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Spied: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class shows its face

by Drew Johnson

Mercedes\' next-gen E-Class is nearing production ready.

After a lengthy hiatus, our spy photographers have once again caught up with Mercedes-Benz's next-generation E-Class sedan. The new Mercedes E-Class is expected to launch sometime in 2016 as a 2017 model.

Camouflage still covers most of the E-Class' final styling, but Mercedes' signature grille can be seen poking out at the front end. It's clear that Mercedes' mid-size sedan will adopt softer lines compared to the hard-edged E-Class of today. Front and rear styling of the 2017 E-Class will be derived from Mercedes' latest S- and C-Class sedans.

The E-Class will also receive an interior upgrade with more styling influences from the flagship S-Class. A tech upgrade is also in the cards, with even more self-driving features expected.

On the powertrain front, the 2017 E-Class will use a nine-speed automatic transmission hooked to a range of gasoline and diesel engines. The turbocharged 3.0L gas engine found under the hood of the C400 is expected to be the four-door's volume engine in the U.S. A plug-in hybrid will also be offered.

Look for the 2017 E-Class to debut during the first part of next year, with an on-sale date slated for later in 2016.

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