We’ll just say it. The new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is incredible. So incredible in fact that we’d happily spend most if not all of our waking hours in it if we could.
The 10th-generation E-Class finally took its bow at the Detroit Auto Show this week and it didn’t disappoint. Until now, we’d only a seen a sneak peak of the interior at the Consumer Electronics Show last week.
While the E-Class may be one of the last cars in Mercedes’ lineup to get the its newest design language — Mercedes makes up for that fact by making it arguably the most technology-packed sedan out there today. The automaker goes so far as to say it’s “the most advanced vehicle the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio.”
We’d tend to agree with them there because this thing has everything you could think of and more.
It has an semi-autonomous driving system called “Drive Pilot” that can steer itself up to 130 miles an hour. It also introduces another big idea and that’s touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel. They can be swiped like a smartphone to control the infotainment system. It can also be controlled with voice commands or a touch pad with a controller that recognizes handwriting in the center console. Yes, it recognizes handwriting.
Here’s where things get even more interesting. It will ship with vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-to infrastructure technology. This is the technology that will allow it to communicate with other vehicles, streetlights and so-on. (V2V tech is still in development from many automakers and it’ll be awhile before it sees widespread use for safety reasons.)
When it launches in the U.S. this summer, the new E-Class will come with one engine option. A turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 241 horsepower. But Mercedes says other variations will follow and we expect those to offer more power under the hood. A plug-in hybrid is also in the works.