According to the latest reports, it appears that we will see a pair of Mercedes-Benz E-Class hybrids dubbed E300 BlueTec and E400 Bluetec in January, at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The big surprise is that on of the cars will not feature a petrol engine, just like the other hybrids on the market. Instead, this model will get a diesel powerplant. That’s right, one of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class will get a diesel-electric powertrain.
Under the hood of the E300 BlueTec we will find a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine delivering 201 hp and mated to a 27 hp brushless electric motor sited within the gearbox housing.
A lithium ion battery stores the electric energy and can provide an all-electric range of less than a mile at speeds below 35mph. The E300 BlueTec is capable to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 150 mph or 241 km/h.
The bad news is that this car will not be offered in the United States! Still, the U.S. will get the E400 Hybrid, which comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to the same electric engine found on the E300.
For the new E-Class, the designers made sure that the interior would show the attention to detail expected from Mercedes-Benz. Thus they made sure that each feature would spark interest in terms of function and emotion through the material, color, or form. It is no wonder that the interior of the E-Class makes the occupants feel protected and safe. Similarly, it has an atmosphere wherein long travels are possible without experiencing stress or any effort.
In terms of design, many of the models that come out from the brand are known best for how the lines interact with the surfaces. Specifically, the use of the clearly defined and tight lines helps put together the convex or concave surface. Under the new E-Class, this particular design concept has been sharpened to the list detail. Its curves on the sides are now connecting features that affect how the whole body is designed.
What this means is that it is no longer limited to the side but also impacts how the front and rear are styled. Going to the front section, it was back in 1995 when the E-Class became the first model from the brand to have that well received twin-headlamp face.
This symbolic design later became the defining feature of the E-Class. Still, even under this particular characteristic styling feature, this design language remains to be fluent. In addition, it has been tailored in order to fit the overall muscular and confident look of the saloon. With regards to the four eyes, they have been reinterpreted by the designers to become rectangles as an immediate reference to the cubism and the fascinating geometric forms.
The result is the look of precious gems being placed on the wings. Similarly, with the radiator grille having three-dimensional chrome surround plus the more upright position and dynamic arrow shape, it helps highlight the status of this model as the peak of the business saloon. Meanwhile on its back is where the balanced flow ends through a graceful line that goes through the arches of the rear wheel and helps give shape to the rear wings and its muscular and imposing curves.
It is at this section that fans of Mercedes-Benz will likely see a familiar feature first seen in the Ponton Mercedes that was introduced in 1953. This feature had already managed to highlight the fact that it has its own personality given the strong contours. While it is a symbolic feature, it also serves as a signature of the E-Class and shows how tradition can work well with the future especially for this series.