Friday, January 4, 2013

New Car: 2014 Mercedes E-Class Coupe & Convertible

Just like the Mercedes-Benz E-class sedan and wagon, the E-class coupe and cabriolet versions have received an extensive, mid-term face lift. (The two-door models debut at the 2013 Detroit auto show.) "The cars become even more sporty," a Mercedes spokesman tells us—and he’s not lying, at least in terms of styling. The new sedan and wagon look significantly more attractive than the original W212, and the wedge-like design of the new coupe and cabrio looks more aggressive than any E-class that’s come before. 

Just like the four-door E-class, the “four-eyes” headlamp design makes room for a pair of larger, more traditional looking lighting units. However, there still is a four-eyed look, thanks to the car’s LED daytime running lights. LED low beams are standard on every E-class coupe and convertible; LED high beams are optional. The taillights carry over their outer shells, but are restyled within the package. 

Changes to the sheetmetal have been kept to a minimum; the two-doors keep the pronounced creases on their rear fenders, which were abandoned on the sedan and the wagon. And while we welcomed that change to the four-doors, we’re rather glad they’ve remained on the coupe and convertible. These aggressive-looking fenders, which Mercedes says visually emphasize the rear-wheel-drive layout, look better on the wide and low two-doors than they did on other body styles. On top of that, the fenders also set the two-door E-class apart from the less-expensive C-class coupe, its closest architectural relative in the Mercedes lineup. 

Inside, the dash has been tweaked. The instrument cluster loses the two outer gauges, there is additional brightwork, and the designers added a centrally mounted analog clock, just like the one in the S-class and the face-lifted E-class sedan and wagon. The most prominent change, however, involved relocating the gear selector from the center console to the column, a decision that brings these cars in line with the sedan and the wagon but which also doesn't fit Benz’s desired sporty theme. 

The seven-speed torque-converter automatic transmission is coupled to one of two proven engines: a 302-hp, naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 in the E350, and a 402-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 in the E550. That, of course, is just a small selection of the engine portfolio Mercedes-Benz offers elsewhere, but we get the strongest engine outside of AMG, so we won’t complain. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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