Design: Passion, sportiness and charisma - Lines with the power to move you

Apr 22, 2009
  • An independent, passionate personality with its own distinct identity
  • Sporty, taut design idiom
  • Interior with characteristic Mercedes elegance and perceived value
The new E-Class Coupé from Mercedes-Benz aims straight at the senses – it takes only a moment to be captured by the charisma of this sports car. Its taut lines, powerful muscles and sharp, arrow-shaped front speak directly to the emotions and promise compelling driving enjoyment.
The proud tradition of Mercedes-Benz coupés continues with the latest two-
door model from Stuttgart. The newcomer features styling elements which give Mercedes-Benz coupés their unmistakable identity: elements such as the side window treatment which has no B-pillar to interrupt it and features fully retractable windows, or the characteristic sports radiator grille with the large central star. At the same time, this model points the way to the future with an exciting, contemporary design idiom.
The Coupé makes no secret of its close relationship to the new E-Class Saloon. It is immediately obvious from the twin-headlamp face which features a similar rhomboid design for the lights but with a somewhat sportier, sharper treatment which creates a more dynamic and incisive look. Another design feature which the Coupé shares with the Saloon is the powerful contour of the rear wing - a styling cue which also gave the S 220 "Ponton" Coupé of 1955 its athletic appearance.
Despite its E-Class family traits, the new Coupé has its own, distinct identity and a personality that speaks more directly to the emotions. The arrow shape of the entire front section from front bumper to radiator to bonnet, the more extreme interpretation of the twin headlamp face and its more sinewy build give it a racier and more dynamic presence - in short, it is every inch a coupé and evokes speed even when stationary.
The powerful styling accentuates the sleek, flowing lines
Viewed from the side, the two-door model impresses with its clean proportions and its perfect coupé profile: long bonnet, wide door, high shoulderline with elongated side window treatment, lowered roof line and a short rear overhang. A powerful, muscular form which is integrated in the side wall over the rear axle and a slender, sweeping C-pillar add to the stylish appearance and embody agility and athleticism.
A special characteristic of the contemporary Mercedes design idiom is the creative interplay of edges and surfaces. Taut, sharply defined lines, which grow out of surfaces organically and disappear into them again equally gently, structure the sides of the coupé. The high shoulderline, a prominent, downward-pointing feature line (another contemporary Mercedes styling element) and a second structuring line delimit the sensitively sculpted surfaces. Alternately concave and convex, these create a sleek yet sharply defined flow of lines which creates a fascinating interplay of reflected incident light. In short: flowing surfaces and taut curves form visual energy flows and compelling forms.
The wheel arches have deliberately been given different design treatments at the front and the rear. The resulting formal tension ensures that the overall design does not look too smooth. Indeed, it is the distinct difference between the front and the powerful rear that underlines the car's athletic character.
Arrow-shaped front and dominant radiator grille
From the front bumper to the radiator grille to the bonnet, the pronounced arrow shape of the front section emphasises the sporty character of the Coupé. A central crease in the bonnet picks up this shape and trails back towards the windscreen. A wide, upright radiator grille with two louvres, striking chrome strips, a powerful chrome surround and the central star testifies to status and self-assurance in time-honoured Mercedes style. The grille makes a dominant, expressive statement of the brand's identity.
The traditional twin headlamp face is based on that of the new E-Class Saloon, but has its own identity. Longer, more sharply inclined and flatter, the headlamps have a more dynamic look which is unmistakable. With their elaborate, high-tech interior and quadrant-shaped indicators, they add a sparkling finishing touch to the front of the vehicle.
A distinctive front apron with large air intakes gives the vehicle a strong, powerful presence. Two vertical struts in the front apron provide visual support for the radiator grille and give it a substantial formal base. Depending on the model version, the bumper houses either the fog lamps or the daytime driving lights and fog lamps side by side. In the versions with bi-xenon headlamps, L-shaped daytime driving lights based on LED technology give the vehicle an expressive look.
Powerful rear with innovative lights
"Powerful and not afraid to show it" could be the motto for the rear section of the new E-Class Coupé: the rear wings spanning the rear axle are sculpted to create a powerful, muscular form which visually enhances the vehicle's width. The distinctive feature line - a characteristic Mercedes styling element - is continued skilfully around the back of the vehicle and into the tail lights, thereby forming a link between front and rear.
