The new 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class makes world debut

For over 75 years, the E-Class has set the standard for mid-range luxury saloons. In 2023, Mercedes-Benz will open a new chapter for the business saloon: the new E-Class points the way in the transition from the combustion engine to electric drive. At the same time, its new electronics architecture allows a comprehensive digital user experience.

Classic proportions and special character lines in the exterior design

The new E-Class has the proportions of a classic three-box saloon: the short front overhang and long bonnet are followed by a greenhouse which is set well back. The “cab-backward” design is rounded off by the well-proportioned rear overhang.

A black panel-like surface connects the radiator grille with the headlamps. This insert in high-gloss black is visually reminiscent of the Mercedes-EQ models. The three-dimensionally designed radiator grille is either progressive or classic, depending on the equipment line. The new E-Class has high-performance LED headlamps as standard. As an optional extra, DIGITAL LIGHT is available without and with a projection function. All headlamp variants offer a distinctive day and night design. As a typical feature of the brand, the daytime running lights take the shape of an eyebrow. Powerdomes accentuate the bonnet.

The side view shows off the harmonious proportions and the distinctive “cab-backward” design to particularly good effect. The flush-fitting door handles familiar from the luxury Mercedes-Benz models are available as an option. The two separate character lines on the side emphasise the car’s sporty character.

Highlights at the rear include the two-section LED lights with a new contour and special design: the star motif in both light units provides a special day and night design.

MBUX Superscreen as a highlight of the interior design

The dashboard makes for the digital experience in the interior. If the E-Class is equipped with the optional front passenger screen, the large glass surface of the MBUX Superscreen extends to the central display. Visually detached from this is the driver’s display in the driver’s field of vision. The models without a passenger display feature a large trim element that extends to the centre. Visually detached, the central display appears to float above the concave surface of this trim element.

The front section of the instrument panel is illuminated by the light strip of the Active Ambient Lighting. This runs in a wide arc from the windscreen, past the A-pillars and into the doors. This creates a generous feeling of space. An apparently free-floating control array in the upper section of the door panels matches the look of the glass surfaces of the screens.

The centre console is designed as a homogeneous unit and merges in a straight line into the lower section of the dashboard. At the front, a stowage compartment with lid and cup holders is integrated into the three-dimensionally shaped trim element. There is a soft padded armrest in the rear part of the centre console.

The door centre panel merges seamlessly into the armrest with a concave sweep. The front section here is designed as a metallic high-tech element. It serves as a grab and closing handle, and incorporates the switches for the power windows. Another highlight is the free-floating control array incorporating the door opener and the controls for the seat functions.

The contours of the seat surface and backrest flow elegantly from the inside to the outside, and appear to float above the base of the seat thanks to their layer design. Indented vertical lines follow the outer contour, widening out towards the top.

When it comes to spaciousness, the E-Class is one of the favourites in its segment. The driver enjoys five millimetres more headroom than in the preceding model. The rear passengers particularly benefit from the two centimetre longer wheelbase: Kneeroom and maximum legroom are increased by 10 and 17 millimetres, respectively. The increase in elbow width in the rear is even greater: it is now 1519 millimetres. This is an increase by 25 millimetres, and almost S-class level. The luggage capacity is up to 540 litres.

Half of the engine variants are plug-in hybrids

Thanks to systematic electrification and intelligent downsizing, the new E-Class sets new standards in efficiency. Half of all the models will be fourth-generation plug-in hybrids. The model range already achieves this high proportion at market launch. Three of the six E-Class versions combine the advantages of a vehicle with combustion engine with those of an electric car.

The combustion engines are four and six-cylinder units from the current modular Mercedes-Benz engine family FAME (Family of Modular Engines). Accordingly, the engine range plays a major role in the flexibility of the international production network, with needs-based electrification.

In addition to turbocharging, both the diesel and petrol engines feature intelligent support from an integrated starter-generator (ISG). They are therefore mild hybrids. Thanks to a new battery, the power of the electric motor has been increased from 15 to 17 kW and the boost torque to 205 Nm.

Mercedes-Benz will offer no less than three fourth-generation plug-in hybrid models from the market launch of the new E-Class.

With an electric output of 95 kW (129 hp) and an all-electric range of up to over 100 kilometres (WLTP), they will in many cases and on many days be on the road purely electrically, without the use of the combustion engine. More plug-in hybrids with diesel combustion engines will follow.

AIRMATIC and rear-axle steering are optionally available

The agile handling of the new E-Class is due in large part to precise guidance of the front wheels by four control arms each. At the rear axle, an optimised multi-link independent rear suspension with five links ensures excellent wheel control and excellent straight-line stability. At both axles, the springs and dampers are combined in a single strut and are not involved in wheel guidance tasks, therefore the suspension responds with corresponding sensitivity. The front subframe and rear axle carrier decouple the suspension and body from vibrations and noise. As standard, the mild hybrid models are equipped with an AGILITY CONTROL steel spring suspension with selective damping system. It is also 15 millimetres lower than the suspension of the plug-in hybrids.

