Close to the heels of the E-class facelift, Mercedes-Benz has already started testing the next-generation car on international roads. Expected to go on sale in early 2016, the W213 will replace the current W212 generation of the E-class.
The Mercedes-Benz E-class has always been a popular choice in India. And despite being the costlier option, it has often outsold other models on offer in the country.
Under the disguise, the new E-class will adopt Mercedes-Benz's latest design language as seen on the C-class, GLA, and S-class. Whereas the W212 exhibits very tight surfaces and hard edges, the latest cars created under the eye of design chief Gorden Wagener exhibit more flowing curves and surfaces.
The new E-class will also be based on the MRA (Mercedes Rear-wheel Architecture) that underpins the new C-class, albeit longer, wider and with bigger front and rear overhangs. Mercedes' engineers are also working on using a hybrid steel-aluminium architecture make the car approximately 100kg lighter in a bid to make it both efficient and light.
The E-class is likely to feature the same engines as the current car, atleast initially. It is also likely to see a return of the stratight-six engine (all turbocharged) to the Mercedes fold. Twin-turbo options will yield the most power from the 3.0-litre petrol engine, capable of approximately 360bhp; there's a 2.9-litre likely too. The MRA architecture is also designed to accommodate plug-in hybrid technology, which could lead to ultra-frugal petrol and diesel hybrids to feature in the range. Expect the new E-class to feature a lot of the new S-class' safety systems as standard.
Four body styles are expected to be offered, with the sedan to be followed by an estate, coupe and cabriolet in the international markets, although the estate will not find its way to India. However, along wheelbase version of the E-class is likely to make its way to India. Similar to the one sold in China, the new LWB car will have considerably more legroom in the rear and will come with a special option pack for comfortable travel in the back. With all this, it definitely sounds like it's going to be worth the wait.