Mercedes ConceptFASCINATION

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Mercedes ConceptFASCINATION

This is as big a hint as you can get on the look of the next Mercedes E-Class.

The majority of the ConceptFASCINATION design study will survive to the production car which goes on sale to rival the BMW 5 Series next year.

While this sleek shooting brake design study obviously shows the estate version, it's easy to pick out the styling that will be used on the saloon.

The four-door car is likely to be on sale first, around late spring, with the estate following on in the summer or early autumn.

A new four-cylinder 2.2-litre diesel engine is used in the concept and will certainly be available in a wide range of cars from Mercedes, starting with the new E. With 204bhp, the engine approaches the output of current 3.0-litre V6 diesels but has better fuel consumption and features 'AdBlue' technology to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. E-Class

It does this by injecting urea wee, essentially into the exhaust gas stream, but don't worry. You won't have to fill up the car with urea yourself as the separate tank is designed to only need topping up as part of the regular service schedule.

Other tricks and treats on the ConceptFASCINATION include a smoked glass table that rises out of the boot floor so you can enjoy a posh picnic, with Champers and a Cuban from the on-board fridge and humidor.

We'd never dare suggest that E-Class buyers are short of a shilling or two, but we're not entirely convinced that these features will make it to production cars. Expect to pay from 28,000 to 29,000 for the new E-Class.