Mercedes-Benz has revealed its significantly updated E-class. The mid-life makeover includes revised styling, updated engines, a higher level of standard equipment, new safety features and high-tech options. The changes are described as the most comprehensive in Mercedes’ history and happen in the face of executive opposition that is stiffer than ever.

The heavily revised E-class is set to get its first public outing at the Detroit motor show in January, with the first UK deliveries slated for March. Pricing has yet to be announced but Mercedes suggests that they won’t change much. The base E200 CDI is likely to cost close to the £29,125 of today’s model.

The major thrust of Mercedes’ efforts to lift the appeal of the E-class centres around its styling, which has been altered more significantly than is usual for a mid-life facelift, most notably at the front. The quad headlamp treatment, which had been a key design feature of the E-class since 1995, is gone, to be replaced by a more conventional appearance, with more prominent single-assembly headlights that feature LED daytime running lights as standard.

Further changes have been made to the grille, where there are now two options, one sporty and the other more traditional. The front bumper and bonnet are also revised.

The heavily structured rear wheelarches have been smoothed to give the car a more cohesive appearance. A new crease line runs from the rear door through to the tail lights, which retain the same shape but receive new LED-imbued graphics, whose horizontal emphasis is meant to widen the car visually. There is also a re-profiled rear bumper.

The standard E-class range will be offered with just one petrol engine in two states of tune. The turbocharged 2.0-litre unit is available with 181bhp in the E200 and 208bhp in the E250. A third petrol option will be offered in the yet to be revealed E63 AMG, which is tipped to offer an incremental increase over the 518bhp of the current twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8.

Two carried-over diesels are planned: a 2.1-litre four-cylinder with 134bhp in the E200 CDI, 168bhp in the E220 CDI and 201bhp in the E250 CDI, and a 3.0-litre V6 with 248bhp in the E350.

The economy champion is the E220 CDI. Its claimed 60.1mpg is 2.4mpg better than the outgoing model in seven-speed automatic guise, giving a 4g/km reduction in CO2 emissions at 125g/km. The UK line-up will also include the E300 BlueTec diesel-electric hybrid.

Among the new safety systems incorporated on the revised E-class is Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-based collision warning system with the ability to brake the car in order to reduce the severity of an impact.

The range of new and/or improved optional systems includes Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, which helps to keep the car centred in a chosen lane and tracks traffic in tailbacks, and Brake Assist Plus with Junction Assist, which is able to detect cross traffic and pedestrians and can boost the braking power if the brakes are insufficiently applied by the driver to avoid an impact.

Thanks to: Autocar