Spy Shots: 2017 Mercedes E-Class Mule Caught Testing

It’s been only a month since the first report about the next-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class surfaced the Interwebz, and it appears the Germans have already began working on the redesigned sedan . The big news comes via our spy photographers stationed in Germany, who have spotted a strange-looking mule near the Nurburgring track.

We say "strange-looking" because the vehicle depicted in the images we just received in our inbox is a half-camouflaged C-Class that’s not exactly the compact sedan we’re already familiar with. It might look like a regular C-Class at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals the body is longer and wider than it should be. What’s more, the engine is stuffed under a longer hood and the wheel arches hidden under the swirly wrap are slightly beefier.

This leads us to believe we’re actually looking at the next-generation E-Class , which we expect to arrive for the 2017 model year. Although it’s at least two years away, we’re not at all surprised to see it on public streets already. The sedan is in for a brand-new platform and a host of new technologies, all of which require months, if not years, of development and testing.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Mercedes E-Class.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class in Detail

Mercedes E-Class

Granted, the mule is anything but revealing as far as styling goes, but the body’s dimensions come to confirm the next E-Class is indeed being built on the same modular MRA platform that debuted with the 2015 C-Class. The newly-developed rear-wheel-drive architecture is not only lighter than its predecessor, but very versatile when it comes to wheelbase alterations. This will allow the Germans to shave a hefty amount of pounds off the next E-Class, and develop two-door coupe and cabriolet models with less hassle.

Along with the new platform, the upcoming E-Class will also receive a redesigned exterior and a reworked interior packed with the company’s latest in terms of convenience and safety features. Word has it a fresh lineup of six-cylinder engines is also on the table.

Why It Matters

The E-Class plays in a rough market, with unforgiving rivals such as the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6 waiting right around the corner. To keep up, Mercedes-Benz needs to up the ante and come up with an E-Class that’s better in all aspects, especially in the fuel economy department. The lightness of the new platform and a refreshed engine lineup might just do it for the Germans. Additionally, a lower curb weight would open new opportunities on the performance front by means of an E63 AMG that could perform better while gulping less gasoline.

Spy Shots

June 26, 2014

Mercedes E-Class
Mercedes E-Class
Mercedes E-Class

Mercedes E-Class

Mercedes E-Class

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