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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2010 Mercedes E class interior Spied

Why even bother with the camo? It almost seems like Mercedes-Benz wants us to see every detail of its new E-class. This isn’t the first time we’ve spied the 2010 sedan and its square headlights, but the engineers have gotten sloppy and let us have a peek at what’s on the inside.

But we’ve seen this all before. This new interior was hiding in plain sight at the recent Paris motor show, where Mercedes displayed its ConceptFASCINATION, a shooting brake design study that presages the new E-class’s front-end styling. Evident differences between the concept and this preproduction tester include the shifter location and steering wheel.

The current E-class is one of the last remaining Mercedes models to use a conventional console-mounted shift lever. It appears that the 2010 model will adopt the column-mounted joystick found on much of the M-B lineup. Paddle shifters are seen here stuck on the back of a four-spoke steering wheel and, along with the stubby joystick, likely control a seven-speed automatic. Another obvious human-machine interface change is the appearance of the Mercedes COMAND control knob on the center console.

Like the vehicle’s exterior styling, the cabin looks a lot like that in the latest C-class. As its littler brother did, the E-class loses some of its old-world elegance for a more modern, clean look. Unlike the C-class, however, the E gets a rectangular hood for its central display, whereas the C’s display pops up from the top of the dash when summoned.

Overall dimensions will remain basically the same inside and out, as the new E-class is largely based on the current car. Engine options should look similar, though 3.5-liter V-6 models will get a 20-hp boost, thanks to direct injection. Expect some new safety tech, like road-sign detection and a collision warning system.

The new E-class will debut at the 2009 Geneva show, followed shortly thereafter by the CLK-class replacement, which will be renamed E-class coupe.