The 2.3 litre unit has already been replaced in the C-class by a new 2.4 V6 developing 170bhp and will shortly be replaced by the same engine in the E-class and new 2.8 V6 in the V-class MPV. Criticised as being unrefined and gutless, the 2.3 has never been popular in the E-class and the E230 is one of the few cars in the Mercedes range for which there isn't an extended waiting list.
The advanced new V6 and V8 engines undercut the EU 2 emission guidelines by 50% and are among the most environmentally friendly in the world. The 279bhp V8 gives an 11% fuel saving over the existing V8 used in other models and like the V6, features the three-valve/two sparkplug arrangement. Mercedes' ASSYST self-diagnostic system, which extends servicing intervals offers further savings.