Further details have been revealed of Mercedes-Benz's lightweight, carbon fiber, fuel-cell version of the next-generation E-Class sedan. Rumors of the E Superlight had started coming out last October. Mercedes is hoping to cut the weight of the E-Class by up to 770 pounds so that it could have a weight of about 2,860 pounds. The car is intended to be a rival to Audi's e-tron and BMW i ranges.
This high-tech, four door notchback may come with a 150hp hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain, which was previewed in models such as the F125! Concept unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. The E Superlight will be fitted with the unusual rear-hinged, suicide-style rear doors, says Car. This car is far from being an ordinary E-Class. It’s also likely that its output will be very low – at about 20,000 annually by 2017.
Initially, it will be produced in small numbers in 2015. In addition, the fuel-cell aspect of the car depends heavily on a hydrogen infrastructure appearing in the meantime.
The E Superlight's chassis is not like BMW's i models since it would be purely carbon as opposed to featuring an aluminum chassis and carbon cell. The E Superlight would be offered beside the more traditional E-Class models but these may also make use of the lightweight technology sometime in the future.
The twin-headlamp face has been a distinguishing and symbolic feature of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class since 1995. For the latest iteration, the E-Class features a rectangular reinterpretation of these four "eyes," in reference to the geometrical shapes in cubism.
These reinterpreted eyes seem like precious gems precisely set into the wings – thereby underscoring the status of the E-Class as an embodiment of an ideal business saloon. This status is further augmented by the radiator grille with its 3d chromed surround, dynamic arrow-shape and more upright position underlines the status of the car as the epitome of a business saloon.
Moreover, the new E-Class represents another typically Mercedes design concept – a modern yet elegant interplay between lines and surfaces. In particular, the clearly defined lines in the E-Class are beautifully structured large concave or convex surface areas.
The contours on the flank serve as connecting elements influencing the whole body design on the front, side and rear. These harmoniously flow to the rear and culminate in a graceful line running on the rear wheel arches and lending a clear shape to the muscular contours of the rear wings. On this section, the new E-Class dons styling features inspired by the "Ponton Mercedes" that made its debut in 1953, as highlighted by its stunning contours.
This has become both a symbolic feature and a hallmark element of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, demonstrating how tradition could be harmonized with the future. Of course, the thorough and careful attention to detail typical of Mercedes is also evident in the cabin of the new E-Class, thus making sure that each interior element is appealing emotionally and functionally with its form, color and material.