I don’t recall thinking the Mercedes-Benz E 320 was falling off the pace, but clearly the decision-makers in Stuttgart are a hard bunch to please.
They’ve just axed the E 320 with its three-valve-per-cylinder 3.2-litre V6; in its place is a new E 350 running a more-advanced four-valve-per-cylinder 3.5-litre V6. First seen in the SLK 350, the alloy-block engine uses a two-stage inlet manifold and continually adjustable intake and outlet camshafts to dish up 268bhp at 6000rpm (up from 221bhp) along with 258lb ft of torque from 2400 to 5000rpm (up from 232lb ft).
Crucially, the power-to-weight ratio has risen, the E 350 outclassing the E 320 by 26bhp-per-tonne despite carrying an extra 35kg at 1680kg. This helps it slice 0.8sec from the 0-62mph time to 6.9sec and adds 3mph to the top speed (now 155mph), while improving fuel consumption by 1.5mpg in city driving and slightly reducing CO2 emissions. The new engine is also the perfect companion for the now-standard 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic gearbox.