With the W213-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift having made its debut in March 2020 – and in Malaysia last July – public road testing of the full-model change that is the forthcoming W214 model has commenced, as shown by our spy photographers’ images of the development vehicles seen here doing their rounds in the snow of Arjeplog, Sweden.
Being sighted early in its development life, the W214 E-Class test units here wear plenty of camouflage, although according to our spy photographer sources, these cars are already equipped with production-shaped headlamps and tail lamps, which means that their lighting graphics should be representative of the final product.
At the front, what appear to be the main beams are sandwiched by two rows of LED DRL strips, and taking pride of place in the centre of the grille would be the emblem for the tristar with a singular horizontal bar. This is of course one example of the E-Class’ front-end styling, and most likely to be for the sportier-looking trim variant, with the other test unit wearing the German marque’s more traditional ribbed design.
At the rear, the lighting units on these W214 E-Class development cars reveal triangular graphics, which suggest that the next-generation car will wear sharper lines, at least around the light assemblies; an example of this styling direction is demonstrated in the transition of the S-Class from W222 to W223.
Early days in the development cycle of the W214-generation E-Class, though powertrains for the current model’s successor are expected to feature both petrol and diesel versions, both aided by 48-volt mild-hybrid electrification. Plug-in hybrids will certainly follow, as will the obligatory AMG performance flag-bearers.
The top versions, the E 63 variety will reportedly follow the next C 63 in dropping the bent-eight for an electrified inline-four. Even stronger performance is a certainty, but if you’ve been thinking about an Affalterbach-flavoured muscle car soundtrack in an E-Class body, the clock is ticking. The W214 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is likely to debut in the later part of 2023 as a 2024 model.