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2017 Mercedes-Benz E Class: Can the Audi A6 compete?

Mercedes-Benz will be debuting the latest version of its famous E Class at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. The current-generation E Class is a good car, but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth. So Mercedes has decided to give it the same treatment as it gave the C Class. So that means it’s going to basically be a smaller S Class.

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Mercedes-Benz has been giving its cars a sort of familial look and feel, stemming from the S Class, for the last couple of years, making the S Class a flagship in the truest sense of the term. Audi is no stranger to this sort of cookie-cutter design, as fans have complained for the past few years that Audi models have become far too similar looking. So Audi fans shouldn’t be too put off that the new E Class will look like an S Class minus a couple of inches.

Aside from its extreme sibling resemblance, the E Class is a handsome car. It’s not too flashy or even all that exciting, but it is good looking. It, like the S Class and C Class, has a very understated design that grows on you with age.

However, it’s the interior that really shines. Again, with extreme resemblance to its siblings, the interior of the new E Class is a gorgeous world filled with wood, leather and metal. It’s just fantastic looking. The focal point of the interior is the dashboard, which is filled with screens, two 12.3 inch high-definition screens to be exact, and technology. In fact, the entire car is so packed with technology that it will put nearly every other automobile on the market to shame.

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The E Class will come with an autonomous driving function, similar to Tesla’s Autopilot, that will go even further and use something Mercedes-Benz calls Car-to-X Communication, which allows the E Class to communicate with other cars around it. This will make autonomous functions and active safety features work even better and safer. The new E Class will also come with a remote parking function, similar to the one found in the new BMW 7 Series, and will use the owner’s smart phone to control the function.

 

There’s no official word on powertrains just yet, but the new E Class should come with some of Mercedes-Benz’s familiar engines. So likely modified versions of the new twin-turbocharged V6 from the C450 AMG and the 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the AMG GT. All engines will be paired with a nine-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission which will send power to either the rear all all of the wheels.

So what does this mean for the Audi A6?

Audi A6 Hainan Blue
Audi A6 Hainan Blue

Well, it means that it’s time for a change. Don’t mistake me, the Audi A6 is an outstanding car. It’s luxurious, dynamic, fast and economical. But it’s getting a touch old as almost all of its competitors are getting new as it stays the same. Jaguar just launched its new XF, Mercedes-Benz is debuting the new E Class in a week’s time, BMW is readying its upcoming 5 Series for this coming year and Volvo just released its new S90. So the Audi A6 is very much the old man in the segment and needs to get a bit younger. We’ll see how the two cars truly stack up once the E Class finally hits the market, but until then, it looks as if it will be a tough car for the A6 to beat.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.