1 Aug 2013
In mid 2013 Mercedes launched a facelifted version of the W212, bringing a rise in looks, performance, technology, and value for money.
Offering driver-assist systems cribbed from the 2014 S-Class to help make it one of the safest vehicles available, it also introduced the company’s first hybrid passenger car, the E300 Bluetec Hybrid diesel/electric sedan, usurping the old E350 CDI V6.
The naturally aspirated V6 and V8-powered E350 and E500 have stepped aside for the new E400 with a twin-turbo V6, leaving the bi-turbo E63 AMG S as the only V8.
All Australian vehicles including the base four-cylinder cars are fitted with an AMG-style sports body kit, brandishing the centrally mounted three-pointed star grille and minimum 18-inch wheel sizes ensconcing restyled alloys.
Based on the four-year old eighth-generation E-Class, the facelift is substantial, encompassing the entire nose cone, some rear side panels, the tail-lights, and both bumpers.
Inside Mercedes has introduced an S-Class-style analogue clock mounted between the redesigned centre air vents, upgraded materials, a redesigned console, and new steering wheel with paddleshifts.
Central to the E-Class facelift’s new driver-assist technology is the introduction of what Mercedes refers to as ‘Intelligent Drive’ system.
Employing a ‘Stereo Multi Purpose Camera’ with two lenses working in concert with a revised radar tech, and set at a 45-degree angle in the windscreen, they monitor oncoming and crossing vehicles, as well as pedestrians and traffic signs, to a range of up to 500 metres.
Mercedes has ditched the old 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine choices in the top-selling E200 and E250 models for a duo of new 1991cc 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo units featuring a new dynamic balancer with full anti-friction bearings – a first in this type of application.
On the diesel E-Class front the 2143ccc 2.1-litre four-cylinder 125kW/400Nm E220 CDI and 150kW/500Nm E250 CDI remain pretty much the same, but with consumption and emissions drops for both.
Economy is even better in the E300 BTH, using the same diesel engine but with electric motor assistance to bring the numbers down to just 4.9L/100km and 129g/km.
The new E400 sedan and wagon bring a new 2996cc 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 to the W212 range, while the 430kW/800Nm 5461cc 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8-engined E63 AMG S is the fastest yet.
The Coupe and Convertible arrived in August 2013, while the E63 AMG S launhed in September.