While the wraps won't come off of the all-new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class until next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the German automaker released details on the new driver assist and safety technology being introduced on the car. And it presented an early look at how the cabin design has been upgraded to embody "a new interpretation of the concept of contemporary luxury."  

Functional sensuality

The E-Class cabin places greater emphasis on upscale flair that more closely reflects the character of the S-Class and borrows design elements seen on the Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile Concept presented last September in Frankfurt. The flowing contours are complemented by a selection of new colors and trim elements that include Black Panel glass, open-pore wood, metal/metallized touch surfaces and atmospheric lighting that offers a choice of 64 colors. On a functional front, the car features new seats that match model-specific appearance touches with an even more focused and ergonomically optimized form to enhance both comfort and support. 

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The 2017 E-Class also boasts a new primary controls and displays highlighted by dual 12.3-inch displays housing a reconfigurable digital instrument cluster as well as the infotainment/telematics controls. It also has a multifunction steering wheel with touch control surfaces on the spokes -- which Mercedes claims as an industry first -- that respond to swipe and touch inputs like a smartphone enabling full control of numerous systems with minimal driver distraction. The car also boasts a C-Class style touchpad in the center console that recognizes a variety of single and multi-touch inputs as well as handwritten cues, all of which supplement voice control and the Comand controller.

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Audiophiles will find much to like in the 2017 E-Class thanks to its standard Frontbass system and an optional Burmester 3D Surround Sound audio package. This 1,450-watt Gen II configuration uses 23 speakers -- including four mounted in the headliner -- to create an immersive concert hall sonic experience that can be individually tailored for every seating position. 

New lighting systems

In addition to detailing its upgraded interior, Mercedes also offered information on the exterior lighting of the 2017 E-Class. The car will offer Multibeam LED headlamps with the ILS (Intelligent Light System) as an option. Consisting of 84 individual LEDs in each lamp, these lights deliver a precisely focused beam of non-dazzle illumination that has up to 2.5 times the partial high-beam output of conventional headlamps. The setup, which also includes a dynamic cornering feature, is the first to offer full digital control of all functions. Beyond conventional lighting, the Multibeam LEDs also can be configured to provide unique bad-weather, city and navigation-based junction lighting. The new one-part rear lamps vary in intensity to match ambient lighting conditions. They can be further upgraded to "stardust" units that use an array of irregularly configured reflectors to recreate a brilliant but galaxy-like glowing appearance. 

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