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Mercedes-Benz has launched its new E-Class Coupé in South Africa, with local buyers having the choice between four variants, namely the E 200, E 220 d, E 300, and E 400 4MATIC. The price of admission kicks off at R754 500 for the entry-level E 200 and goes all the way up to R1 021 500 for the range-topping E 400 4MATIC.

The coupé-esque proportions typical of Mercedes-Benz are characterised by a distinctive front end with low-positioned sports grille and central star, a long bonnet with powerdomes, a rearward-shifted, squat greenhouse and a muscular rear end. The dynamic looks are underlined by four frameless side windows and the absence of a B‑pillar. With these clear forms, the design of the Coupé conveys an air of luxury and style alike.

With a displacement of around two litres, the new diesel engine delivers 143 kW, while the E 220 d impresses with a combined NEDC average consumption of 4.0 litres per 100 kilometres. The E 200 is powered by a two litre four cylindre engine that churns out 135 kW at 5500 RPM and 300 Nm between 1200 and 4000 RPM, while consuming a claimed six litres per 100 km. Under the bonnet of the E 300 resides the same powerplant as is doing duty in the E 200 but now the power and torque nobs have been cranked up to 180 kW at 5500 RPM and 370 Nm between 1400 and 4400 RPM. Unfortunately, the claimed fuel usage is also up to 6.4 litres per 100 km.

The E 400 4MATIC is powered by a three litre V6 that consumes a claimed 8.1 litres per 100 km while producing 245 kW between 5250 and 6000 RPM and 480 Nm between 1600 and 4000 RPM.

All the models available at market launch are equipped as standard with the 9G TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission, which allows fast gearshifts along with lower engine speeds. This has a particularly beneficial effect on efficiency and noise.

Welcome feature of tail lamp

Equally typical of a Mercedes coupé are the two-part, extremely flat LED tail lamps, which, in combination with LED MULTIBEAM headlamps, celebrate the world premiere of a welcome feature. When the vehicle is opened, the taillight LEDs illuminate successively from the centre of the vehicle outwards. On locking the vehicle, the light sequence runs in the opposite direction. Both are additionally combined with an up and down dimming feature. This taillight show welcomes and says goodbye to the vehicle user similarly to the familiar welcome feature of the blue optical-fibre show in the front headlamp.

Thanks to innovative crystal optics, the tail lamps also have a brilliant appearance reminiscent of the glow of a jet engine.

Sporty, luxurious interior with refined details

The interior of the new E-Class Coupé embodies the synthesis of sporty emotion and luxurious intelligence.

The two optionally available high-resolution and brilliant 12.3″ displays – unique in this segment – are merged under a single lens to produce a Widescreen Cockpit that appears to float in space. The key design element, it emphasises the width, as does the fascia-spanning trim, which terminates with a dynamic sweep in the door panel. Positioned in the driver’s direct field of vision, the instrument cluster shows virtual instruments, which can be selected by the driver in three different styles, “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”, depending on which information and views the driver considers relevant.

The entry-level model combines two round dials and a 17.8 cm colour display cluster (1000 x 600 pixel resolution) with a central display with a 21.3 cm screen diagonal (960 x 540 pixels). The round dials, instrument cluster and central display are installed in a single frame with a high-gloss piano-lacquer look.

A decidedly sporty note is set by the air vents, the form of which is heavily influenced by the look of a turbine engine. They are styled down to the smallest detail and fully finished in silver shadow.

Touch Control buttons in the steering wheel enable the driver to control the instrument cluster and multimedia system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. Additional controls come in the form of a touchpad with controller in the centre console, which can also recognise handwriting, plus the LINGUATRONIC voice control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling the air conditioning, for example, and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driver assistance systems.

The avant-garde yet highly luxurious seats in the Coupé take their cue from the Saloon. The sporty individual-seat characteristics find their distinctive impression in all four seats. A wealth of extremely high-grade design details bear witness to the superlative standard of a sporty luxury coupé.

High-grade materials and contemporary colour landscapes come together to create a sporty, contemporary luxury. The attractive appointments in yacht blue in combination with macchiato beige lend the vehicle a cool, exclusive yachting look. Especially for the E-Class Coupé, there is a choice of two new innovative, light wood trim packages in open-pore and high-gloss finishes. Precisely executed seams give emphasis to the seat design of each equipment line. The seat upholstery layout and range of colours of the AMG Line are more consistent in appearance than ever. The sporty character is accentuated by strong colour contrasts of the leather appointments in black & classic red and black & white. The impressive range of exterior paint finishes is harmoniously matched to the contemporary interior colour scheme

The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the optionally available enhanced ambient lighting with 64 colours.

Suspension – sporty comfort

The suspension on the new E-Class Coupé offers agile driving pleasure on winding roads together with exceptional ride comfort. The Coupé comes as standard with DIRECT CONTROL suspension. In the interests of a sporty look, the suspension is 15 millimetres lower than on the Saloon and is tuned for comfort with an amplitude-dependent damping system.

The DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL suspension with adjustable damping is optionally available. It, too, is set lower. Using a switch in the centre console for the as-standard DYNAMIC SELECT system, the driver can vary the damping characteristics of this suspension. Three modes are available, offering a wide range of adjustment options: “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”.

AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension

Alternatively, the new E-Class Coupé can be equipped with multi-chamber air suspension, including all-round roll/pitch/heave stabilisation. Advantages of this system: three chambers of different size in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control the hardness of the suspension in three stages. In this way, the occupants enjoy soft basic suspension, along with the secure feeling of good handling stability at higher speeds.

The multi-chamber air suspension is augmented by a continuous, electronically controlled adaptive damping system. The damping at each individual wheel is adjusted fully automatically to suit the current driving situation and condition of the road – such as in the case of evasive manoeuvres or on rough tracks. The system therefore delivers good ride comfort along with excellent driving dynamics.

Using the DYNAMIC SELECT switch, the driver can also select different suspension characteristics in combination with the AIR BODY CONTROL system: “Comfort”, ECO, “Sport”, “Sport +” and Individual.

DYNAMIC SELECT – choose your own driving characteristics

However, the DYNAMIC SELECT system not only makes it possible to select the suspension characteristics in combination with DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL and AIR BODY CONTROL, but it also enables the driver to influence other vehicle settings – such as the throttle response, ECO start/stop function, shift points of the automatic transmission and more. Depending on the equipment level, DYNAMIC SELECT provides the following transmission modes: Comfort, ECO, Sport, Sport + and Individual. “Individual” allows the driver to configure their own preferred transmission modes.

Full smartphone integration

A new era of connectivity and digitalisation is marked by the infotainment system in the E-Class Coupé with COMAND Online. This includes effortless integration of the smartphone into the vehicle’s infotainment system by means of capacitive aerial coupling and wireless charging. This means that compatible mobile phones can be charged wirelessly and also connected to the vehicle’s exterior aerial. This dispenses with the need to find a plug and connect a cable. There is an added advantage: using Near Field Communication, the customer’s smartphone becomes the digital vehicle key with which the car can be locked and unlocked as well as started.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

If the vehicle is equipped with COMAND Online, it is possible to use Apple’s smartphone-based infotainment system CarPlay as well as Google’s Android Auto. If a compatible smartphone is connected by USB, the customer can, if desired, switch to the CarPlay or Android Auto interface.

Internet and diverse data sources even in the basic version

In addition to COMAND Online, the Audio 20 USB/GPS infotainment systems are available. Like COMAND Online, they come with a Bluetooth hands-free system and also have internet capability with a Bluetooth-capable mobile phone with mobile phone card and data option. COMAND Online also offers an integrated hotspot functionality.

Clear road instead of traffic jams: Live Traffic Information

Whereas the familiar Live Traffic Information was previously reserved for COMAND Online, in combination with Mercedes me connect the new E-Class Coupé offers the same function with the Audio 20 GPS with GARMIN MAP PILOT SYSTEM as well. Live Traffic Information allows the reception of up-to-the-minute, accurate traffic information in real-time. Other new features include a Free Flow display – green lines plainly show the driver where the roads are currently clear – as well as the display and consideration of traffic information away from the main roads.

Mercedes me connect Concierge Service: personalised attention

A further comfort highlight is the new Concierge Service, which is exclusively available in all E-Class models in combination with Mercedes me connect. For participating customers, the range of services includes a host of personalised assistance options: from making a restaurant reservation to obtaining tips about tourist routes, information on cultural and sporting events and bookings through to sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.

Access is straightforward: registered Mercedes me connect users can call up the Concierge Service in 19 countries across Europe either via the iCall button in the vehicle or on the Mercedes me app. The personal assistant takes care of everything else.

E-Class innovations on board

As a member of the current E-Class family, the new Coupé is significantly more intelligent than its predecessor. It comes with all the features of the E-Class, the most intelligent executive saloon. Active Brake Assist comes as standard. It is able to warn the driver of an imminent collision, provide optimum support with emergency braking and, if necessary, also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing in the danger zone ahead of the vehicle.

Other highlights include DRIVE PILOT: this system represents Mercedes-Benz’s next step along the road to autonomous driving. As Distance Pilot DISTRONIC, it is not only able to keep the car at the correct distance behind vehicles in front on all types of road, but, for the first time, it can also automatically follow them at a speed of up to 210 km/h.

Remote Parking Pilot is also new: for the first time, this system allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app, enabling the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even where space is very tight.

The E-Class Coupé is also optionally available with other intelligent technical systems, including:

  • high-resolution MULTIBEAM LED headlamps. These headlamps, each with 84 individually activated high-performance LEDs, automatically illuminate the road surface with a hitherto unsurpassed, precision-controlled distribution of exceptionally bright light – without dazzling other road users.
  • MAGIC VISION CONTROL – an intelligent and highly efficient wash/wipe system for the windscreen. The wiper blade always delivers washer fluid directly in front of the wiping edge, via the water feed line integrated into the blade – and it does this in both wiping directions. The result is that there is no surge of water when fluid is sprayed, which can impair the driver’s vision, and at the same time the maximum cleaning effect is achieved. The complete MAGIC VISION CONTROL system, including the wiper blades, is heated at low temperatures to prevent snow or ice from sticking in winter.

Pricing: E-Class Coupé

E 200                   R754 500
E 220 d                R806 500
E 300                   R842 500
E 400 4MATIC     R1 021 500

A stipulation in the terms and conditions when purchasing a new Mercedes-Benz passenger car is that customers need to register for Mercedes me connect to activate the class-leading  PremiumDrive six-years or 100,000 km maintenance contract, a value-add at no additional cost.

In related motoring news, Mercedes-Benz also recently added two new performance cars to the E-Class line-up.