The new W212 platform project will also generate an estate and CLK-replacing coupe, but this striking saloon car will make its debut first – most likely at the Geneva motor show in March.
Picking up design cues from the ConceptFascination revealed at the recent Paris show, next year’s E-class gets a distinctive new look of its own that also has strong overtones of the latest S-class – including wheel arch flares and those chiselled bonnet lines. The angular headlamp arrangements are also a major departure from the current, less extrovert, E-class styling.
According to various insider reports, the new E-class range will feature powertrain options that include a four-cylinder turbo diesel with BlueTec and AdBlue technology making over 200bhp from 2.2 litres.
There will also be hybrid options with diesel and petrol powered internal combustion engines linked to electric motors. Sources indicate an E300 BlueTec hybrid will use V6 diesel power, while an E400 model will get Merc’s 279bhp 3.5 litre V6 with a 20bhp electric motor – the same set-up already announced for the S400 hybrid that’s promised for Europe in the middle of next year.