La Classe E à deux portes s’agrandit
Mercedes-Benz might have been the catalyst for the modern-day four-door coupe (see first-gen CLS), but the automaker is still very much dedicated to traditional two-doors—including the new 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe set to debut at the 2017 Detroit auto show.
The 2018 E-Class Coupe is noticeably larger compared to its predecessor, which was based on underpinnings from the last-generation C-Class. Like the E-Class sedan, the E coupe moves to Benz’s MRA rear-drive platform that’s also shared with the current C- and S-Class family. Most notable are the new coupe’s 113.1-inch wheelbase and overall length of 190 inches, an increase of 4.4 and 4.8 inches, respectively. Interior dimensions are still forthcoming, but expect more legroom for the rear passengers. The seating configuration still accommodates up to four passengers.
We’ll have to wait and see how the added mass affects handling, but straight-line performance should be more than adequate. The new two-door will launch with two models and one engine—the E400 Coupe and E400 4Matic Coupe, both powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque that’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Benz estimates the E400 Coupe will run from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, with the all-wheel drive version coming in 0.3 seconds later. Top speed is limited to 130 mph. A turbo-four option and high-performance AMG-tuned powertrain are both possible future variants.
The E coupe will sit lower than the sedan and can be optioned with adaptive air suspension and dampers. Drivers can select multiple settings via the Dynamic Select system, which also tweaks throttle and transmission performance.
With Benz’s effort to bring more clarity to its design language, the E coupe largely mimics the C and the S but with subtle differences. The side character line, for example, isn’t as deep as the C’s, and the E’s rear side windows roll down to provide a more airy feel (the C’s are fixed). The E’s hood has two power domes (none for the C), and the rear bumper has a tad more bright work at the bottom. Additionally, the E’s taillights are slimmer and feature a stardust effect that Benz says mimics the glow of a jet engine.
The jet influence carries on inside with the turbine-style air vents, which is a look that Benz first showed off in the S-Class coupe concept. Materials and craftsmanship appear to be all top-notch, along with the standard and available technology. The COMAND infotainment system is accompanied by a 12.3-inch screen, which can be paired with another optional 12.3-inch screen for the multiconfigurable instrument panel. The E coupe also features multiple touchpads, including the main unit in the center console and two on the three-spoke steering wheel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is also available, along with wireless smartphone charging.
Like the E-Class sedan, the E400 Coupe is available with a long list of advanced safety and drive assistance tech. Benz’s Drive Pilot, for example, works in conjunction with the adaptive cruise control to create a semiautonomous system capable of handling acceleration, braking, lane changing, and steering duty.
Following its world debut in Detroit, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe will roll into showrooms next to the E sedan and wagon by summer 2017.