Mercedes-Benz is currently hard at work developing its next-generation E-Class (W213) in time for its world debut at next year’s Detroit Auto Show. With numerous sightings of test mules making their rounds, even in an estate body style, and at the Nurburgring, we now know quite a bit about the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 fighter, at least on a superficial level.
The spotting of the W213 E-Class prototypes now continues, with Walkoart managing to film an entire fleet of around 100 pre-production units parked in the open. While the majority of the cars are blanketed, a few of them are plain for all to see, sporting the most minimal of camouflages.
All the prototypes seen here appear to be the standard wheelbase model, with the long wheelbase version not in sight. However, we do know that the limo E-Class is definitely on the agenda, possibly assigned with the Maybach nameplate. Underneath, the E-Class will ride on the Modular Rear-wheel drive Architecture (MRA) platform, the same used by the W205 C-Class and W222 S-Class as well.
On the mention of both Mercedes-Benz sedans, we move on to the E-Class’ looks. Occupying the space between both models, the E-Class borrows styling cues from the pair with what looks to be a combination of a larger C-Class and a smaller S-Class. As both exhibit the latest Mercedes-Benz design language, the E-Class will also follow suit.
Even though the video mainly films the profile of the car, earlier spyshots have already revealed a front-end akin to the C-Class, with two different grille types depending on variant (Exclusive, Avantgarde). Meanwhile, the rear is fitted with tail lights similar to that on the W222.
As for the interior, we’ve already provided an undisguised look at the E-Class’ dashboard and the middle-ground positioning continues on here as well. Where the S-Class had two LCD screens sprawling nearly the length of the dashboard, the E-Class has one located near the middle of the dash to facilitate the COMAND infotainment system and the rest of the car’s functions. A more conventional analogue instrument binnacle is used here instead.
Similarly, half-and-half styling continues with the S-Class’ big trim piece that runs horizontally across the entire dashboard looks to remain. However, there aren’t any buttons located on it aside from the push/start one, with most of them relocated a little lower at the centre console, like in the C-Class. This is also reminiscent of the Concept IAA’s design, which debuted at Frankfurt recently.
Mercedes-Benz has spoken volumes about the technologies that will make its way into the next-generation E-Class which includes an updated version of the Multibeam adaptive LED headlight technology, featuring an expanded diode count from 24 to 84. An emphasis on smartphone integration is also touched upon, allowing your pocket device to serve as a key and guide the car in and out of a parking space via the Remote Parking Pilot function.
Safety technologies like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) also get a bump up, capable of scanning other lanes of cars and initiating braking if needed. Other autonomous driving bits include the new Distance Pilot Distronic and uprated Pre-Safe system.
More details will be released about the W213 E-Class as we approach its global debut next year.