Mercedes edges closer to the new EV world with plug-ins for the E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon

Eddie Cunningham

The handover to digitisation and electrification has begun in earnest with the new Mercedes E-Class.

Half the mid-size saloon’s line-up will be plug-in hybrids while diesels and petrols will get mild-hybrid technology.

That means three of the six E-Class versions at launch combine a combustion engine (2-litre) with the power of a larger battery. And as well as turbo-charging, both the diesel and petrol engines are mild hybrids.

With electric motor power of 129hp, it means the car can travel on pure battery energy for up to 100km. That is really as much as most people will use their car on a daily basis. And they are promising more plug-in hybrids with diesel combustion engines.

The new car is larger in most aspects and therefore roomier. But there is an unprecedented focus on comfort, entertainment and safety aids.

Digitisation is built around the brand’s massive MBUX Superscreen infotainment system and display.

New apps on this central display include entertainment platform TikTok, Angry Birds, Webex and Zoom, while you can order a selfie and video camera (part of the optional MBUX Superscreen) on top of the dashboard.

The front passenger can watch dynamic content such as TV or video streaming on the display during a journey, but it is subject to the undertaking that the driver is protected from distraction.

The brand is working on the wider use of artificial intelligence (AI) so the car learns which comfort systems occupants use most often.

Meanwhile, Mercedes says its new anti-travel sickness programme of Energising ComfortT can help alleviate the front passenger’s symptoms.