The next Generation E Class is due 2016 and should be revealed later this year. We know quite a lot already. In Europe a new generation of twin-turbo straight 6 engines will replace the V6 powerplants and a new 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre entry level model will be made available.
If the latter has soured your morning coffee break then perhaps this might turn your stomach. The downsizing is due to ever more stringent emission’s regulations.
The solution is to offer lower capacity engines, the 1.6 is said to offer 99g/km. A plug-in Hybrid model will join the model line up by 2017.
Of notable interest is automated driving technology which Mercedes will begin to phase in starting with the next E Class. Semi-automated driving technology was first introduced on the S Class in 1998.
Pure self driving systems are a way for Mercedes to diversify its product mix and therefore give it an advantage over its competitors by being first to market.
Mercedes have thoroughly tested the technology and an E Class fitted with self driving senors has successfully navigated German autobahns.
However Mercedes will have a number of hurdles to overcome, existing laws will have to be amended to cater for drivers effectively operating a vehicle whilst not being fully in control.
Mercedes say the 2016 E Class will have smarter driving technology than is currently available on the S Class.