Saturday 13 September 2008

Concept Car: Mercedes ConceptFASCINATION

Mercedes Benz will enter the Paris arena next month with the ConceptFASCINATION, it previews the design for the next generation E-Class, the first model variant of which will be launched in 2010.

The German automaker is looking to extend the body range of its mid-size luxury car by re-branding the next generation CLK as an E-Class coupe, it will join the sedan and estate model variants already offered. It is an attempt by Mercedes to return the E class to the legendary status once achieved by the W124 E-Class, however the new E-Class Coupe will still boast the underpinnings of the current generation C-Class.

A shooting brake body style has been used in the ConceptFASCINATION, but don't let that fool you, a more conventional coupe style will return come production time of the E-Class Coupe. The V shape front end adds to the sportiness of the model and continues the design evolution of the Mercedes brand which has already been seen on the SL facelift. The twin headlight design which has graced the previous two generations of the E-Class remains but the rounded design has been replaced with rhomboid shaped headlamps.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, commented: "This design study continues the long tradition of exciting coupés from Mercedes-Benz in impressive style. With its emotionally appealing lines, ConceptFASCINATION offers a completely new interpretation of the coupé. Its aesthetic, dynamic looks and painstakingly crafted details ensure that this study meets the highest design standards."

Mercedes previews a new 2.2 litre, 4-cylinder Bluetec diesel engine in the engine bay of the ConceptFASCINATION, a production version will make its way to the E-Class range come 2010. It generates the kind of power currently achieved by the 3.0 litre CDI with an output of 204bhp (150kW) and its lower displacement means we can expect some pretty impressive fuel economy and CO2 emission figures.

The Mercedes ConceptFASCINATION will be unveiled to the public at the Paris motorshow at the beginning of next month when we will present further details and images of the model.

Although it will badged as an E-class, the coupe will still be based on a C-Class, in this case, the current model, unlike the CLC coupe, which uses a last-generation C-Class platform. It will still be available as a coupe and a cabrio; no folding hardtop model is planned.

The new E-Class will be launched at the Geneva show in March, and goes on sale in the UK during the Summer. The coupe comes shortly after, while the estate and the cabrio will be launched at the Frankfurt motorshow next September.

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