. The model is “low” and does not reach a meter and a half in height to optimize performance (between 234 and 250 km/h top speed) and rationalize consumption, up to 18.4 kWh/100 km in electric mode.
Despite being a car for long journeys, with rear axle steering available on request, the E-Class becomes easier to maneuver in tight spaces: the turning circle drops to 10.8 meters (11 for the 4Matic versions, i.e. four-wheel drive).
The “luxury mode” triggered by the manufacturer with the CEO Ola Källenius has led to the adoption of new technologies and, above all, to the study of an even more exclusive atmosphere on board. “The new E-Class is even smarter and reaches a new dimension in terms of personalization and interaction,” summarizes Markus Schäfer, Head of Development and Purchasing. Among the examples cited by the top manager are the standard dual-zone Thermatic climate control and the ability of the vehicle’s artificial intelligence systems to learn the habits of the occupants in relation to comfort. The Mbux infotainment Superscreen remains on request (like the screen reserved for the passenger), but among the new features there is compatibility, right from the launch, with TikTok, Angry Birds, Webex, Zoom and the Vivaldi browser”. Aesthetically, the new Class E always wants to be elegant and at the same time sportier: it doesn’t differ too much from the previous one and for the front – which has a slightly larger surface than before, which also does not affect aerodynamics since the Cx e is the same , 0.23 – draws in the details of the EQ range.