One is a Mercedes driven by individuals who seek status, a middle of the road net wealth and the other is a Mercedes driven by people who have a high self esteem and like nothing better than to use the three point star as a target sight to avoid poor people… in their Vauxhall Corsa VXR’s. Both are the Mercedes E Class, one separated by a 15 year gap the other due to be released in 2016.
If you don’t recognise the difference between the Mercedes W211 and W213 then the latter are codenames used by the engineers and technicians. The W211 was first released in circa 2002 and was in production until 2009 before being replaced by the W212. Its fair to say the W211 has a reputation for bad electronics.
But it is the engine in the W211 that was to prove Mercedes’ last great piece of engineering. The W211 2.2CDi 4-cylinder engine is almost as bullet proof reiable as you can get. Its successor, the W212, in comparison is inferior suffering not only from electronic faults but a chain driven belt that is prone to snapping after 100,000 miles or less.
A Mercedes engine at 100,000 miles is still as good as new but the W212 is like the disappointing child who just keeps on disappointing no matter how hard they try. What we like about the current W212 is the sharp lines compared to the W211. But we’re going to skip a generation and fast forward to the yet to be released W213.
The W213 has been caught testing and we assumed it would be a evolution of the W212. Nope, it isn’t indeed Mercedes have played it safe and actually gone down the retro route by taken the styling from, or we assume have been influenced by, the W211 design.
Side by side you can see the resemblance between the W211 vs the W213. We think its a missed opportunity. Imagine if human evolution decided to reverse every now and then. If it did then we, that is to say humanity, would still be swinging in the trees eating bananas, maybe just maybe we would have invented TV but we would still be half man half ape perhaps with the ability to speak a language of some distinction.
When the Mercedes W213 is launched we will look on making sure to wear our carpet slippers while munching away on a packet of chewable Werther’s Originals.