2021 E-Class Coupe and Cabrio Get Latest Mercedes tech, 48V power.

Straight-six power returns to the E-Class Coupe.

Evan Williams By: Evan Williams May 27, 2020
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Arriving soon with more class and style than you should be able to fit into any mid-sizer, Mercedes-Benz has just revealed the new E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, as well as the first AMG model for the updated cars. There’s a new nose, a fancy new steering wheel that can feel everything you do, and the Mercedes MBUX system joins the infotainment party, but don’t worry, this will still be a pillarless dream.

It starts with new all-LED headlamps that are flatter than those they replace, and have reworked bits inside the housings that add a new torch-flame effect to the lighting signature. They sit beside a new grille that Mercedes refers to as an A-shape, angled in at the top like on the new A-Class. The taillights have been tweaked as well, but through the middle of the car this one wears the same sleek, B-pillar-free lines of the current E-Coupe and Cabrio. Four new shades of paint, rather three new silvers and greys and a new red are added, and the wheel choices have been tweaked.

Inside sees bigger changes, though, starting with a pair of all-new steering wheels. They add capacitive touch sensors throughout the rim of the wheel, as well as new touch control buttons integrated into the parallel quad-spoke (for AMG) or twin-spoke wheel designs. They let you tap symbols on the wheel to select functions, but also support gestures like a swipe to change menus. The sensors in the rim detect if the driver is hands-on or not touching the wheel, but don’t require the occasional tug of the wheel necessary for most current systems. If the car detects you’re not hands-on for a certain length of time, it gives a series of warnings that end with the engagement of the standard Active Brake Assist autonomous emergency braking.

2021 Mercedes E-Class Coupe

If that’s not smart enough, a new adaptive driver’s seat can move itself to an optimal position based on entering your height into the infotainment system or Mercedes me app. Letting you make small tweaks to get the perfect fit instead of starting from scratch. Considering it’s the kind of thing you’re likely to use only once (unless you get taller or shorter somehow), it’s an impressive bit of detail.

The remainder of the inside is largely the same, with the quad circular vents in the middle that show you this is one better than a C-Class, and a range of wood, metal, and carbon trims available. Twin 12.3-inch screens come standard, one for the MBUX infotainment system that’s new to the latest Benzes, and the other for the digital dash, with the screens much more smoothly integrated than the current car’s.

The seats get big side bolsters, and transverse or longitudinal seams depending on how you spec your car. Nappa leather, diamond-stitching, and embossing are also available. Cabriolets can be equipped with sun-reflecting leather.

Mercedes’ 48-volt electrical system has come to the E, like the sedan and wagon versions, and while it’s still badged E 450 and still comes with 362 hp from the 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six, the 48V EQ Boost unit adds 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque as well as providing better use of coasting and start-stop tech.

The first of the Mercedes-AMG models to get the upgrade is the E 53, coming with a 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six making 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Like the lesser E 450, this adds the EQ Boost starter-alternator to add 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque when the need arises.

2021 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

2021 Mercedes E-Class Coupe

As with most of the rest of the AMG line, this car gets a vertical-bar Panamericana-style grille, instead of the diamond point on lesser cars. It too has a more A-shaped surround, and sharper LED headlamps. At the back are round twin-tailpipes, standard in chrome or available in gloss black as part of the darkened AMG Night Package that replaces the mirror caps, window frames, and other previously bright bits with gloss black.

The Nappa leather seats are an AMG-specific design with an AMG badge, and MBUX adds AMG-specific modes including three cluster designs and available AMG Track Package telemetry, microfibre wheel, and rear-drive Drift mode that gives the six-pot model looks normally reserved for the full-fat V8 AMG models.

As with all AMGs, the nine-speed shifts more quickly, the brakes are larger (with lettered callipers), and the extra dynamic modes sharpen the car further as well as let you off the leash with the electronic aids should you choose. The AMG Ride Control + air suspension offers continuously variable damping to suit the drive mode and the road conditions.

Expect the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet to arrive at dealers later this year, with pricing to follow.

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