One area in which the new coupé from Mercedes-Benz can easily hold its own is in its array of features. Like the new E63 S we showcased recently, the new E-Class Coupé is pumped full of impressive tech and can now enjoyed in a less frenetic array of engines and in the dramatic silhouette of a coupe. This means the identical, deeply digital 12,3″ displays merged to create a widescreen cockpit fascia.
Of course, the living quarters are significantly different from the saloons; with the coupes offering limited, but not poor levels of room up-front and at the rear. As a hallmark feature, the E-Coupé also enjoys four drop-down windows on its frame-less doors to maximise its more expressive outlook. The company is already finalising the soft-top cabriolet version, which is expected to hit these shores before the end of this year.
However, many buyers are naturally drawn to tin-top coupes, and with good reason. They are generally the prettiest things in a range and it’s the same with the E-Coupé, which is styled similarly to the smaller C-Coupé, yet nuanced in a way that despite their heavy resemblance, manages to set the E-Coupé apart. It’s all in its extra length and girth, I reckon, which is not only extended beyond the last model’s dimensions, but yield more room for legs and bigger golf clubs in the boot. It’s an altogether lustier shape too, that’s closer to the visual spectacle that is the R3 million-plus S-Coupé.
The car is endowed with a limited number of the same engines and nine-speed transmission of the current Mercedes-Benz stable. There are turbo-petrol, four-cylinder mills in the 135kW and 300Nm E200 and 180kW and 370Nm E300, and unusually for the segment, it can be had in 143kW and 400Nm diesel E220d guise. Sadly for true Mercedes-Benz coupé connoisseurs, there is no V8-powered E500 that sits at the top of the pile. The role of dishing out the meaty performance is left to the E400 model, with its 3,0-litre V6 motor that pushes out 245kW and 480Nm.
The driver can choose damper settings in Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes via a button and I’d go so far as to declare that Comfort suits the E-Coupé best. It’s a sumptuous progression that matches the ethos and majestic living outlook of the car and besides, even in its firmest setting, there isn’t any substantial change to how it wafts along on its standard road stance – which is already 15mm lower than the E-Class saloon – and displays satisfactory performance on sweeping bends.
It’s priced between R754 500 for the entry-level E200 and R1 021 500 for the E400 and this leaves it without a conceivable competitor from BMW. It’s larger than a 4 Series, but not as cumbersome as a 6 Series. It’s a victory for styling, technology, comfort and the continuance of a rich bloodline, despite the lack of a V8-powered E500.