Mercedes shows 2017 E-Class interior ahead of Detroit debut

The new E-Class is getting dual displays and touchpad buttons.

Mercedes-Benz's all new 2017 E-Class, which will make its world debut next month at the Detroit auto show, will feature new technologies like touchpad steering wheel buttons and a dual-screen instrument layout, the German automaker announced on Wednesday.

Mercedes will wait to show the exterior design of the new E-Class until the start of the Detroit show, but the automaker showed off the luxury sedan's interior at an event held earlier on Wednesday. The new E-Class will borrow the majority of its interior styling cues from the flagship S-Class, but there are a few key differences. Like the S-Class, top-end versions of the new E-Class will use a pair of 12.3-inch LCD screens for vehicle and infotainment functions, but those units will be housed under a single piece of glass. In the S-Class the screens a separated by a row of buttons.

The new E-Class will also use touchpad control buttons on its steering wheel, which Mercedes says is an industry first. Similar to a smartphone, users can swipe up or down or tap on the buttons to control functions like the radio.

"With the interior of the new E-Class, we are giving a new interpretation to the concept of contemporary luxury," said Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design at Mercedes. "We have designed a spacious and intelligent interior.”

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will greet the public for the first time in January at the Detroit show, with sales likely to follow a few months later. Looking a little farther down the road, expect the S-Class to adopt some of the E-Class' new technologies when its updated sometime around 2017.

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