The circa-$80,000 E200 petrol, now upgraded with a 0.2L-larger 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, will continue to kick off the range. Producing 135kW of power and 300Nm of torque, it is claimed to sip 5.8L/100km of unleaded and get to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds.
The previous entry-level diesel, the E220 CDI, has been dropped, with the E250 CDI and its carry-over 150kW/500Nm 2.1-litre turbo now the entry point to diesel E-Class ownership at an expected $100,000. Fuel consumption drops to a claimed 4.8L/100km combined.
Its petrol equivalent, the E250 petrol, features the same 2.0-litre turbo engine in the E200 but with 155kW/350Nm. Compared with the E200, the E250 also reduces the sprint to 100km/h by half a second while claiming identical economy.
Introduction of the first Mercedes-Benz hybrid model will come with the E300 hybrid (above), which mates the E250’s 150kW/500Nm 2.1-litre turbo-diesel with a 19kW/280Nm electric motor to achieve 4.1L/100km economy and a 7.5 second 0-100km/h.
The E300 hybrid is expected to cost around $115K, or around $20K less than the carry-over E350 CDI, with its 185kW/620Nm 3.5-litre V6 turbo-diesel dropping performance times to 6.6 seconds 0-100km/h but with slightly raised consumption of 5.5L/100km claimed combined.
Ditched from the sedan range are both the 3.5-litre V6 E350 petrol and 4.7-litre V8 E500, replaced by a new 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 E400 producing 245kW of power and 480Nm of torque. With a 5.9-second 0-100km/h sprint, and an expected $135,000 price tag, Mercedes-Benz is aiming to take on the turbocharged grunt of the BMW 535i, which has long dominated the old non-turbo E350 in the performance stakes.
Curiously, however, the slow-selling E-Class Estate – which averages only eight to 10 sales per month – will continue with the 3.5-litre V6 E350 model, in addition to the base E250 diesel only.
Headlining the facelifted E-Class range will be the 430kW E63 AMG S-Edition which debuted in Europe last month. But for Australia there’s a twist. Where the S-Edition – the most powerful E-Class ever – has so far only been revealed as an all-wheel-drive, left-hand-drive-only model with a scorching 3.6 second 0-100km/h claim, the S-Edition Australia will get will send drive only to the rear wheels, yet keep the full 430kW power and 800Nm torque figure on tap.
The E63 AMG S-Edition features 20kW more than the current E63 AMG Performance Pack, making it the most powerful Mercedes-Benz product on the Australian market. The S-Edition may eventually replace the PP in the E63 AMG line-up, but Mercedes-Benz Australia wouldn’t confirm how many units of the powerful rear driver it can get.
Mercedes-Benz has promised moderate price rises will be accompanied by upgrades to standard equipment lists.
CarAdvice is currently in Spain at the international launch of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class range, including the new E400 and E63 AMG, so stay tuned for the full reviews.