Combustion cars are taking on EV styling cues.
CarBuzz spy photographers have spotted a Mercedes-Benz E-Class test vehicle in what appears to be its production body, revealing an interesting styling development for the design of future cars from the brand, specifically a new lighting element. Despite heavy camouflage across each end of the car, the front reveals that some combustion-powered Mercs will soon integrate styling cues first seen on electric models. The EQS Sedan and SUV both feature an LED strip connecting their headlights, although the EQE (essentially the electric E-Class), interestingly, does not. Now, the E-Class appears to be getting something similar to the full-width light bar. The question is: is this to be a universal change, one only applicable to hybridized models, or an optional embellishment? Or is Mercedes simply trying to throw us off the trace of the car's design with a tacked-on LED element as part of the disguise?
It is believed that the next-generation W214 E-Class will be the last before the model becomes electric-only. This fits with a recent rumor that said Mercedes would eventually drop the EQ naming structure, something we discovered back in 2021.
These factors give us reason to believe that the styling of combustion-powered models will quickly become almost indiscernible from that of electric vehicles. Notably, compatriot rival Audi has employed a similar strategy with some of its EVs, like the e-tron S SUV. Similarly, the BMW 7 Series and i7 EV look almost identical. However, Audi also creates more distinctive EVs like the Q4 e-tron, and BMW has the iX.
With this change, it seems that Mercedes is trying to encourage customers to make buying decisions based on factors other than styling. If an E-Class and an EQE look similar, switching to electric power may be easier to handle for most Merc die-hards. However, it appears that this design evolution will be implemented slowly, as the LED strip we see here does not seem to connect the headlights directly and may only frame the grille, which appears to be visible on the patent drawings we discovered last year. Then again, a leak suggests the grille would be framed in chrome.
We'll bring you more revealing images as soon as we get them, but we do not expect a reveal for some time yet.
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