The E-Class was the best-selling Mercedes- Benz model in 2015, and its all-new successor, which will arrive in the second half of this year, might be just as successful.
In terms of styling and equipment, the latest E-Class has grown closer to the flagship S-Class limousine. Compared to the previous model, the new version is 43mm longer, and its wheelbase has been stretched by 65mm to increase cabin space. Inside, this executive saloon can be equipped with a pair of 12.3-inch screens that function as displays for the instrument panel and infotainment system, as seen in the S-Class. The cabin also features a 64-colour lighting system.
That’s more than nine times number of hues in the S-Class, and the most in any vehicle to date. The conventional buttons on the steering wheel for controlling the infotainment system have been replaced by touchpads on either side of the steering wheel. Like a smartphone’s touchscreen, these pads respond to vertical and swiping motions. To make the E-Class more driver-friendly, the car is available with technologies such as Evasive Steering Assist and Remote Parking Pilot.
The former works by adding steering torque when an obstacle is detected and the driver performs an evasive manoeuvre. The latter lets drivers move the vehicle in and out of a parking space. This is similar to the Remote Control Parking feature in the BMW 7 Series, which is done using the car key. But in the E-Class, it will be done via an app on the driver’s smartphone.
Volvo’s all-new S90, which succeeds the S80, is the carmaker’s latest attempt at breaking into the executive saloon segment. The S90’s dimensions are slightly larger than those of the BMW 5 Series – it is clear that Volvo has the 5er squarely in its sights.
Instead of attempting to match the Bimmer’s performance, this Volvo will aim to impress with safety features such as Intellisafe Assist, a suite of technologies that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, and Pilot Assist as standard. Pilot Assist works by delivering steering inputs to help keep the vehicle within lane markings, at speeds of up to 130km/h.
The system still requires the driver’s attention, though, for it is immediately deactivated when he takes his hands off the steering wheel. The S90 will arrive in Singapore in the third quarter of this year.
LARGE LEXUS COUPE
Lexus has introduced the LC500, the brand’s longawaited successor to the SC430 hard-top convertible, which ended production in 2010. The LC500 is built on a new rear-wheel-drive platform, and has a body that Lexus claims is the stiff est it has ever produced.
Power comes from a 5-litre V8 (the same one in the RC F coupe) that kicks out 470bhp. The carmaker claims this automobile does the century sprint in less than 4.5 seconds. Lexus has introduced turbocharged powertrains in its regular” vehicles, but a spokesperson confirmed that naturally aspirated large-displacement engines favoured by most enthusiasts would still be used in sportier models.
Debuting on the LC500 is a 10-speed automatic transmission – the most forward ratios in any passenger car today. Lexus says that this gearbox’s shift times rival that of dual-clutch units. Production of this vehicle begins later this year,and the car will come to Singapore in the second quarter of 2017.