Ahead of its first scheduled public appearance at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has pulled the veils off its latest-generation C238 E-Class Coupe, expanding the current-generation E-Class family that already includes the sedan, estate, and All-Terrain body styles.
Departing from previous norms set by the preceding C207 E-Class Coupe as well as the CLK-Class before it, the new C238 E-Class Coupe is no longer based on the C-Class platform. Instead, Mercedes-Benz now builds the E-Class in both sedan and coupe formats from the same underpinnings. This harks back to the days where the C123 and C124 coupes were also built off the W123 and W124 platforms respectively.
Sensible, really; now that Mercedes has a C-Class Coupe, it would have been pointless to build two coupe models off the same platform anyway.
The shift to a larger platform has unsurprisingly led to substantial growth in the E-Class Coupe’s dimensions at all directions from the predecessor, although it remains a smaller vehicle than its sedan sibling. Measurements of the C238 relative to its predecessor as well as the current W213 E-Class sedan are summarized below:
E-Class Coupe (C207)
E-Class Sedan (W213)
Front Track (mm)
Rear Track (mm)
The enlarged footprint inevitably leads to significant gains in cabin space over the predecessor as well. Notably, rear passengers enjoy an additional 74mm of leg room, whilst front occupants get an additional 50mm between their shoulders. Headroom is also improved by 18 and 15mm for front and rear occupants respectively.
Engine options are carried over from the sedan, featuring the new OM654 2.0-litre diesel alongside the more familiar M274 2.0-litre petrol with the M276 3.0-litre V6 petrol leading the line in the E400 4Matic generating outputs of 333hp and 480Nm.
The M274 petrol engines are offered in two states of tune – producing 184hp/300Nm in the E200, and 245hp/370Nm in the E300. Both setups are already familiar to us from the sedan.
The new OM654 diesel engine, which is not available in Malaysia, but first debuted globally in the sedan earlier this year, powers the E220d with 194hp and 400Nm. This four-cylinder powertrain hails from Mercedes-Benz’s new family of modular engines that is set to progressively roll out over the course of next year. Expect these new set of engines to gradually seep into the E-Class line-up over time.
According to a report from Autocar, the range is set to be crowned by an AMG-engineered E50 4Matic variant to be launched in the latter half of 2017 in conjunction with the AMG division’s 50th anniversary. Slated to be powered by Mercedes’ new M256 3.0-litre inline-6 engine, the AMG E50 will reportedly have access to outputs in the region of 450hp.
All variants of the E-Class Coupe are fitted with Mercedes-Benz’s in-house 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Styling-wise, the E-Class Coupe follows on the template laid out by the recent C- and S-Class coupe’s launched within the last couple of years – it combines the familiar front end of the sedan with the now trademark Mercedes coupe rear with narrow-slit tail lamps and bumper-mounted license plates. The Avantgarde grille that is the hallmark of Mercedes coupes over the years complete the look.
As seen in the sedan, the E-Class Coupe gets LED Multibeam headlights and LED tail lights, the latter incorporating a stardust-like finish within the cluster to give what Mercedes describes as a ‘brilliant appearance reminiscent of the glow of a jet engine.’ Right.
A nice little touch however, is that the individual LEDs within the tail lights are programmed to light up progressively outwards when the vehicle is being unlocked; the sequence then runs in reverse when the vehicle is being locked, sort of as a ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ from the vehicle. You can see this effect in action in the official teaser video posted by Mercedes-Benz yesterday.
Cabin too, is taken from the sedan. In its most basic trim, the dashboard features two standard round dials flanking a 17.8cm multi-info colour display and a central 21.3cm screen. This setup can be optionally upgraded to become a pair of adjacent 12.3-inch displays that includes programmable virtual instruments. Mercedes-Benz has specced this feature as standard for the sedan in Malaysia, and we can expect the same for the coupe when it comes to our shores.
Three suspension configurations are available with the E-Class Coupe. The standard passive setup is claimed to be comfort-tuned but nevertheless sits 15mm closer to ground than the sedan. Optional upgrades include adjustable dampers followed by full-on multi-chamber air suspension.
As with the E-Class sedan, the E-Class Coupe is available with a wide range of autonomous driving aids that include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, remote parking pilot, and active cruise control operable up to speeds of 210km/h.