Presented ahead of its formal public debut next month, the significantly revised and enhanced 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup has broken cover. On sale in the spring, both the 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon feature revised exterior and interior styling plus an even more impressive selection of "intelligent drive" comfort and safety systems. A new 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine will replace the current V6 oil burner here in the U.S. to make this mid-size luxury 4-door even more fuel efficient.
The most obvious visual change to the new E-Class is its fully restyled front end that puts a more contemporary spin on the classic design motif. A more sculpted fascia and new hood are matched with recast headlamps that preserve the "dual light" character beneath a single external lens. The new E-Class also features partial LED low-beam and daytime running lights while offering a segment-first full LED headlamps as an option. Another first involves the use of two different grille treatments. Where Luxury variants pair a three-blade insert with a classic hood-mounted Tri-Star, Sport models integrate that iconic element into the grille to more closely resemble the look of M-B's performance-oriented models. They also get an AMG styling package that brings bigger air intakes and a supplemental aluminum trim accent.
The profile view of the Sedan and Wagon have been revised with a new feature line and repositioned trim line that combine to impart a longer, sleeker look to both. New LED taillamps with a more horizontal orientation create a wider visual signature for all 2014 E-Class models while Sport variants add a bit more pop with exposed dual exhaust finishers. The interior of this new Mercedes gets a similar kind of measured upgrading, boasting two-part trim in Burl Walnut or Black Ash on the full-width soft-touch dash, revised air vents and a new three-binnacle main instrument cluster among the highlights.
The 2014 E-Class will introduce a number of new or enhanced comfort/safety features that fall under M-B's intelligent drive umbrella and also are slated to appear in the upcoming S-Class. These upgrades are made possible by a new iteration of advanced sensors coupled with more sophisticated response algorithms that work in conjunction with M-B's new forward-facing "dual-eye" Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera. Among the new E-Class standards are Collision Prevention Assist and an upgraded version of Attention Assist while a 360-degree Surround View Camera, Parking Assist Package, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and a new generation Driver Assist Package that includes Distronic Plus with Steering Assist adaptive cruise control/distance keeping, Optimized Active Lane Keeping Assist, BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, Pre-Safe Plus for rear-end collision and pedestrian-protecting low-speed Autonomous emergency braking are optional.
At its U.S. launch, the 2014 E-Class lineup will consist of the new E250 BlueTEC Sedan with its 2.1-liter/4-cylinder turbodiesel that makes 190 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque; the E350/E350 4Matic Sedans and E350 4Matic Wagon - all with the familiar 3.5-liter V6 that develops 302 horses and 273 lb-ft of twist; the E400 Hybrid Sedan that pairs the same V6 with an electric motor that churns out 27 ponies and 184 lb-ft of torque and the E550 4Matic Sport Sedan with its equally familiar 5.5-liter V8 that boasts 402/443 output figures. In the fall, an E250 BlueTEC 4Matic Sedan as well as new E63 AMG Sedan and Wagon variants with 4Matic will join the family. More information on all three will be presented at the Detroit unveiling.
All E-Class engines are fitted with standard ECO start/stop systems to optimize fuel economy and backed by a 7-speed automatic transmission with both a Direct Select lever and Direct Select Shifter paddles. For 2014, the gearbox adds a new mileage-maxing touch of its own in the form of a short-term "M Mode" that permits a driver to manually downshift but then automatically shifts back up after a pre-determined time period. Chassis basics on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class are largely unchanged, with all versions featuring M-B's electromechanical Direct-Steer system. The standard Agility Control suspension with stroke-dependent damping action is 15 mm lower on Sport models than on their Luxury counterparts, although the upcoming AMG variants will get the full AMG Adaptive Sport Suspension package.
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