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Debutant  E-Class bridges gap between tradition and digitalisation 

….advanced new electronics, hybrid-heavy range


Mercedes-Benz automakers has described its all-new E-Class sedan, revealed on Tuesday, as a bridge between tradition and digitalisation.

It also seems to be building a bridge between internal combustion and electric, as half of the engine variants set to be available when it goes on sale in Europe later this year will be plug-in hybrids. Furthermore, the new sedan aims to offer users a “comprehensive” digital experience thanks to a brand new electronics architecture.

The exterior design of the new Mercedes E-Class honours its past with classic rear wheel drive proportions, but there’s also a salute to the future in places, such as the black grille surround that mimics the firm’s battery-powered EQ models. Buyers can also opt for an illuminated grille surround that has two optical fibres behind the chrome strips.

For the record, the wheelbase has grown by 22mm to procure more interior space.

The cockpit area has undergone something of a revolution, with the new MBUX Superscreen. While not to be confused with the Hyperscreen found in the EQS and EQE, it’s still an impressive piece of digital real estate, complete with an optional front passenger screen.

The MBUX system also allows for the easy installation of third-party apps, allowing you to easily view TikTok, play “Angry Birds” or catch up with colleagues in the Webex or Zoom applications, to give just a few examples. The vehicle also has a selfie and video camera mounted on top of the dashboard.

There are also new Energizing Comfort and Energizing Coach systems to help alleviate travel sickness and Mercedes is working on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) so that the car learns which comfort systems that occupants use frequently.

Half of the drivetrains offered for the European market will be plug-in hybrids, while the other half are mild hybrids offering an additional boost of 17kW and 205Nm. Oh, and there are no six- or eight-cylinder engines to be found.

The mild hybrid range consists of E200 (150kW), E220d and E220d 4Matic (145kW) variants, while the plug-in hybrids pair the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a 95kW electric motor for system outputs of 230kW in the E300 e and E300e 4Matic, and 280kW in the E400e 4Matic.

Airmatic air suspension and rear-axle steering are available as options, and Mercedes is offering a vast array of advanced driver assistance systems as well as a Digital Vehicle Key that can be linked to iPhones and Apple Watches.

Further down the line the company plans to offer fully automated parking and unparking features, the hardware for which can be optionally pre-installed until national laws change to make this Automated Valet Parking service a legal reality. It is not confirmed when the line-up and specifications will be launched in Nigeria as at the time of filing this report.

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