DETROIT -- Mercedes-Benz faces a crucial test when its redesigned 2017 E class goes on sale this summer. Sedan sales are stagnating in a U.S. market increasingly dominated by trucks. To counter that trend, the automaker has packed a bigger but lighter, more coupelike car with advanced technologies.
Mercedes is betting the 2017 E-class sedan, introduced Sunday night at a press event on the eve of the Detroit auto show, can continue the nameplate’s role as a heavyweight in its luxury segment and the source of profit margins other automakers envy, while reversing the severe drop in sales the E class suffered last year.
With the redesign, the E class moves from a standard six-cylinder gasoline engine to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s the first four-cylinder gasoline E class ever.
Also with the redesign, Mercedes advances its semiautonomous driving features to a new level -- though the U.S.-spec vehicle won’t get the most advanced of those features at launch.
‘Core’ of the brand
“The E class is the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand and in the past has repeatedly redefined the standards in the business-class segment. Now it carries this tradition into the future with a wealth of top-class innovations,” Thomas Weber, Daimler AG board member responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development, said in a statement. “The new E class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving.”