In excess of 100 pre-production models of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class have been spied in various stages of disguise. While many of the C-Class prototypes featured are wearing car covers, there are a handful with very little camouflage, inevitably hot on the back of testing in Germany.
It isn’t known just when pre-production of the next-gen E-Class started but the fact that it has suggests that the car’s online reveal is imminent. Consequently, we expect to see the very first teaser images and videos shortly before the vehicle’s debut at the Detroit Motor Show in early January.
Of the prototypes spied wearing very little camouflage, the similarities between the new E-Class as well as the existing C-Class and S-Class models are obvious. For example, the new E-Class will use similar headlights and taillights to its sedan siblings.
Underpinning the new E-Class will be the same MRA platform as used by the existing C-Class. Thanks to the new underpinnings alone, the 2016 E-Class is expected to weigh about 100 kg less than the outgoing model.
Elsewhere, the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class will mark the German firm’s return to inline-six cylinder engines in favour of V6s (excluding the aforementioned V6 hybrid model). The inline-sixers will be offered in petrol and diesel forms with the first pinned to be a 2.9-litre diesel engine delivering 313 hp when combined with two turbochargers. An additional version of this engine will be offered with four turbochargers two of which will be electrically-driven units to improve efficiency.