2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGEnlarge Photo
While Mercedes-Benz may sell slightly more units of its gateway C Class annually, no other product line in the Mercedes-Benz family carries the importance of the E Class. Like BMW’s high-volume 3 Series, any changes to the Mercedes E-Class must be done with care, as the product line needs to appeal to both new and existing customers alike.
While Mercedes-Benz is set to launch its “Real Design Revolution” in 2014 with a restyled C Class and S Class range, the time is right for a significant makeover of the 2014 E Class models as well. As Automobile points out, the changes are meant to make the new E Class both more elegant and more technologically savvy.
In the “more elegant” department, the refreshed E Class will get a new front end that de-emphasizes the car’s current four-headlight layout, refines the rear fenders and replaces the current rear styling entirely. In fact, only the car’s roof, front doors and windows carry over from the current generation.
As for technology, the new E Class will benefit from an improved night vision assistant, sensitive enough to target crossing animals; a dynamic light assistant that uses multidirectional LEDs to avoid blinding oncoming traffic; intelligent lane assist that can warn of other drivers encroaching in your lane and a revised ride control system that uses a stereo camera to set dampers based on road condition.
Want more? There’s a “congestion assistant” that will allow you to follow the car in front at speeds up to 40 mph, a car-to-car communication system that warns of approaching emergency vehicles or hazardous road conditions and an extended heads-up display with improved graphics, now multicolor.
While the 5.5-liter V-8 in the E63 AMG is expected to carry over unchanged, the E500 and E550 will get a new 4.6-liter V-8 good for 435 horsepower. The 3.5-liter V-6 in the E350 will get a boost in horsepower, too, rising from 302 to 333 to keep pace with the BMW 535i and the Audi A6 3.0T
For the European market, the base engine will become a Renault-sourced, 156-horsepower 1.6-liter four, although nothing that pedestrian will make it to this side of the pond.