Mercedes-Benz is traveling off its own beaten path with the introduction of the 2010 E-Class coupe. Traditionally speaking, at least as far as the last decade or so goes, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t do a couple things you’d expect them to: Firstly, Mercedes doesn’t name their coupes or convertibles after their sedans; and secondly, Mercedes doesn’t build a coupe based on the E-Class architecture.
The C-Class generally gives way to the CLK coupe which is priced and styled as though it’s an E-Class coupe. That’s the way it used to be. The S-Class is the basis for the CL-Class, priced in a world where you and I don’t belong. As you can see in the 30 pictures below, Mercedes-Benz ignores short-lived tradition and goes back to a midsize coupe which has very few direct competitors. Mercedes-Benz, as you’ll recall, loves little niches where the 3-pointed star is the only player. See SLK hardtop convertible and CLS-Class “coupe’ as supporting evidence.
Thus, the good-looking E-Class coupe will most likely use a 5.5L V8 in North America and perhaps a 3.5L V6. An E63 AMG version with the 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 is beyond probable. Mercedes says this coupe is the most aerodynamically efficient production automobile with a CoD of 0.24. Fuel efficiency is helped not only by that figure but also by available diesel engines (for us? probably not) and such simplified technology as on-demand steering and fuel pumps and an alternator control system that takes into account current electrical needs.
As far as the design, Benz’s pillarless look with the side windows completely disappearing is the standout feature. Apart from that, this car is very E-Class at the front, very CLK in profile, and rather large. Classy and mostly current; but not the most innovative coupe design.
BMW’s basic 6-Series is way more expensive than a basic E-Class sedan. Audi’s A5/S5 duo competes beneath, as does BMW’s 3-Series coupe. For your records, in the coupe world Porsche’s Cayman, the Audi S5, and the Chevrolet Corvette come closest to the $53,200 base price of an E350 sedan as it stands today.