It may look like a 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class that’s a little worse for wear, but what you’re actually looking at it is an early test mule for the next-generation E-Class—and not just any old E-Class but the high-performance AMG variant. The new E-Class, which we’re expecting to be revealed in 2016, as a 2017 model, will share Mercedes’ latest MRA platform that made its debut in the 2015 C-Class, hence the reason engineers are using a C-Class shell to hide the new mechanicals.
On the test mule, we can clearly see that the track width has been increased and the wheelbase lengthened. The size of the 2017 E-Class is expected to be slightly bigger than today’s version.
We brought you spy shots of a test mule for the regular 2017 E-Class
a month ago, but these latest shots show the AMG variant, likely to be a 2017 E63 AMG. We know it’s the AMG variant because of the huge brake discs, sporty alloy wheels and AMG-style quad-exhaust tips.
Power in the 2017 E63 AMG will come from AMG’s 'M178' twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8
. The engine will initially appear in the AMG GT sports car
, where it will deliver upwards of 503 horsepower. It’s not clear how many horses it will deliver in the 2017 E63 AMG, but expect at least 550 hp on tap for the standard model and even more for the S-Model.
While power may not rise dramatically compared to today’s model, performance should as the adoption of the MRA architecture should see the 2017 E63 AMG weigh less than the model it replaces, which weighs in at 4,431 pounds.
Rear-wheel drive will continue to be standard in most markets, while the U.S. should get 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. It’s not clear at this point what transmission will be fitted to the car.
The styling of the 2017 E-Class is said to be sportier and more aerodynamic than what you see on the current model, though the dual-unit headlight theme is expected to remain. The car is also expected to once again come in five different bodystyles: sedan, long-wheelbase sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible. At present, only the sedan and wagon are expected to receive the AMG treatment, although we could see the next-generation E-Class Coupe offer an AMG variant for the first time.