Range-topping version of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class two-door turns on the style, pace and comfort, but can it overhaul the BMW 6 Series and Porsche Panamera?
There has long been a Mercedes-Benz executive-class coupé, but during the past 20 years, you wouldn’t necessarily have known it as a true E-Class Coupé.There was a coupé version of E-Classes, sure, plus coupés based on the more obscure model names that Mercedes gave its executive cars in and before the 1990s.But it was from 1997 that the car got its own identity. It was called the CLK and looked to all intents and purposes like an E-Class Coupé but actually rode on a C-Class platform. Ditto its replacement, a car actually called an E-Class Coupé even though it shared its underpinnings with its smaller sibling.Step forward this new executive-class coupé, now both called and factually an E-Class Coupé – although, given that Mercedes from the C-Class to the S-Class share the same architecture, the links with sister models are as strong as ever.Initially, there will be five derivatives of the E-Class Coupé: two diesels, and three petrols, of which this is one.The diesels are the E220d (powered by a 2.0-litre making 192bhp) and the E350d (with its 255bhp 3.0-litre V6). The two lower-powered petrols are both 2.0-litre turbo units, too, making 181bhp and 242bhp.Most variants drive the rear wheels through a nine-speed automatic gearbox apart from the E200 and E220d, which use a seven-speed unit. A six-speed manual will be added to the range later.Our E400 test car is powered by a 328bhp 3.0-litre V6 and is the range-topper until a full-blown AMG version arrives. It drives through the nine-speed gearbox, too, but as standard to all four wheels.It’s available only in AMG Line trim, which, perhaps obviously, calls on the glamour of the AMG name but doesn’t come with a snarling V8.What it does come with is a list price of £50,820, which has been raised to £58,820 on our test car, but in its pre-options list price form looks keenly matched against its Audi A7 Sportback and BMW 6 Series rivals. …read more