With the new C-Class out of the way, next in line for Mercedes is the next-generation E-Class. Although a good two years away from release, we have got our hands on spyshots of the new Merc – code named W212 – testing in the Austrian Alps and in the south-western United States.
After Mercedes-Benz abandoned the Sensotronic braking system of the E-Class in the model’s 2005 facelift the new version is expected to get an impressive list of new braking technologies such as wet-weather disc wiping and wheel-selective cornering brake control. Ceramic-composite discs may also make an appearance on the AMG models.
Mercedes, like other German manufacturers, has a solid policy of how it builds cars. The S-Class gets it all first and then its styling and technology slowly trickles down through the rest of the range. The E-Class is expected to copy the S-Class’s wheel-arch extensions, rising character line below the door handles and the rather larger bumpers.
There is also a good chance other S-Class technologies will make an appearance. Expect lane-departure warnings, an eye-movement monitor, traffic-sign identification (designed for Europe), road-condition sensors and stability control that accounts for crosswinds, camber changes, and tyre wear.
As for engine choice, not much is expected to change with the usual V6 and V8 engines and a range of diesels, from German taxi specials to autobahn blasting oil-burners. Of course the new E63 will retain its enormous 6.3-litre V8. Expect official photos closer to the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.