A nine-speed automatic transmission introduced in Germany in the Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec is likely to reach the local E-Class range in 2014.

E-Klasse, E 350 4MATIC, Limousine Avantgarde, (W 212), 2012

As reported by the UK's Autocar, Mercedes-Benz quietly replaced the current seven-speed auto with the new 9G-Tronic gearbox as standard equipment in the 185kW/620Nm twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel-powered E350 BlueTec.

2E-Klasse, E 350 4MATIC, Limousine Avantgarde, (W 212), 2012

The nine-speed transmission will reportedly be available as an option in the UK from 2014, and is also expected to take over from the seven-speed unit across the facelifted E-Class range in Australia in late 2014.

Whether the gearbox features in other models such as the new S-Class will depend on which powertrains the transmission can support, but given it will likely transfer the E300 BlueTec Hybrid’s combined diesel-electric output of 169kW and 780Nm, its flexibility seems assured.

E-Klasse, E 300 BlueTec HYBRID, Limousine Elegance, (W 212), 201

Another E-Class update reported by Autocar includes the E220 BlueEfficiency Edition trading its six-speed auto for the 7G-Tronic unit to the benefit of fuel consumption and CO2 figures, as well as EU6 emission compliance.

A new E200 NGD (Natural Gas Drive) model has also been introduced, powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine from the B200 NGD. With 113kW and 270Nm, the E200 NGD hits 100km/h in a claimed 10.4 seconds while using an equivalent of 6.3L/100km on the combined cycle.