Mercedes-Benz has confirmed a lightweight version of the E-Class will arrive in 2015. According to BenzInsinder, the Mercedes E-Class Superlight will be a sports saloon made of carbon fiber which has many advantages in weight and performance.
Carbon-fiber has an unsurpassed strength-to-weight ratio and the material is more rigid and much lighter than steel. The total weight of the lightweight E-Class will be around 1,300kg (2860lbs) — 350kg (770lbs) less than the standard model. This will improves the performance as well as the fuel economy and emissions.
The stiff and lightweight material also allows the engineers and designers to achieve optimal stiffness and more freedom in designing the chassis and exterior. The future Benz could feature gullwing doors or sliding doors due to the absence of the B-pillar.
The lightweight Benz is also intended to lower the fuel-economy and emissions of the companies fleet, especially as in many countries the guidelines for the emissions of cars are becoming increasingly strict. Therefore the German carmaker is considering both hydrogen fuel-cell and petrol-hybrid drivetrains for the lightweight E-Class.
Mercedes targets an annual production of 20,000 cars. At this stage there is no word about the performance or pricing of the E-Class Superlight. More news will follow, so stay tuned!