The coronavirus isn’t stopping Mercedes-Benz from unveiling the facelifted E-Class online since the outbreak forced this year’s Geneva Motor Show to be canceled. Still, the new E-Class brings a few minor exterior changes along with a host of new, electrified powertrains.
The German automaker played it safe with the redesign of the E-Class by giving it a slightly wider grille and new LED headlights up front. The side profile remains largely unchanged, while the most noticeable changes to the E-Class were made at the back. This includes a new pair of slimmer and wider LED taillights that are similar to what you’ll find in the CLS four-door coupe.
Interior changes are even more minimal, as these are limited to a new and interesting steering wheel design along with the implementation of the automaker’s MBUX touchpad-based infotainment system. As standard, the E-Class is fitted with two 10.25-inch screens, which can be upgraded to 12.3-inches as an option.
Mercedes-Benz is also introducing what it calls ‘energizing seat kinetics’ in which the driver’s seat slightly changes its posture on long journeys to prevent fatigue. Other new clever features include a ‘PowerNap’ feature for the E-Class plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants, which is useful for those who take a break at rest stops or when they charge the battery.
As with most modern cars nowadays, the E-Class can be equipped with a host of semi-autonomous driver-assist features, including full-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane centering, among others.
The facelifted E-Class debuts with two plug-in hybrid powerplants, along with of course the standard range of petrol and diesel engines. The petrol engine line-up has power figures ranging from 154 hp to 362 hp, while the diesel line-up ranges from 158 hp to 326 hp.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain kicks-off with the new E350e, which is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo petrol engine mated to an integrated starter generator. Total system output is at 315 hp and an impressive 440 Nm of torque, driving the rear wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. The other plug-in hybrid powertrain is the E450e, which combines a 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo petrol engine and an integrated starter generator. The combined output is at 362 hp and 500 Nm of torque, driving all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. The E450e’s powertrain also has an EQ Boost function, which provides an additional 21 hp and 250 Nm of torque for a few seconds.
For now, the range-topper is the AMG E53, which has the same powertrain as the E450e but produces more power at 429 hp and 520 Nm of torque. The AMG E63 and E63S will make its debut shortly.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will go on sale in the second half of the year, with deliveries first commencing in Europe.