The current generation Mercedes E-Class has only been around since January this year, but the model range has already expanded to include a regular Estate and a high-riding All-Terrain, along with two separate AMG variants. As if that wasn't enough choice, there's now a slinky two-door coupe wearing the E-Class badge. Mercedes says the new E-Class Coupe provides the ideal balance between sporty handling and grand-touring comfort, finished off with shrunken S-Class looks.
Although it's built on the same platform as the E-Class Sedan, the Coupe has a few clever features all its own. Like the other two-doors in the Mercedes range it has broad brake lights down back, designed to make the car look lower and wider. On the E-Class, the lights perform a little welcome dance when the car is unlocked, flashing sequentially from the middle of the car out to the edges. They do the opposite when the car is locked, and the company says the individual LEDs are set up to look like glowing fighter jet afterburners.
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Okay, so clever taillights aren't a huge deal, especially when the car is loaded with some of the safest, smartest semi-autonomous systems currently available, but you can't fault the effort from Mercedes.
Unlike the outgoing model, which shared its chassis with a 10 year-old C-Class Coupe, the new E-Class Coupe sits on thoroughly modern underpinnings. It's a full 123 mm (4.84 in) longer, 74 mm (2.9 in) wider and a 32 mm (1.26 in) taller than the car it replaces, which frees up more space inside for passengers and their luggage. Even though two-doors are generally designed with the driver in mind, anyone unlucky enough to be stuffed in the back seats will definitely appreciate the growth spurt.
The E-Class Coupe has a more focused suspension setup than the sedan, too. It sits 15 mm (0.6 in) lower than its four-door stablemate, with stiffer damping for tighter body control. Air suspension is optional, and lets drivers choose between three different levels of stiffness.
There will be four engines available at launch, kicking off with a the four-cylinder E220d. With 143 kW (194 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb.ft) of torque it's not exactly a powerhouse, but it does use just 4.0 l/100 km (59 mpg) on the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC). If you're keen on petrol power, the E200 makes 135 kW (184 hp) and 300 Nm (221 lb.ft) of torque, while the more expensive E300 squeezes out 180 kW (245 hp) and 370 Nm (273 lb.ft).
The range-topping E400 is powered by a V6 making 245 kW (333 hp) of power and 480 Nm (354 lb.ft) of torque, enough for a 5.3 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph). Don't expect the E400 to be the range-topper for long though – an E43 AMG should be available just after launch.
Inside, not much has changed between the Coupe and more practical members of the E-Class range. The same dual-screen infotainment system debuted in the sedan is optional, and the COMAND infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard. You can expect all the material to be high quality, too, and the customization options appear almost endless.
Mercedes is yet to announce pricing for the E-Class Coupe, but it will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, where New Atlas will be on the ground covering all the action. You can check out the launch video for the car below.