Mercedes-Benz has announced a package of changes to the E-Class that make it faster, sharper, safer, smarter and better value.
Saloons and estates have been subtly restyled inside and out. Five of the eight engines available in the UK are new or uprated and deliver stronger performance with the same fuel economy as before.
The biggest power gain is found on the E500, which gets the 388bhp 5.5-litre V8 from the latest S-Class in place of the old 301bhp 5.0-litre unit.
There are also significant advances for the supercharged E200 Kompressor (up 21bhp to 184bhp) and two of the three turbodiesels. The E220 CDI now develops 170bhp instead of 147bhp, while the E320 CDI's V6 engine has an extra 22lb ft of pulling muscle. Useful increases in pull are also recorded by the other modified engines.
At the top of the range, the E63 AMG replaces the E55. It is fitted with a normally aspirated 514bhp V8 instead of the old 476bhp supercharged engine.
The steering and suspension have been tweaked to make the car more responsive, too.
The restyle introduces a bigger grille and a redesigned bumper, giving the car a V-shaped front end. The side skirts and rear bumper have also been changed and there are new alloy wheels and door mirrors. The estate has different roof rails, a wider high-level stop lamp and a redesigned aerial.
Inside, there are new colours and trim materials, different controls for the climate system and a four-spoke steering wheel.
It has not yet been decided whether the UK will follow Germany in freezing the prices of four- and six-cylinder models. The car goes on sale here in July.
See our second story on the E-Class for details on its revolutionary safety features.
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