It’s going to be a busy year for Mercedes-Benz. Coming off a year of record sales, the German maker hopes to keep momentum going as it launches three critical new products into the American market.
That list covers all extremes of the passenger car segment. At one end is the all-new, coupe-like sedan, the downsized CLA, while at the other we’ll see a complete remake of the flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
But perhaps most significant will be the all-new take on the Mercedes E-Class, a model US CEO Steve Cannon accurately describes as the brand’s “bread-and-butter car.”
Though the official preview won’t take place for another month, the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class scheduled for introduction at the Detroit Auto Show, the maker has lifted the covers and offered up this first full look at the redesigned sedan.
And what we discover are some surprisingly major design changes. Among the most notable is the absence of the four headlight layout that has been a signature of the E-Class for several generations. The new model gets a more sculpted, smoother profile, losing the muscular bulges found over the rear wheels of the previous E-Class model.
While one could argue that there are still four headlamps, the main work responsibility is now concentrated in the outer bulbs, and new LED accent lights completely change the familiar layout. Mercedes will meanwhile offer full LED lighting for the first time – though we can expect to see that on the new S-Class, as well.
(Mercedes to set new sales record in 2012 while hoping three new models will maintain momentum in 2013. Click Here for the full story.)
As with other recent Mercedes offerings, the 2014 E-Class will offer two different versions. The luxury model will go the more traditional route; think plenty of chrome, three bar grille, and the classic tri-star hood ornament. Those who opt for the sport model will get a less flashy two-bar grille with the tri-star emblem mounted dead center. Both models will feature twin scoops in the lower fascia.
The interior undergoes some significant changes, meanwhile. There’s now a widescreen navi and infotainment display atop the center stack and the COMAND system will be updated to the latest technology. Redundant, 5-point controls are mounted on the steering wheel.
For those more interested in traditionally luxury cues, the maker promises to offer more refined materials and three finishes on the dash.
Mercedes is also boasting of a variety of new high-tech safety features including the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera system it will share with the 2014 S-Class. It’s capable of seeing the world as we do, in three dimensions, expanding the capabilities of the car’s Forward Collision Warning and other systems – at distances up to 1,650 feet – to spot both cars and pedestrians, when driving in-town.
The E-Class will be offered with a range of powertrains, including a 190-horsepower four-cylinder diesel that will replace the current 6-banger in the E-Class and several other upcoming models. The V-6 E350 and V-8 powertrains will hold over, but the line-up adds a new E400 Hybrid later in the model-year, bringing fuel economy of 24 city, 30 highway.
The maker’s 7-speed gearbox will be shared by all and every engine package but the Hybrid will be available with 4Matic All-wheel-Drive. All conventional gas engines will also get automatic stop/start capability.
An E63 AMG model will follow later next year.
Mercedes should reveal even more details during a media preview the night before the official opening of the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, on January 13.
Tags: Mercedes e-Class, auto news, car news, mercedes 4matic, mercedes detroit auto show, mercedes diesel, mercedes e320 bluetec, mercedes e350, mercedes e550, mercedes news, mercedes-Benz, mercedes-benz e-class, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, thedetroitbureau