Has Mercedes-Benz Stopped Trying To Mix It Up?

Here we are again, waiting for an all-new mid-size premium saloon from Mercedes-Benz. Yes, the ever-popular E-Class is on its way as the camouflage shrinks almost every time the all-new model ends up on camera.

And we know plenty of interesting things about it, such as the fact that it will be the lightest E-Class yet, riding on a longer and wider MRA platform (found under the latest C-Class). It will also feature an awesome interior borrowing styling cues from the S-Class as well as straight-six turbocharged diesel and petrol engines.

The latest spy shots we’ve received show the E-Class wrapped only in foil, without the extra plastic bits. It gave us a much better look at the overall shape of the body as we’ve been able to pretty much make out what they’ve done with both the front and rear end, including what the styling of the C-pillar suggests.

As John pointed out, the current, more angular model’s days are numbered as this curvier design seems to be the way Mercedes has chosen to go not only with the all-new E, but with pretty much its entire model line-up.

We understand the benefits of unified design, but this isn’t theoretical physics. Sometimes people really don’t want to drive a bigger or a smaller version of something else. As our readers pointed out in the comments section recently, there simply has to be more to designing cars nowadays than just a difference in size.

Obviously we wouldn’t go as far as to say Mercedes-Benz has fallen off when it comes to designing good looking cars. The S-Class is stunning and the CLS remains a great looking 4 door coupe.

However, we could argue that the W212 E-Class (pre-facelift) was the last Mercedes saloon that differentiated itself from any other model they had.

When it first came out, during the media launch I remember people having so many mixed opinions about it, some good, some bad, but I can’t remember anybody comparing it to anything else. And that in itself was a great thing.

Sure, some were arguing about the weird looking rear arches or the gigantic rear lights (oh yeah, I complained about that one) but almost everybody was somewhat shocked by the what I would call, awesome front end. Those dual headlights really won me over as I didn’t mind the Lexus GS comparison at the time.

What else…let’s see. Oh the profile was partially similar to that of the previous-gen C-Class and the S-Class-like grille was, well, S-Class-like.

But that was about it. There is no way you would ever confuse the W212 with any other Merc, no matter the distance.

For that reason, its a car I still respect a whole lot to this day. And despite a few shortcomings such as looking bland on certain colors or when sitting on undersized rims, and of course the size of those taillights, the W212 was and still is an exceptional machine.

One could argue, as I’m about to, that if properly specced such as with 18″ or 19″ wheels, AMG Pack, and the right body color, it not only looks better than the older C6 Audi A6 and E60 BMW 5 Series, but also the current F10 5 Series regardless of how many ‘M’ bits you glue on.

The 2009 W212 Merc E-Class is a car which will go down in history for being easily recognizable as..well, an E-Class. And this matters. It matters because design-wise, the W213 model might just go down simply as another Mercedes-Benz.

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