16 December 2012

Mercedes E-Class facelift - updated style & equipment

Mercedes-Benz has updated the E-Class model with a series of significant exterior modification, enhanced interior appointments that is more plush and modern as well as the integration of more safety and environment friendly technology. The current generation E-Class (W212) was launched in 2009.

The 2013 upgrades include a totally redesign front end, where the quad headlamp setup has been ditched. Despite maintaining the outer edge outlines where the headlight resides in the fender, the innerside has been made more contemporary, mirroring the silhouette of the smaller facelifted C-Class with its curvier and inward tapering head set. The quad light image is however retained in the headlight internal structure, which is among the most intricate seen on Mercedes-Benz yet. The hood has been revised too in line with the softer curve at its leading edge mating point with the rounder radiator grille. Taking the leaf also from its smaller sibling, the radiator grille of an E-Class is available in two design for the first time. The Base and Elegance grades utilize the conventional louvred grille 3-pointed star stands proud above it, while the Avantgarde comes with the sportier thicker two slats with huge 3-point star emblem smacked in the middle. The newly designed front bumper is common between the two, saved for the trimmings of the air intake, which is meshed in the Avantgarde and louvred in the other two.

The rear end revision is subtler. The rear light retains it housing, but the inner graphic is more more LED-laden and the lightings are arranged in horizontal manner to emphasize the sense of width, together with the carried-over trunk lid chrome garnish. The rear bumper is lightly restyled, particularly at the lower section. Another styling change is the deletion of pontoon hunch on the rear door, which is replaced by a smoother sheet metal.

The interior architecture is largely carried over, but there are many changes to the switchgear and small component that adds up to a whole new ambiance which is more modern and plush. The steering wheel is new, both for Avantgarde and Elegance which differs between themselves. The meter binnacle is new too together with its cowl design. The central airvent is revised, instead of embedded in its own panel, it is now resides within the new central horizontal garnish that can be had in either wood or aluminium, irrespective of  the trim. Between the air vents, an analogue clock makes an appearance. The audio and climate control switchgear is new, and featured more silver and chrome finish for an added touch of opulence. The gear level, which is previously available in selected model, has been entirely deleted and its function has been taken over by the DIRECT SELECT lever and paddle shift incorporated within the steering wheel stalks, except, of course, for the manual version which is available in 6 speed manual gearbox. The automatic gearbox is 7G-Tronic Plus unit.

Both the Mercedes E-Class Saloon and Estate are available with a particularly broad range of powerful and efficient petrol and diesel engines. All are fitted with ECO start/stop system and are highly efficient.

A new element is the expansion of the BlueDIRECT petrol engine family with the addition of a four-cylinder petrol engine with spray-guided direct injection, based on the same trend-setting technology used in the latest generation of six and eight-cylinder engines from Mercedes-Benz. Its technology package includes fast-acting piezo injectors for multiple injection, quick multi-spark ignition, turbocharging, fully variable camshaft adjustment on the inlet and exhaust side, as well as a controlled oil pump.

New developments for the four-cylinder engine include the first dynamic balancer with full anti-friction bearings to be used in a petrol engine as well as a switchable water pump.

The engine also sees the world's first use of the stratified lean burn process in combination with exhaust-gas turbocharging and external high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation. As a result the E-Class achieves a combined optimum consumption figure of 5.8 litres per 100 km (corresponding to 135 g/km CO2), and is therefore the only vehicle in this class to achieve efficiency class A. In addition, the new BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines already meet the EU6 standard which will apply from 2015.

Also making up the BlueDIRECT petrol engine range are the familiar V6 and V8 engines. A new addition is the six-cylinder engine, which is being offered for the first time as the E 400 with biturbo drive. With its performance potential and enormously high levels of torque at low engine speeds, this engine sets new standards in the six-cylinder sector and also meets the EU6 emissions level.

All BlueDIRECT petrol engines of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class combine a spontaneous response and exemplary power delivery with the highest levels of efficiency and best-in-class emissions performance.

Some of the diesel models of the E-Class are available as BlueTEC models fitted with the established SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology and as such meet the EU6 emissions standard. The comprehensive engine range is supplemented with the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. It combines the four-cylinder diesel engine with an electric motor, thereby producing a system output of 170 kW (231 hp) and 750 Nm of torque. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID consumes 4.1 l/100 km and produces CO2 emissions of 107 g/km. As such it occupies the leading position among the most economical models in the upper medium-size category.

In terms of safety, the enhanced E-Class is fitted with the new Collision Prevention Assist, which is a radar-based collision avoidance system which can act on the braking system of the car. Other features are improved from the current E-Class includes Distronic Plus with steering assitance, Brake Assist Plus which comes with Junction Assist.

More photos of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift can be found after the jump.


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