2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Interior Gets S-Class Charm, Upgraded Tech

Dual widescreen displays, plus active lane change assist.

Although the full exterior hasn't been officially revealed yet (we've seen it almost totally naked in spy shots), our first look at the interior of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class says a lot about where the all-new luxury sedan is headed. Its updated style and design, now consistent with the C-Class and S-Class, also integrates a bevy of cutting-edge technologies that we expect will migrate to the rest of the Benz lineup in time.

Swimming in the happy medium between the sportier C-Class and the executive-level S-Class, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class aims to take the best of both ends of the sedan spectrum. The waterfall center console carries over from the C-Class, and can still be had in high-end materials like piano black and open-pore wood. Mercedes' usual application of high-end leather, aluminum, and wood trims are available, alongside a redesigned three-spoke steering wheel and redesigned instrument cluster and center console.

As in the S-Class, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class adopts a twin widescreen display. Extending uninterrupted from the instrument cluster straight across the dashboard above the center stack, the effect helps emphasize the width of the new E-Class. Each screen comes with a high-res 12.3-inch display, and can be configured to meet the driver's personal preferences within a Classic, Sport, or Progressive display design.

New to the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class are touch-control buttons integrated into the steering wheel, which can fully control and operate the dual displays. The touch-sensitive buttons respond to swipes like you'd make on a smartphone, allowing drivers to work through the infotainment system without having to take their hands off of the steering wheel. Mercedes also says that it has fully overhauled its menu structure, making it easier and more intuitive to navigate and select the desired actions. One major change is the addition of solid buttons to activate essential driver assistance systems, which used to be a whole song and dance of diving deep into the Distronic Plus menu through the instrument cluster's screen. For those people who still prefer the rotary-style Comand controller and touchpad, that system carries over from the outgoing E-Class.

LED lighting also features prominently in the interior of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Ribbons of colored LED accents run across the dashboard, around the waterfall center console, and through the door panels to frame the driver in one of 64 personalized colors. The configurable color scheme also illuminates the footwells, door pockets, overhead console, and Burmester audio tweeters for an added touch.

These updates will arrive in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class along with lots of other new technology. Futuristic upgrades like Car-to-X communication, a digital car key, collision sound mitigation, side-impact occupant protection, remote parking, and high-resolution LED headlights and taillights.

The so-called W213 generation of E-Class will debut a new generation of Mercedes six-cylinder engines, including a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six in various states of tune. Some versions are expected to top 400 hp, while diesel and plug-in hybrid versions are also planned. The most likely transmission candidate is the 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic used in the new GLC300, while the all-out AMG version (likely powered by the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 from the C63 AMG) will use a seven-speed automatic.

Stay tuned for more on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which will make its official premiere at the 2016 Detroit auto show.

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