Mercedes-Benz is set to ditch the E-class’s distinctive quad-headlight treatment as part of a series of mid-life changes to the current model.
The heavily reworked E-class, caught here in prototype estate guise during testing ahead of its launch at next year’s Detroit show, sports a new front-end look aimed at providing it with a more cohesive appearance than the current model.
Among the styling changes made to the car, codenamed W212, are the adoption of two new single-element headlights complete with integral LED daytime running lights.
The angular units are said to provide the E-class with a much tidier appearance, less shutline exposure and improved aerodynamic efficiency.
Other changes include a revised grille and front bumper, reworked tail-lights and a reprofiled rear bumper.
Higher-quality trims, revised instrument graphics and the latest version of Mercedes’ Comand multimedia system are among the interior changes as part of a bid to lift the perceived quality of the E-class, which is under fire from the newer Audi A6 and BMW 5-series.
The existing M271 four-cylinder petrol engines will be replaced with the newer, more efficient M274 units.
Mercedes plans to bring a 154bhp 1.6-litre unit to the E-class. Already found in the C180 BlueEfficiency, it will be fitted to an entry-level model likely to be badged E200 BlueEfficiency.
A trio of 2.0 four-pots will be positioned above it: a 181bhp unit for the E220, 208bhp for the E250 and 248bhp for the E300. Also planned is a turbocharged 335bhp 3.5 V6 for the E400 and a turbo 4.6 V8 with 429bhp for the E500.
Diesels are expected to include a 2.1-litre four-pot in different states of tune for the E200, E220 and E250 CDI. The 208bhp 3.0 V6 for the E300 CDI is likely to be axed.