The 2010 E-Class sedan first showed up this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and it has a distinct new look that blends the previous car's subtle curves with the hard edges of the popular C-Class. The quad oval headlights of the current car are replaced by a quartet of boxier lamps with the high beams still smaller and separate from the low beams. The new E-Class also gets LED daytime running lamps mounted in the lower air intakes in the front fascia. Like the all-new GLK-Class, the new E-Class sedan features sharp lines throughout its design, but the car's C-pillar, decklid and beltline stick out the most. The new C-pillar design along with the overall reduction of curved lines helps make the new sedan look bigger and much less conservative compared to its predecessor and its competitors. Inside, the new E-Class sedan is very similar to the outgoing model, but builds on the disappointing aspects of the 2009 model including the addition of a central control knob for the COMAND system, ambient lighting around the cabin and easier to reach controls for the HVAC system. Also, a five-gauge instrument cluster replaces the current E-Class' three-gauge setup that used oddly styled digitized bars for fuel level and engine temperature that really didn't match the rest of the gauges or controls.
Other than the new look for 2010, the biggest news for the redesigned E-Class is the addition of a coupe model. Yes, the E-Class has always had a coupe version, but it was labeled the CLK-Class. To trim down its model designations in a possible attempt to reduce product confusion, Mercedes-Benz is dropping the CLK-Class and the CL-Class in favor of the more appropriate E-Class coupe and S-Class coupe, respectively. The styling of the E-Class coupe is in line with the new sedan, but considering a coupe is supposed to be sportier than a sedan it is a vast improvement over the aged, conservative styling of the current CLK-Class. The best aspect of the new coupe is the lack of a B-pillar. The pillar-less green house opening gives the car a cleaner look and helps create a more open atmosphere. While the new E-Class sedan has a cabin that is spacious and luxurious, the new coupe gives the model a sportier touch. Smaller, more sculpted hoods grace the instrument gauges and the LCD display screen giving it a more casual look, and the coupe's three-spoke steering wheel and center-mounted shift lever make the car look more like a true sports coupe should.
Like the current E-Class, Mercedes-Benz will offer its midlevel luxury sedan with four model designations: the E350, E550, E63 AMG and E350 BlueTEC. The first two designations will carry over to the coupe, while the first three are essential carryovers from the current generation car. The all-new E350 BlueTEC gets a bump in displacement and will join the ranks of other Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC diesel models as 50-state legal. The diesel-power, turbocharged V-6 BlueTEC option is not likely to make its way into the coupe, nor will the 507-horsepower E63 AMG. All models will also use the smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission, that was equipped in the 2009 E320 we drove, which is controlled via a column-mounted shifter as standard equipment, although from pictures of the E-Class at recent auto shows, a floor-mounted shifter will be available as an option.