New Model News

Mercedes refreshes E-Class for 2021, opts to send sedan and wagon versions stateside

The refreshed E-Class features a strong stance, modern features, and new styling.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and wagon features all the things you think it will – a high-quality interior, the latest Mercedes tech innovations, and a familiar yet progressive body style. There's also a new variant, the All-Terrain.

The German luxury automaker has given the E-Class redesigned front headlamps (standard full-LED, available multibeam LED), new taillights, and a fresh grille and front bumper. Chrome and gloss black accents play across the exterior of the car.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class The taillights are almost triangular, a departure from traditional Mercedes-Benz rear styling.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has given the E-Class sedan standard AMG body cladding. It also has a new bumper, split taillamps, and a new trunk lid.

While the E-Class All-Terrain is technically a car, its visual cues are more closely associated with a Mercedes SUV. Its radiator grille and stylized skid plate have a mirror chrome finish.

Mercedes is making three new paint jobs available: Cirrus Silver, Graphite Grey and Mojave Silver. Aero wheels are also now available.

For the first time, the U.S. market will get electrified models. The M265 engine in the E450 is a 3.0-liter six-cylinder gasoline powerplant with a 48-volt electrical system. It achieves 362 horsepower.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class The wagon version is already proving a popular addition to the lineup with enthusiasts.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The cabin of the E-Class is appropriately luxurious. There are new color combinations including Magma Grey/Neva Grey and Magma Grey/Macchiato Beige, and trim in Natural Grain Grey Ash Wood and an updated version of Burl Walnut Wood.

In front of the driver is a cockpit with two 12.3-inch displays. Voice control is standard and augmented video for navigation is available.

Drivers can pick an interior tone to match their mood. Modern Classic is a classically elegant display, Sport has black and yellow contrasting elements, Progressive has less digital information displayed, and Discreet only shows what information is absolutely necessary.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class The interior of the car feature two 12.3-inch screens in the dashboard.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The 2021 E-Class is available with next-gen driving technology including a new steering wheel that is able to detect if the driver has removed their hands, adaptive cruise control with route-based speed adjustment, stop and go assist, active steering assist, active brake assist, active blind spot assist, and a 360-degree camera.

Mercedes is making the steering wheel available in the buyer's choice of a full leather or a wood-leather combination.

The refreshed E-Class will go on sale in the U.S. this autumn. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The car rides on new alloy wheels.

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI has given the Cooper Countryman a facelift for the 2021 model year refining the subcompact crossover's space, functionality, and ride comfort. The model will be available later this year.

In the US, the MINI Cooper Countryman remains one of the brand's most popular models, accounting for close to 40 percent of all MINIs sold in 2019.

The car gets a new grille with a chrome frame and standard LED headlights and fog lights up front, newly designed front and rear bumper coverings, now entirely in body finish, lend a more refined appearance. The radiator grill of the MINI Cooper S Countryman has a bold hexagonal grid pattern with a red "S" and a single chrome strut.

2021 MINI Cooper Countryman MINI has given the model a fresh front and rear look.Photo courtesy of MINI

In the back are LED rear lights in a Union Jack design and a fresh bumper design. MINI will offer the model with an available Piano Black exterior trim joining the new White Silver metallic and Sage Green metallic paint jobs. The model will ride on standard 17-inch light alloy wheels. Buyers can opt for 17-inch light alloy wheels in Channel Spoke Black design or 19-inch light alloy Turnstile Spoke two-tone wheels.

The Countryman will continue to be offered in a variety of models from the plug-in hybrid MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 to the high performance MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4. The base Cooper Countryman will still come with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine under the hood that generates 134 horsepower.

The next tier up, the Cooper S Countryman gets the same engine, tuned to put out 189 horsepower. The John Cooper Works model, with its standard all-wheel drive, has a 301-horsepower version of the power plant. All-wheel drive is available on the other two vehicles.

AN electrified version of the powertrain is available in the Cooper SE Countryman. It pairs a 1.5-liter engine with a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and an electric motor. The plug-in hybrid model has 17 miles of all-electric range.

2021 MINI Cooper Countryman The interior of the model has been given a facelift, just like the exterior of the car.Photo courtesy of MINI

The cabin of the car features a new cockpit display with an available 5-inch color screen. MINI is offering the 2021 Countryman with a new list of leather trim and interior surfaces. MINI is offering a new option for the Yours Interior Style package - Shaded Silver.

MINI offers the vehicle with new Chesterfield Indigo Blue and Chesterfield Matt Brown leather in addition to the 2020 model year roster of upholstery colors and finishes.

The MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 models now come as standard with Piano Black interior surfaces for the cockpit and door bezels. These are combined with accent strips in the variant British Oak dark.

At the center is an 8.8-inch touch screen. Signature and Iconic trim levels have navigation. MINI has refined the look of the audio control panel, buttons for hazard lights, and driver assistance systems. Amazon Alexa integration is available.

2021 MINI Cooper Countryman There's an 8.8-inch touch screen in the middle of the car.Photo courtesy of MINI

For the new model, there is a longer list of available MINI accessories from the manufacturer. The selection ranges from a roof box, molded luggage compartment mats and all-weather floor mats, to individual MINI LED door projectors from the MINI Yours Customized program, and of course, John Cooper Works performance products designed for extreme driving fun.

The 2021 MINI Countryman is expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms later this summer. Pricing will be available closer to the model's on-sale date.

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Travis Pastrana will return to Ken Block's popular "Gymkhana" stunt series.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Gymkhana GRiD is back. Ken Block's popular video series will be making a return in 2020 with Travis Pastrana behind the wheel of a specially configured Subaru.

The news comes just two days after Pastrana, a full-time member of the 2020 Subaru rally team, and Block (and Subaru) agreed that they would be willing try to make it happen. Here's how it went down.

Pastrana and Block have been staying at home with their families during the COVID-19 crisis but they haven't been idle. The longtime friends and former teammates have been competing to produce at-home stunt videos for their fans. Block's "Gymkhana GRiD: Stay at Home Edition" called out the Pastrana family, challenging Pastrana to film a better version at his home in Maryland. Pastrana's rebuttal featured big dirt jumps, driving on two wheels and donuts around his personal WRX STI. Both drivers encouraged their fans to vote on who made the better video.

Then, on Tuesday's "Hoonigan Tangents Live" show, the talk turned from friendly jabs between the two into Block offering Pastrana the chance to film his own Gymkhana installment in 2020 with Subaru and the Hoonigan Media team. Pastrana and Subaru immediately agreed to the challenge, marking the first time in 11 years that Subaru will be a part of the series.

"What Ken has done with 'Gymkhana' over the years has really been amazing," said Pastrana. "But I think he made a big mistake giving me a shot at doing one of my own! I've got some ideas that I think can blow Ken's videos out of the water, and Subaru is on board to provide a car to do it. One thing's for sure, it's going to be unlike any 'Gymkhana' you've ever seen before."

This won't be Pastrana's first trip around the "Ghymkana" block. The five-time U.S. rally champion, freestyle motocross pioneer, action sports icon and stunt expert has made cameo appearances in the fifth and tenth installments of the series.

More details of the location and release timing of the special video will be announced at a later date.

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