Mercedes-Benz has already released a video showing the interior of the 2017 E-Class sedan – but the spy pictures here are the first to show how the car looks from the outside. The pictures were taken near the carmaker’s headquarters in Stuttgart, roughly a month out from the Detroit motor show in January where the fifth-generation E-Class will go public for the first time. The new model shares design cues with the smaller C-Class and bigger S-Class. It rides on the company’s modular MRA platform, a lighter weight architecture that underpins the C-Class sedan and estate and new GLC sports utility vehicle, both of which are on sale in New Zealand.There are reports that the E-Class will debut an in-line six-cylinder engine, a modular design that will share components and production lines with smaller four- and three-cylinder units. It is also suggested that the straight-six will go into a long-wheelbase variant for sale in China. Mercedes-Benz will reveal more details about the car at Detroit, but it has already said it comes with a thick folio of technology. There are things like an adaptive cruise control that sets the speed based on road signs; an air bladder that pushes front-seat occupants towards the centre of the car before a side impact; an audio system that triggers your eardrum’s reflexes to prevent hearing damage in a crash. “With the interior of the new E-Class, we are giving a new interpretation to the concept of contemporary luxury,” said Hartmut Sinkwitz, head of interior design. “We have designed a spacious and intelligent interior. True to Mercedes-Benz’s design philosophy of sensual purity, it employs technological innovation and high-grade equipment to create an exceptionally emotive experience for driver and front passenger. “The E-Class thus not only sets a new standard in the business class. Alongside a workplace and private environment, it also becomes
a third place – a living area in which passengers are able to enjoy contemporary luxury.” The new model will show off the company’s next-generation digital readout, made up of two bonded 31cm HD displays. The system will be fitted as standard on all models except the base version, which makes do with analogue dials and a separate 21cm colour display. Both systems get Apple CarPlay. Other new additions include two touch-sensitive steering wheel pads, which let the driver control the displays independently without taking their hands off the wheel. The screens are configurable and can display things such as sat-nav instructions and vehicle settings. Drivers can choose between three separate instrument cluster designs – Classic, Sport and Progressive.Meantime, the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet has been revealed, with the same 463kW 6.0-litre V12 from the S 65 Coupe under the bonnet. Currently the top soft-top S-Class is the S 63, which uses a 430kW V8 and goes from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. The upcoming S 65 uses a twin-turbo V12 engine with 1000Nm of torque – sending it from 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds. That’s the same as the S 65 Coupe, despite an extra 175kg of strengthening added to the convertible version. There’s little to distinguish the S 65 from the S 63, but you do get more chrome around the front bumper air intakes, V12 badges around the car and new alloy wheel designs. The fabric roof is available in four colours: red, blue, beige and black. You can open it at speeds of up to 50km/h, taking about 17 seconds.