The beauty of functionality
- Side view: muscular, sweeping lines on the side panel in front of the rear wheels
- Rear end: emphasis of horizontal lines and distinctive LED lights
- Interior: high-grade materials and harmonised colour concept
The new Estate immediately makes an athletic, safe and practical impression. It is the largest estate car in the premium segment, and it makes no secret of the fact. Its distinctive design character is based on the new Mercedes style, which had its debut in the S-Class and is now also represented in the C-Class and also the E-Class Saloon and Coupé. One of its characteristics is the interplay between concave and taut surfaces, which are delimited by dynamic edges and structured contours.
The performance of the Saloon and Coupé in the 2009 AutoBild Design Awards shows how well the striking lines of the E-Class have been received: more than 100,000 readers of the German motoring publication voted the four-door model the most beautiful car in the world, and gave the two-door model first place in the Coupé/Convertible category.
The almost 50-man E-Class design team in Sindelfingen developed all model variants of the series in parallel – this was important to ensure that a uniform design was achieved, and so that at the same time optimum solutions could be found to reconcile the conflicting priorities of family resemblance and individual character.
Front: new twin headlamp face, different bumpers depending on line
The twin headlamp face has been one of the characteristic features of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class for some 14 years. The new model has remained true to this style element, although in an updated design: the Mercedes designers have now made the headlamps – which have always previously been oval – rectangular. But whether night or day, the distinctive shape of the headlamps is the most important distinguishing feature of the new E-Class generation.
Like the headlamps, the bumper blends perfectly into the car’s body, completing the harmonious overall impression of the front section. The dynamic lines that flow outwards, the distinctively shaped spoiler edges in the lower area and the bumper’s broad air intake emphasise the Estate’s effortlessly superior aura, making it appear even wider and more athletic than before.
These and other styling elements also enhance the profile of each of the equipment lines, helping to accentuate their unique character. Hence the AVANTGARDE line features a front bumper with a sporty design, which looks wider and more athletic than that of the ELEGANCE line on account of the large lower air intake featuring a black painted grille with diamond-shaped perforations typical of a sports car. This impression is reinforced by the LED daytime driving lights, which are integrated in an attractively styled crossmember; these lights are standard equipment for the AVANTGARDE model, as is the Intelligent Light System with bi-xenon headlamps.
Another feature which makes for clear demarcation between each of the lines is the chromed radiator grille: on the AVANTGARDE model it sports a unique look on account of its three high-gloss black louvres, while the design used for the ELEGANCE line stands out by virtue of its four louvres painted in metallic silver. The standard model has a radiator grille with three louvres in stone grey.
The side view reveals many new features, leaving no doubt about the identity of the new Estate. The B and C-pillars appear to merge into the background thanks to glossy, black trim panels, making the entire side window area look like a single unit. This leads to an expressive arch leading from the filigree A-pillar to the dramatic roof line and the downward-tapering D-pillar, all resting on the athletic shoulder-line of the Estate. The high beltline is a further style element of the new Mercedes design idiom and reinforces the sense of safety experienced by passengers.
The intriguing design of the door sill panels, which are visually understated in the centre but feature a prominent light-catching contour towards the wheel arches, accentuates the dramatic overall effect of the side aspect. This is additionally emphasised by the muscular, sweeping line on the rear side panel in front of the rear wheel. At the same time this underlines the fact that it belongs to the same family as the E-Class Saloon, which bears a similar style element on the rear wings which is reminiscent of its predecessor, the Mercedes “Ponton” from 1953.
When shaping the rear end, the Mercedes designers took care to give expression to the high practicality of the Estate. They did this by emphasising horizontal lines, for example the band formed by the tail lights and the chromed tailgate handle. The glass of the rear window covers the frame of the tailgate, which once again accentuates the horizontal lines. The large loading hatch reaches over into the bumper.The new LED tail lights are based on a two-piece design, and create a visual continuation of the side wall into the tailgate – an additional safety feature and at the same time a distinctive recognition feature for the new E-Class Estate. The individual compartments of the tail lights are both illuminated and back-lit using an ingenious technique, which adds to the sense of depth and makes the Estate unmistakable even at night. The meandering contour of the tail lights is reminiscent of the dirt-deflecting ribs of the rear lights introduced on the S-Class back in 1972.