Mercedes-Benz has revealed official details of its refreshed 2013 E-Class line-up, just hours after the first leaked images surfaced online.
Set for an unveiling at next month's Detroit Auto Show, the E-Class benefits from a comprehensive mid-life overhaul to its styling, features and drivetrains.
The 2013 E-Class’ new singular headlights, redesigned taillights and front and rear fascias are joined by significant sheetmetal changes to the rear flanks - eliminating the existing model’s rear ‘pontoon’ contours.
The 2013 E-Class’ revised engine lineup will see efficiency improved across all models, with some drivetrains receiving significant upgrades.
Both turbocharged four-cylinder petrol E 200 and E 250 models now feature BlueDirect piezo injector direct-injection, joining the V6 E 350 and V8 E 500 engines that were upgraded last year.
Also added to the petrol fours is a switchable water pump and the world-first use of stratified lean-burn with high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation and exhaust-gas turbocharging - both benefitting efficiency and emissions.
The E 200 gains 30Nm to produce 135kW/300Nm, while the E 250 gains 5kW and 40Nm to produce 155kW/350Nm, while E 350 and E 500 remain unchanged with 225kW/370Nm and 300kW/600Nm.
A new twin-turbocharged 3.0 litre V6 E 400 model joins the range internationally, with 245kW/480Nm to sit between the naturally aspirated E 350 and E 500 models. It remains unclear whether the E 400 will make its way to Australia.
Diesel engines are largely carryover items, with the 125kW/400Nm E 220 CDI, 150kW/500Nm E 250 CDI, and the E 350 CDI drops 10kW to deliver 185kW/620Nm according to Mercedes’ press material.
The E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid model was recently confirmed for Australia, and combines a 2.1 litre four cylinder diesel engine with an electric motor to deliver a system output of 170kW/750Nm.
All 2013 E-Class models will be equipped with efficiency-friendly electromechanical Direct-Steer power steering and start/stop technology.
Local models are likely to be fitted exclusively with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed auto, while a six-speed manual and 4-MATIC all-wheel drivetrain will continue to be available internationally.
Many of the car's updated features have been developed for the upcoming 2014 S-Class flagship, but Mercedes has given E-Class buyers a first taste.
Key among these is the premiere of Mercedes’ new “intelligent drive” moniker for the E-Class’ expanded suite of driver assistance systems - superseding the previous Pre-Safe and Distronic monikers.
Intelligent drive equipped models use a new Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera, with two windscreen-mounted cameras offset at 45 degrees, compared with the previous single camera unit.
The system has a claimed total range of 500 metres, and can form a three dimensional view of the area up to 50 metres ahead of the car.
Aside from oncoming vehicles or obstacles - as previously - the stereo camera can detect crossing vehicles or pedestrians and recognise a number of street sign types..
This camera-based assistance is complemented by an upgraded radar sensors to provide Collision Prevention Assist collision warning and brake assistance, Active Blindspot Assist, Attention Assist driver fatigue warning, Active Parking Assist, and Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control with lane guidance and correction.
Mercedes’ Pre-Safe, Pre-Safe Plus, and Pre-Safe Impulse systems can assist the driver in avoiding collisions by braking autonomously from 50km/h, pulsating the rear brake lights to warn following motorists, and retracting passenger seatbelts before an imminent collision to reduce passenger inertia.
Also new is Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, which enables the vehicle’s high beam to be used at all times by automatically shielding oncoming vehicles from the headlight’s cone of light.
The new E-Class’ interior has also been refreshed, with revised materials, instrument cluster, air vents, centre console, analog clock and a new dash trim fascia that stretches the width of the cabin.
A redesigned steering wheel now features paddle shifters and integrates with the now-column mounted gear selector stalk on automatic models.
The standard dash features a 5.5 inch multimedia interface - growing to seven inches with the optional COMAND Online system, which permits simplified web surfing whilst on the move via a specific Mercedes-Benz app.
In the back, a new hands free bootlid system is now available, enabling access to the boot by simply waving a foot beneath the rear bumper.
Up front, the new headlight design maintains the now-trademark E-Class quad-light look with LED light ribbons, while full-LED headlights are an option for the first time.
Speaking with TMR today, Mercedes-Benz Australia's Jerry Stamoulis confirmed a mid-2013 local debut for the updated E-Class.
The E 300 Hybrid BlueTEC will make its Australian debut in the second half of 2013.
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