The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe is a jump forward from its predecessor in every way. This is a proper luxury GT car with performance to match its looks.
Mercedes-Benz has been building jaw-dropping coupes for decades, or at least, for as long as I can remember.
From 1961-71 was a particularly creative period for the German luxury car manufacturer, which saw the likes of the 220SE, 250SE and 280SE coupes released. These were beautifully proportioned two-door luxury rides that quickly found favour with the rich and famous and became style icons of that era.
I’ve got first-hand experience here. My old man must have had a good year and bought himself a used 220SE, though he had to settle for the sedan, but even that was a seriously impressive car and very easy on the eye, particularly with its midnight blue paint job and ivory interior.
Later versions of the mid-size Benz coupes were still attractive, but they didn’t turn heads. They simply weren’t as graceful or anywhere near as desirable as their more coveted predecessors.
Thankfully, though, the iconic German luxury carmaker is back in the styling business, and again building beautiful big coupes for those that favour form over function, though there’s plenty of that too in the latest 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.
Gone are the sharp angles and heavy creases of past models, replaced by smooth, flowing curves. Even the B-pillars have been ditched in favour of uninterrupted flow. You’d almost call it classic, but there’s just enough high-tech bling on the outside to make it pop.
Special mention goes to the tricky multibeam LED headlamps with 84 individually controllable LEDs, which not only project one of the brightest (and safest) beams available today, they also provide a stunning light show when unlocked – front and rear.
Those same curves also help make the Benz coupe the most aerodynamic car in the segment, earning a coefficient of drag of just 0.25. Even the low lift coefficient at the rear axle of 0.27 is exceptional as well as providing high-speed stability. Astonishing for a car of this size and proportions.
It’s a big car. Longer, wider and taller than the model it replaces. But that’s hardly a surprise, given the outgoing E-Class Coupe was actually built on the C-Class chassis, whereas this new-generation car is built on the latest E-Class sedan platform, though it sits 15mm lower.
Despite the absence of a single sharp line, there’s no hiding its 4.8-metre-plus length. It’s a fully-fledged four-seat coupe with class-leading leg and headroom for rear seat passengers.
It’s nice and wide, too, 74mm more than the old coupe, so even large adults won’t feel like they’re sitting on top of each other – front or back.
And while the boot lid looks to hide no more load space than for a single suitcase, the opposite is in fact true. If 558 litres of boot space mean little or nothing to you (understandably), we managed to squeeze in two full size suitcases as well as two sets of cabin bags into that area and have the pic to prove it.
Better still, the rear seat backs fold forward, allowing for longer objects like skis and boards to be carried for a weekend away. It’s more than just a coupe, really, this is a proper grand tourer in the truest sense of the term.
The cockpit is mighty impressive. Hop in, and you’re immediately greeted with two of the biggest high-res screens available today. They’re fully customisable and each measure 12.3 inches and appear to float in space. They’re also unique in this segment.