It’s been a few days since the Stuttgart automaker revealed the shape of the new E-Class, a model that still plays a vital role in the life of the brand. The series, with the internal designation 214, is also the last Mercedes with an internal combustion engine, and it is not certain whether the automaker will follow it in the future. Designer Jiří Král and I went through the previous generations and looked for milestones that shaped the look of the car for many decades.
The new Mercedes is supposed to last in production until 2030, and what will happen after that, nobody really knows. The car company announced some time ago that after this date, station wagons will disappear from the offer, at another time it announced that the star on the hood is a thing of the past for electric Mercedes. All of this points to the de facto end of the E-Class as we know it today.
Designer Jiří Král, who likes to call himself an “old can”, regrets the announced end of practical Mercedes. “I think station wagons suit Mercedes very well. I really like them since the 211 generation, but even the first attempt with the 123 series turned out great. Especially when we take into account that the car company had no experience with them until then.”
The station wagon generation 214 will premiere this fall and according to current plans, together with the three-compartment sedan, it should close the era of combustion engines of the Stuttgart brand.
Even though the car company only came up with the letter E in 1993, the upper middle class of Mercedes naturally has a number of predecessors. In the history of the three-pointed star, it is by far the best-selling class of cars, which has so far found more than 14 million customers.
“I like the approach where some elements of the current generation can be traced back to the deep past. Continuity is important for the car company, it helps build a trustworthy image of the brand,” says Jiří Král. The well-known Czech designer, who also collaborates with the Aktuálně.cz editorial team on testing new cars, also finds less fortunate periods in the history of the E-class. “In the 1980s came the time of tougher regulations, to which car companies had to adapt. Since then, it has been known how the barriers of creators are constantly shrinking, nowadays designing a unique car is almost a superhuman task.”
In the distant past, designers still had their hands free when creating a car. And everyone could tell from a distance that it was a Mercedes. Even if it lacked a star on the hood, which perhaps became a prey to vandals even more than today. In the gallery, we will remember all the post-war generations of the current E class, Jiří Král will add his comments to them.
Leave a Reply