Mercedes-Benz has revealed a dramatic new look for the E-Class, which will get its public premiere at January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The new model, due to arrive in the UK in March, is based on the current range, but is extensively revised and includes new features earmarked for the next-generation S-Class in 2014.
Like the recent changes to the C-Class range, the E-class will now have the 'sport' grille as standard with a large central Mercedes-Benz bage, although the traditional grille will remain available as part of an option pack.
Interior changes five the cabin a more upmarket feel, including a new analogue clock in the dashboard, while the latest Mercedes-Benz steering column controls have been selected so the indicator stalk is in a more conventional '9 o'clock' position rather than '8 o'clock' with the cruise control selector below rather than above.
As standard all models are fitted with Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive brake assist systems.
It helps to significantly reduce the risk of a rear-end collision. Also forming part of the standard equipment is Attention Assist, which is now able to warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider speed range, and also inform the driver about his level of fatigue and the amount of driving time which has elapsed since the last break. It also offers an adjustable sensitivity level.
Optional safety features include Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, which can help to keep the vehicle centered in its lane and track traffic in tailbacks automatically, and Brake Assist system BAS Plus with Junction Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians too, and boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly.
New 2.0-litre BlueDirect petrol engines are offered in the E200 and E250 with CO2 emissions from 135g/km for the saloon as well as fuel consumption of 48.7mpg on the combined cycle.
Bluetec diesel CO2 emissions start at 125g/km for the E220 CDI saloon, although the E300 Bluetec Hybrid CO2 can be as low as 107g/km.
Four new suspension systems will be offered, giving customers the choice of comfort-biased or more responsive behaviour, with lowered suspension available in the AMG Sports package.
The E-Class will come with a range of upgraded infotainment systems, including navigation, music and internet functions.
Prices will be announced close to the car's on-sale date.