It is more than 10 months away, but automotive spies have garnered more details on the next Mercedes E-Class, code-named W212. It is due to make its appearance at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show but spy photographers caught it on the road, with the car showing more of its metal.
Loosing more and more of its disguise, differences to the outgoing model are now easy to spot and clearly visible.
Mercedes will abandon SBC in favour of conventional brakes, although they will boast features such as wet-weather disc wiping and wheel-selective cornering brake control.
Optional ceramic-composite discs could be introduced top-down, starting with the AMG models.
The new E-Class will ape the S-class’s wheel-arch extensions, rising character line below the door handles, massive bumpers, and greenhouse.
A more sculpted wide-frame grille, the more geometric nasal air intakes, and the wedge-shaped profile should give W212 a sportier stance. Actually, early styling models show a certain affinity for the most recent efforts from Lexus – such as the rectangular quad headlamps, the C-pillar treatment, and the taillights.
This is, of course, ironic given that the Lexus LS is famous for copying Mercedes. Driver assistance in general is a major theme for W212.
Expect lane-departure warnings, an eye-movement monitor, traffic-sign identification, road-condition sensors, and stability control that accounts for crosswinds, camber changes, and tire wear.
We’ll get the usual V6- and V8-engines, plus a normally aspirated, 370kW 6.3-liter V8 for the E63 AMG model.