New technologies, an extensive reskin and a new turbocharged V8 are highlights of the mid-cycle facelift.
While the C-Class sells in big numbers and the S-Class earns the marque big bucks, no other model sits closer to the heart of the brand than the E-Class, appealing to both new and existing customers in equal measure. And for the 2013MY, most of the overly decorative styling cues have been eliminated, with quad headlamps replaced by new single-piece multi-functional headlamp units, while numerous new technologies have also been adopted.
Mercedes-Benz will begin its "Real Design Revolution" in 2014 with the next-gen C-Class and all-new S-Class coupe, while the E-Class sedan is set to go on sale in Europe next spring, the wagon to follow in the summer and the AMG and 4Matic AWD editions to complete the lineup in the fall. A design overhaul includes shedding the rear side panels, quad headlamps and daytime running lights. In comes a brand-new front end, restyled rear side panels and a modified rear view. The only elements carried over are the roof, front doors and windows. The rest will be contemporary and less contrived ensuring the 2014 E-Class regains its elegance.
In terms of new technology, the E-Class will have an array of cameras, lenses and sensors to feed the numerous advanced driver assistance systems. These include an improved night vision assistant; a dynamic light assistant, which uses multidirectional LEDs to avoid blinding oncoming traffic; intelligence lane assist; a congestion assistant, which allows drivers to follow the car in front at speeds up to 40mph; a revised magnetic ride control system; an extended head-up display with improved, multicolor graphics; and Car-to-X communication, which warns of hazardous road conditions and approaching emergency vehicles.
As for the powertrains, the only V8 to survive the 2014 facelift is the 537hp 5.5-liter engine for the E63 AMG. The E500 and E550 get a new turbocharged 4.6-liter unit, good for 435hp and 516lb-ft of torque. In order to keep up with the 300hp BMW 535i and 310hp Audi A6 3.0T, Mercedes has boosted the power of the E350's 3.5-liter V6 from 302 to 333hp. For the European market, the E200 gets a Renault-sourced 156hp 1.6-liter engine, which is expected to propagate across Mercedes, Nissan, Renault and Infiniti lineups.
On the diesel front, the E300 CDI has been cut, while the E200 CDI, E220 CDI, E250 CDI and E350 CDI (better known stateside as the E350 BlueTec) remain.