The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class looks set to have more than a hint of S-Class in its cabin design, as our spy photographers in Europe can reveal.
Poised for a reveal in the second half of 2015, potentially via a global debut at the Frankfurt motor show in mid-September, the new E-Class will no doubt carry over the exterior styling cues of its latest-generation C-Class and S-Class siblings.
But we already knew that part, as we’ve published spy shots of the outside before. What we hadn’t seen was the cabin.
The new shots sent to us overnight show a decidedly more upmarket and less cluttered dash than the ageing current car, which dates back to 2009 though also received a significant overhaul early last year.
Rather than the floating screen approach the company has taken with its MFA-based small car range, and even on the C-Class, the new E-Class appears to have its multimedia system integrated into a high, sweeping dash.
Below this sit a quartet of vents, again a nod to the S-Class, and an uncluttered bank of ventilation switches. The whole layout makes one draw the conclusion that Mercedes is moving the E-Class upmarket to avoid any buyers cross-shopping with the C-Class.
You can reasonably expect some S-Class features to trickle downwards too, such as the Magic Body Control system, where cameras take note of undulations up ahead, causing the car to hydraulically adjust the damping to prepare for bumps.
As we know, the new E-Class shares its fundamental underpinnings with the C-Class, sitting as it does on Mercedes’ modular (stretchable) MRA architecture. This means lots of lightweight materials such as aluminium.
Expect an even longer wheelbase model for China, and for all models to shed weight, albeit potentially not as much as the new C-Class did over its predecessor if reports out of Europe are to believed.
Naturally, you’ll see wagon versions in time, as well as a new-generation CLS sedan and Shooting Brake wagon, plus E-Class coupe and convertible derivatives.
As we have reported, the E-Class also appears the most likely candidate to debut the brand’s next-generation petrol engine family and powertrain technology, including a 48-volt battery system.
Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will be offered, the latter likely borrowing its powertrain hardware from the C300 BlueTec Hybrid, which uses a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and an electric motor.
The new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 from the Mercedes-AMG GT and C63 models will also find its way beneath the bonnet of the new E63 that’s likely to appear in 2016.
The current E-Class remains Australia’s favourite premium large car, with 1327 sales this year, well ahead of the BMW 5 Series (751), Jaguar XF (715) and Audi A6 (510).