Mercedes-Benz has revealed details of the updated 2020 E-Class line-up boasting new technology, refreshed styling and increased electrification across the range.
While the inline-six powered E450 was already equipped with 48-volt mild-hybrid tech, the four-cylinder petrols and diesels get electrified boosting economy and, briefly, power and torque.
The refreshed E-Class will join the fight against the freshly updated BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6 when it comes to Australia, while likely dealing with in-fighting from on-trend SUVs like the brand’s GLE.
Styling changes aren’t drastic outside – after all this is a facelift, not an all-new vehicle – but the front grille is instantly recognisable as contemporary Mercedes-Benz fare.
Instead of tapering to a point at the bottom, the updated grille bows upwards forming an ‘A’ shape. This falls better in line with the rest of Mercedes’ models like the all-new A-Class. Gone are the horizontal slats, too, they’ve been replaced with a complex mesh that further highlights the central three-pointed star.
Like Audi’s A4 Allroad, the E 400 d All-Terrain borrows its grille design from Mercedes’ range of SUVs. Its off-road capability is further underscored by the black plastic trim; we reckon it looks great in its hyacinth red hue, but we probably won’t see it Downunder.
Across the range, the rear-bumper and boot lid have also been restyled to complement the completely new tail lights which are much sleeker and again, match the rest of the range better.
In Europe, every variant is specified with the Avantgarde line exterior trim or above. There’s also a ‘power dome’ in the bonnet for every vehicle, complemented by new LED headlights.
Inside, the new E-Class retains the now familiar dual MBUX monitors including the customisable driver’s display. In lower-trim variants, these screens are 10.25-inches, though in more expensive models or with the selection of an option pack Benz will grow these to 12.3-inches.
These touchscreens are now capacitive, too, for more precise operation and lower operation effort.
The steering wheel is a new item, too, with luxury vehicles getting a round wheel draped in leather and accented with piano black. AMG-line variants get a flat-bottom tiller that measures 370mm, 10mm smaller in diameter than the standard item.
Touch sensors are built into the steering wheel, so the E-Class will know when a driver’s hands are indeed on the wheel. Safety tech has evolved to include route-based speed adjustment for the adaptive cruise control, with active blind-spot monitoring and lane-exit warning.
Australia will likely see the E-Class sedan and estate arrive first with a raft of engine options, though details will be confirmed closer to launch.
If history repeats itself, the line-up will begin with the two-litre turbocharged petrol E200 with 145kW/320Nm and the E220d two-litre turbodiesel with 143kW/400Nm. Those two vehicles will be equipped with the new mild-hybrid tech, boosting power by 15kW and 200Nm.
From there the mid-range E300 uses a more highly-tuned two-litre turbo and develops 190kW/370Nm. This engine is teamed with a larger battery in the E300 for impressive combined outputs of 235kW and 700Nm.
An oil-burning ‘six may arrive too, in the form of the E350d which will push out 210kW and 600Nm and may just make the perfect freeway cruiser.
For now, the range will top-out with the three-litre turbocharged straight-six E450 with outputs of 270kW and 500Nm, though we assume some aggro AMG models will follow suit.
The exact timing hasn’t been confirmed, but the refreshed E-Class may land on Aussie shores before the end of 2020. We’ll have detailed pricing and specification closer to the car’s launch.
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