Mercedes E-class, BMW 5 series and Audi A6 are the cars which defined the luxury in India, few years ago. Companies used to call them as flagship models, but not anymore. As these companies failed to resist themselves from getting into the volume game and introduced their respective entry-level offerings in the country. Companies left luxury at disposal of common man and response turned out to be so overwhelming that companies could not meet the demand. Few such hot sellers which turned the fortunes of the companies are A-class from Mercedes, X1 from BMW and Q3 from Audi. Top of the line variants for all these entry-level cars offered almost every feature that their elder sibling has on cards and that too at cheaper asking price. So these cars became new face of their companies in India. In recent time, the segment of E class and 5 series is getting overshadowed by big brother SUVs, which have strong presence in the mind of majority of Indians as they have that on the road.
But Mercedes is now preparing the next iteration of their E-class, internally called as W 213 and which is expected to be launched in the year 2016. With W 213 in the works, engineers are addressing two major areas of the car which are engine and body weight. Company plans to introduce all new, lighter and more compact diesel engine internally known as OM 654 which promises to be cleaner and efficient. Also there will be two new engines on offer, OM 656 which is a 2.9 liter diesel and M 256 which is a 3.0 liter petrol motor, which will supposedly be sharing 60 % of their parts to save manufacturing as well as maintenance costs. The petrol engine will have double cam shaft phasing technology, known as “CAMTRONIC”, a turbocharger with variable vane geometry and electrically driven water pump in order to meet EU 6 regulations. All these new motors will be managing their total displacement capacity into four cylinders only, just by varying their stroke lengths. Along with conventional variants, Mercedes is also planning hybrid variants of the car. For this engineers will slid in the electrical motors which will be having power figure ranging from 40, 80 to 110 hp depending upon the variant. Then there is a power packed E 63 AMG, which may boast a 600 hp mill under its hood which is capable of producing 750 Nm of torque.
Developing vehicles on common but versatile platform has become trend in the industry and the new E class is no exception. Mercedes Rear wheel Architecture, also known as MRA, is most likely to underpin the body of the new E class. Lighter body and engine will contribute heavily to shed around 100 kg in the new car. At this moment five body styles are planned namely sedan, wagon, coupe, convertible and CLS. The shooting brake version and Sport cruiser van are not on the priority list but may turn into reality too. Along with environment friendly engine, new car will have CO2 refrigerant to cool the car which has minimum adverse effect on the environment. From the year 2017 onwards European Union is planning to mandate the use of CO2 refrigerant in every new car.
So after all new C class in year 2015, next generation E class may see light of the day in late 2015 or in early 2016. More accurate details will emerge and scenario will get further clear as time passes.
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