The new E-Class is available with the Technology package as an option. This includes the all-round AIRMATIC air suspension system with ADS+ continuously adjustable damping and rear-axle steering. The AIRMATIC suspension with air springs and adaptive ADS+ dampers responds very sensitively. Level control is another feature of AIRMATIC. It keeps the ground clearance constant irrespective of the vehicle load, but also makes changes when needed.

The new E-Class is especially agile and stable with the optional rear-axle steering and the accompanying, more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The steering angle at the rear axle is 4.5 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by up to 90 centimetres.

Impressive, immersive entertainment experience

Music, games and streaming content can be experienced with almost all the senses in the E-Class. Thanks to digital innovations in the interior, the E-Class is now more intelligent, achieving a new dimension of personalisation and interaction. At the same time, the electronic architecture is more software-driven and less hardware-driven.

The computing functions of previously separate domains take place in a single processor. Screens and the MBUX infotainment system thus share a new, very powerful central onboard computer. This form of networking improves the performance and speed of the data streams.

The Entertainment package (MBUX Entertainment Plus) will be available for the new E-Class. It includes Mercedes me connect services and a data package from a third-party provider. Depending on the market, a communication module with 5G as the transmission technology is used. The mobile phone standard 5G makes much faster data rates possible than LTE/UMTS.

The Digital Vehicle Key is now available for the iPhone and Apple Watch

With the Digital Vehicle Key, the E-Class can be started and locked simply by the driver carrying a compatible device with them. Key sharing is also possible: various digital channels can be used to invite family members or friends to use the E-Class. In doing so, the vehicle owner can assign different rights, granting only access to the vehicle or also allowing it to be driven. The vehicle can recognise several users at once, and the Digital Vehicle Key can be shared by up to 16 persons. In those markets where Mercedes me connect services are available, the pre-installation for the Digital Vehicle Key forms part of the KEYLESS-GO Convenience Package. This equipment combination is available in the new E-Class from the Premium Package onwards.

Music becomes visible: Sound Visualisation

With the new Active Ambient Lighting with Sound Visualisation, occupants in the new E-Class can experience music with three senses: pieces of music and sounds from films or apps can be heard (with Dolby Atmos technology if desired), felt (by means of sound resonating transducers in the optional Burmester 4D surround sound system) and now also “seen”. Visualisation takes place on the light strip of the Active Ambient Lighting (optional extra). For the first time, this applies throughout in the E-Class. For example, fast sequences of beats can cause rapid light changes, while flowing rhythms can create softly merging lighting moods.

The entertainment experience for the front passenger is always impressive. On their optional screen, the front passenger can watch dynamic content such as TV or video streaming even when the driver at the wheel is looking over at them. This is because the display is switchable. The advanced camera-based privacy function reduces its brightness and therefore the risk of driver distraction.

New third-party apps plus selfie and video camera

The software experts at Mercedes-Benz have developed a new compatibility layer that allows the installation of third-party apps. The following apps are available on the central display on the launch of the E-Class: the entertainment platform “TikTok”, the game “Angry Birds”, the collaborative application “Webex” and the office application “Zoom”, as well as the browser “Vivaldi”. In addition, the ZYNC entertainment portal (optionally) offers video streaming, on-demand content, interactive experiences, local video programmes, sports, news, games and much more on the central and passenger displays, via one user interface.

Another new feature is a selfie and video camera (part of the optional MBUX Superscreen) on top of the dashboard. When the vehicle is stationary, the driver can participate in online video conferences via e.g. “Webex”, and take personal photos and videos.

More operating convenience is also available with MBUX. With the “Just Talk” function, the intelligent voice control can now be activated without the keyword “Hey Mercedes”. When the function is activated, a red microphone symbol appears in the display. This indicates that the vehicle is ready and waiting for commands.

Added day-to-day convenience: the routines

Mercedes-Benz is working on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) so that the car learns which comfort systems vehicle occupants use repeatedly. Given the same circumstances, the aim is for AI to automate such functions. The result is personalised automation. Mercedes-Benz uses the term ‘routine’ for this innovation, the development of which is already well advanced.

On the launch of the new E-Class, customers will be able to use templates for standard routines. They also have the option of creating routines themselves. In doing so, the occupants can link several functions and conditions. For example, “Switch on the seat heating and set the ambient lighting to warm orange if the interior temperature is below twelve degrees Celsius”.

For enhanced well-being: ENERGIZING COMFORT and THERMOTRONIC with Digital Vent Control (both optional)

Soothing sounds, mobilising massage, activating light – Mercedes-Benz offers a comprehensive wellness programme with the variously configured ENERGIZING COMFORT programmes and the individual recommendations of the ENERGIZING COACH. The E-Class marks the debut of a new feature: The anti-travel sickness program of ENERGIZING COMFORT can help affected passengers to alleviate the symptoms. A bio-feedback function is planned for the ENERGIZING COACH in the medium term. This can reduce the feeling of stress with breathing exercises.

With THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control (optional extra), Digital Vent Control enhances the comfort experience. It automatically adjusts the front air vents to a desired ventilation scenario. This can be done for each seat via the user profile, for example. However, the nozzles can also be aligned by hand as usual.

Numerous driving assistance systems, some of which have been developed further

The standard equipment of the E-Class with driving assistance systems includes Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with reversing camera and Speed Limit Assist. The status and activity of the driving assistance systems are shown as a full-screen view in the Assistance mode of the driver’s display.

In conjunction with the camera, ATTENTION ASSIST now also offers a driver distraction warning in the 3D driver display (optional extra): if the driver’s eyes are not focused on the road for several seconds, ATTENTION ASSIST can detect a distraction and warn the driver acoustically and visually. If the driver still fails to turn their attention to the traffic situation, there is an escalation with a second warning and a continuous warning tone. If the driver still fails to respond to the warning, the system can initiate an emergency stop by Active Emergency Stop Assist.

The Driving Assistance Plus package is also offered as an optional extra, for example as part of the Premium package. Components include Active Steering Assist, which assists with lane-keeping. As already on motorways, the E-Class can now also restart automatically in city traffic and on country roads after a longer standstill. Another new feature: if Active Steering Assist is no longer available because the lane markings are not clearly visible, it signals this to the driver by vibrations in the steering wheel.

Sophisticated body concept and coordinated restraint systems

The safety concept of the E-Class is based on a body with a particularly rigid passenger cell and specifically deformable crash structures. The restraint systems, e.g. seat belts and airbags, are specifically adapted to this. In the event of an accident, they can be activated in such a way that their protective effect for the occupants is adapted to the situation.

In addition to driver and front passenger airbags, a knee airbag on the driver’s side is also standard. It can protect the legs from contact with the steering column or instrument panel in a severe frontal crash. The standard window airbags can reduce the risk of head impact with the side window or penetrating objects. In the event of a serious side-on collision, the window airbag on the side of the impact extends from the A- to the C-pillar like a curtain over the front and rear side windows. If a rollover is detected, the window airbags can be activated on both sides. In addition to the head protection system, side airbags can also cover the thorax area in the event of a severe side impact – including on the outer rear seats (optional).

In addition, the vehicles are equipped with a centre airbag, depending on the country. Pyrotechnic belt tensioners and force limiters are standard on all outerseats.

Resource-conserving materials

Numerous E-Class components are made partly from resource-saving materials (recyclates and renewable raw materials). Upholstery made of undyed alpaca wool combined with a recycled material is used for the basic seat of the E-Class. In the foam of the seats, certified recycled raw materials are used for the first time according to the “mass balance approach”, and their properties do not differ from those of raw materials produced from crude oil. In this way, the need for fossil resources can be reduced while maintaining product quality.

Neutral CO₂ balance in production at the Sindelfingen plant

Since 2022, Mercedes-Benz has been producing with a neutral CO₂ balance in all of its own plants worldwide. The externally sourced electricity comes exclusively from renewable energies, and is therefore CO₂-free. In addition, the company aims to increase the generation of renewable energy at its locations. Investments will be made in a further expansion of photovoltaics at the entire Sindelfingen location by the end of 2024. Another focus at the Sindelfingen location is on constantly reducing water consumption and the amount of waste produced.

The E-Class as a long-standing success story

Mercedes-Benz has produced more than 16 million upper mid-range vehicles since 1946. The heritage of the E-Class goes back to the very early days of the brand. At the beginning of the 20th century, the preceding companies from which Mercedes-Benz emerged brought corresponding vehicles to market.

When operations recommenced after the Second World War, the Model 170 V (W 136) originally introduced in 1936 went back into production. In 1947 the Saloon followed as the first post-war passenger car from Mercedes-Benz. The 180 model (W 120) of 1953 with self-supporting “Ponton” body introduced new technical as well as formal features. In 1961, the four-cylinder versions of the “Tailfin” series (W 110) followed. In 1968, the upper medium class of the “Stroke/8” series (W 114/115) signified the next major step. The succeeding 123 model series from 1976 proved even more successful.

The 124 model series produced from 1984 to 1995 bore the name E-Class for the first time from mid-1993. The “twin-headlamp” face and innovative technology were the characteristic features of the 210 model series launched in 1995. The E-Class of model series 211 was launched in early 2002. The E-Class 212 (Saloon and Estate) and 207 (Cabriolet and Coupé) model series followed in 2009. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class model series 213 had its debut in 2016, and from 2017 for the first time also as an All-Terrain. In addition, there are the coupés and cabriolets of the 238 model series.


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