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Revised E-class here end of year

The strong-selling E-class lineup will make way for a revised version around December.

Mercedes-Benz is enjoying a successful year in Australia and its fortunes may improve further as it launches the A190 and updates the E-class range

25 Jun 1999

MERCEDES-Benz will boost its lineup with the A190 and a revised E-class range during the second half of this year.

Due here in August, the A190 will supplement its cheaper A160 stablemate at the lower end of the Mercedes-Benz range.

Priced around $46,000, it will be marketed as a niche model, according to Mercedes-Benz Australia public relations manager Jeff Fisher.

"The A160 will continue to be the volume seller of the range," he says.

Mr Fisher says the A190 is likely to be offered in one specification level only, the range-topping Avantgarde trim.

As such, it will come well-equipped, with alloy wheels, leather upholstery and a rear spoiler supplementing the usual features such as dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, remote central locking and electric windows.

The A190 is powered by a 1.9-litre four-cylinder engine that develops around 100kW, which should give the baby Benz a handy performance boost over its lesser A160 sibling.

Mercedes-Benz's strong-selling E-class range will also gain impetus when it makes way for a revised version around December.

Although the newcomer is said to benefit from more than 1800 improvements, external changes have been kept to a minimum.

The new model features a sleeker nose, thanks to a lower bonnet, along with a grille and bumper that blend seamlessly into the bodywork.

The guards have also been reprofiled to accommodate a lower positioning of the headlights.

A new six-speed manual transmission will be available in the European-spec E-class but Mr Fisher says Australia-bound cars will continue to be offered only with a five-speed automatic.

However, the automatic has been upgraded with an electronically monitored push button switch that is claimed to make shifting easier.

Inside, the new E-class will benefit from a multi-function steering wheel incorporating buttons that enable the driver to adjust the stereo controls, operate the in-car phone and change other settings as well.

The car's safety levels are enhanced by window bags, which will supplement the existing front and side-impact airbags.

The model lineup in the new E-class range is expected to remain unchanged, but it is not yet known whether pricing will be revised.

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