New look for E-Class
It's facelift time for the fifth-generation (tenth, according to Mercedes itself, but we digress) 'W213' Mercedes E-Class, which gains new looks, new technology and a new array of powertrains.
There's a lot to cover here, so we'll go through the over-arching key elements and drill down into the detail where appropriate. In terms of the styling, the head- and taillights have been redesigned, and nowhere is this more obvious than on the back of the E-Class Saloon models, where the lamp clusters now bleed into the boot lid - they're wider, two-piece items on the facelift. The radiator grille and front bumper are also reshaped, while the All-Terrain lifestyle version has been made to look more like Mercedes' range of SUVs.
Inside, the big talking point is the new steering wheel; the former three spokes have all split into two, making for a kind of six-spoke arrangement. Capacitive hands-off detection is incorporated into this, while the former square haptic pads to control the excellent MBUX system have been replaced with fresh switchgear. A wealth of additional driver-assist technologies comes into play, such as Active Distance Assist Distronic with route-based speed adjustment, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Blind-Spot Assist and the Parking Package with a 360-degree camera, while Energising Comfort Control with Energising Coach and PowerNap (on the plug-in hybrids) plus Energising Seat Kinetics all aim to make passengers as comfortable as is possible.
Lots of electrification is happening in the Mercedes E-Class world, as seven models will be available as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), across diesel and petrol, Saloon and Estate, rear-wheel drive and 4Matic four-wheel-drive forms. There's an all-new engine called the 'M254', which is a four-cylinder petrol unit with a second-generation integrated starter-generator (ISG) on a 48-volt circuit to give it 15kW (20hp) and 180Nm of additional torque, as well as mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) status. Further up the tree, the inline six-cylinder 'M256' engine also gains the ISG, while the both the OM654 four-cylinder and OM656 six-cylinder turbodiesels feature an expanded emissions-control system - incorporating a close-coupled NOx storage catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter (DPF), a primary selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit and then a secondary SCR in the vehicles' underbody areas. Also, the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox used in the E-Class range has been adapted for the inclusion of ISGs.
At the moment, the changes pertain to the Saloon, Estate and All-Terrain models, but the updated Coupe and Cabriolet versions will follow soon. Irish on-sale dates have yet to be confirmed.
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