The LED tail lights are split and extend from the boot lid far into the side wall. In so doing, they emphasise the width and dynamism of the vehicle. Their innovative lighting technology is particularly noteworthy. An LED background lighting system provides indirect illumination of the three-dimensional back cavity in both light units and in this way sets the basic background lighting tone. Twin light arrays with twin LED light guides stand out against the background lighting. These light arrays accommodate the tail lights and the brake lights while the reversing lights and an additional LED fog lamp are integrated in the boot lid light units.
The narrowness of the gap between the light unit on the boot lid and that on the side wall, as well as the extremely precise bevelling of the adjacent light lenses allows light transmission between the two sections. As a result, the night design of the new Coupé maintains the perceived width and harmonious appearance of the rear section.
The upswept rear bumper simultaneously creates a sense of lightness, underlines the sporty character of the vehicle and serves as a visual differentiator for the different engine versions. A single oval tailpipe indicates a four-cylinder model; the V6 Coupé models can be identified by two oval tailpipes while the eight-cylinder model has two diamond-shaped tailpipes.
New paint finishes with effect pigments
The range of paint finishes comprises twelve colours, five of which are new. A high aluminium content and effect pigments provide the basis for the new stannite grey. Depending on the light incidence, it acquires a green to beige tinge and brings out the forms of the new E-Class Coupé to particularly good effect.
Interior with sporty lines and high perceived value
In the interior, the designers have continued the taut, sporty design idiom of the exterior. The compelling interplay of surfaces and clearly defined lines creates an interior whose elegance and high perceived value are evocative of modern architecture. The cockpit is structured horizontally with a dark upper section in order to avoid unwanted reflections. Interior appointments in two colours - in keeping with the logic of the two-level structure - create intriguing contrasts.
With its sporty look and feel, the cockpit design is clearly in keeping with the agile character of the new Coupé. The instrument cluster with five tubes for the dials and a central display has a slender look while the dials themselves are clearly laid out and have high-quality chrome surrounds as well as a silver backing for the scales. The background colour of the dashboard is silver or black, depending on the choice of trim elements. The three-spoke steering wheel with multifunction buttons is available in a number of different versions and colours in order to match the interior appointments.
Next to the instrument cluster - and therefore in the primary field of vision of the driver and front passenger - is the display area for the control and display system for the radio, navigation system and other functions. The system is operated by means of a rotary and push-action Controller which falls conveniently to hand in front of the asymmetrically split armrest between the front seats. This armrest also serves as a handrest when operating the Controller.
The horizontally structured dashboard flows into a centre console with a dynamic, arrow-shape where the air-conditioner control unit is to be found along with other features.
The light coming through the continuous glass roof creates a special ambience
Light has an important positive effect on people's sense of well-being. This is why the interior mirror housing contains an ambient lighting source as well as reading lights for the driver and front passenger. A particularly pleasant lighting ambience is created by the optional panoramic sliding roof featuring heat-insulating glass which forms a continuous visual element extending from the windscreen to the rear window. This feature makes the interior brighter and even more appealing but can be covered by means of an electrically operated roller blind when required.
Sporty individual seats for the rear passengers, too
The thoroughly sporty look and feel of the new E-Class Coupé is underlined by the sporty design of the seats which also take the form of individual seats for the rear passengers. Although the Coupé is deliberately designed as a four-seater, the rear backrests still offer a 1/3 to 2/3 split folding function. The front integral seats with pronounced, faceted side bolsters and transverse piping on the seat cushion have a light, contemporary look and immediately create a distinctly sporty impression while offering excellent seating comfort. Another notable characteristic of the seats is the high-quality, hand-stitched workmanship featuring discreet flat-felled seams.
The seats are upholstered in a combination of fabric, which evokes high-quality outdoor products, and ARTICO man-made leather, or, optionally, leather.
Fine materials
The whole interior is dominated by pleasing surface finishes. Trim elements made from valuable, authentic materials emphasise the high-quality of the new Coupé. The sporty two-door model is equipped as standard with brushed aluminium trim elements with a sporty spin finish. Customers can also choose from fine woods: burr walnut, high-gloss black ash or the graphic linearity of pine. In all cases, the trim elements have a thin chrome strip along their upper edge.
Five appointments colours are available: black, alpaca grey and almond beige (in the form of tone-in-tone combinations or sporty contrasts), as well as the special colours natural beige and flamenco red which are offered in conjunction with black as the contrasting basic colour. Fabric is available in black and alpaca grey while leather appointments can be specified in all five colours; nappa leather is offered in the three basic colours. ARTICO leather in the AMG sports package is also offered in the three basic colours.
Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG
Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé, design
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé, design
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé, design
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé, design