The current-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class boasts one of the most complete compliment of bodystyles available in the model family’s history. In addition to the sedan that we are familiar with along with an estate, the E-Class now also gets the All-Terrain high-riding AWD estate, a coupe, as well as a cabriolet.
Whilst Mercedes have been building coupe counterparts to the E-Class sedan since the days of the W114, the ‘E-Class Coupe’ was operating as the CLK for a couple of decades and they were based on C-Class platforms at that. The previous generation E-Class had a coupe derivative, but it too was mechanically based on the C-Class rather than its sedan counterpart. A full run down of the E-Class Coupe’s model history is separately covered here.
The new C238 E-Class Coupe therefore represents the first time since the C124 that Mercedes is building an E-Class Coupe off an E-Class platform. But where the older E-Class Coupes of the C123 and C124 generations tended to look like shortened two-door versions of their sedan counterparts, the new C238 shares very little outward similarities to the W213.
From the outside, the only common parts between the C238 and W213 are the headlight modules and door handles. Each of the coupe’s body panels is unique from its counterpart used in the sedan.
Breaking out the tape measure, we find that aside from a 8mm increase in width, the E-Class Coupe is an outwardly smaller vehicle than the sedan in all other measurements which we have summarized below.
E-Class Sedan (W213)
Front Track (mm)
Rear Track (mm)
Typically, most coupe derivatives take the front bumper and fenders off their sedan counterpart, but go on to differentiate themselves with unique front grille and bumper. This is not the case with the C238 – the panels may look similar, they may even be interchangeable, but they are most assuredly not identical.
Even compared against a similarly-kitted E-Class sedan with AMG bodykit, the coupe carries a subtly more aggressive stance. This is accentuated by a pair of bulges on the bonnet that are absent in the sedan.
Central feature of the frontal fascia, all styling variants of the E-Class Coupe bear a large three-pointed star on its grille; but where the sedan has dual slats spreading out to the side, the coupe only has one that nicely divides the grille horizontally along the middle. Also, the Coupe’s grille sports an intricate diamond mesh pattern which is absent in the sedan.
The lower edge of the E-Class Coupe’s bumper is sharper and flared compared to the more rounded lower end seen in the sedan. On the coupe, the bumper’s sharp lower edge is matched with a similarly sharp side skirt running along the flanks.
The front fender panel too, is surprisingly different between the sedan and coupe. This is because the coupe eschews the sedan’s sharp shoulder line running through the door handles. To give the coupe its more sensual shape, Mercedes designers rounded the edges of the shoulder line, giving it the same kind of shadow play but with a higher impression of quality.
Also different are the side mirrors. Where the sedan’s wing mirror housing extends out sideways from the base of the A-pillar, the coupe’s rise from the waist line.
Further aft, the E-Class Coupe takes no cues from the sedan, instead drawing inspiration of its appearance from Merc’s current range of coupes including the C-Class Coupe, S-Class Coupe, and, some might say, the AMG GT.
One little detail is common with the sedan, however, and it is the ‘jet engine-inspired’ crystal reflectors of the tail lights that give its illumination an added quality of luminescence. In a nifty little touch of flair, the LEDs of the tail lights illuminate successively outwards when the doors are opened at night as something of a ‘welcome’ gesture to the approaching owner. The sequence then runs in reverse when the vehicle is being locked.
Inside, the forward half of the sedan and coupe's cabins are largely common. Layout of displays and controls are all but identical, but a noteworthy element of differentiation is the air-con vents which, in Mercedes' own words, are 'heavily influenced by the look of a turbine engine'. The sedan, on the other hand, employs decidedly conventional-looking blowers, but with excellent finishing all the same.
As with the sedan, the coupe offers the Widescreen Cockpit optional upgrade, which consists of a pair of adjacent 12.3-inch high resolution screens spanning almost two-thirds of the dashboard's width. The screen directly facing the driver shows a virtual instrument cluster which can be adjusted between three different display themes. Like with the sedan model, we expect this feature to be made standard for the E-Class Coupe when it launches in Malaysia.
We were in Catalunya recently to test drive the all-new C238 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Our full review is set to be published later this week; stay tuned for that!