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Mercedes-Benz - This is the new-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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Mercedes-Benz - This is the “new-generation” Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which goes on sale in 2013. Don’t go thinking that means it’s an all-new E-Class, though, as it’s really a comprehensive makeover of the current version, which has been around since 2009. No prices yet, but we do know it features technology “from the future” .
How does the 2013 Mercedes E-Class have technology from the future? This is to say, the 2013 E-Class has already been fitted with some of the new technology that was developed for the next-generation Mercedes S-Class – a car that’s only been seen in public as a sculpture so far

Does Mercedes have a name for these new features on the 2013 E-Class? Mercedes calls these new comfort and safety features “intelligent drive”, and we’ll cover exactly what they entail for the E-Class in a moment. Before we get to that, what do you think of the way the 2013 car looks? 

What’s different about how the 2013 Mercedes E-Class looks? It’s definitely different – in a way that’s subtle at first, then quite marked once you start to take in the details. The entire front-end has been overhauled, with a softer treatment, including single-piece headlamps, rather than the two-piece units previously fitted
What’s special about the LED headlamps on the 2013 Mercedes E-Class? These are available with full LED lighting as an option, which is a first in this class (even if SEAT is already offering this tech in the family hatchback segment)

Mercedes-Benz - What’s happened to the gearlever on the 2013 Mercedes E-Class? Unfortunately, Mercedes has also decided to do away with the conventional centre-console gear selector for the seven-speed automatic gearbox, and replace it with a column-mounted selector instead

Does the 2013 Mercedes E-Class come as a manual or an automatic? This wouldn’t be a problem, except – as with the A-Class – the column shifter is mounted precisely where every other carmaker in the world places the windscreen wiper stalk. Why, Mercedes? Why?! Fortunately, a six-speed manual gearbox is also offered on some models

the 2013 Mercedes E-Class? Moving on to the ‘intelligent drive’ technology. This is a continuation of what Mercedes started with the previous Pre-Safe and Distronic Plus systems – and is said to “merge” comfort and safety into one

Mercedes-Benz - What’s special about the camera system on the 2013 Mercedes E-Class? The starting point for this process is a new ‘Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera’, which now features two lenses, in place of the single one previously known as the Multi-Purpose Camera

the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera help on the 2013 E-Class? This creates a three-dimensional view of the road up to 50 metres ahead of the new E-Class, allowing various algorithms to make true special analysis of what’s happening in the vicinity of the car. It can track other vehicles and pedestrians, ahead, on-coming and crossing – ground-breakingly clever stuff

 the 2013 Mercedes E-Class have? It also reads an increased number of road signs. Further safety enhancements include an improved radar system with Collision Prevention Assist, aiming to reduce rear-end accidents, and upgraded Attention Assist, which spots drowsiness across a greater speed range

 Any other safety features on the 2013 Mercedes E-Class? The radar cruise control is now labelled Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, and can keep you centred in the lane during stop-start traffic, while the new Brake Assist System Plus can detect junctions and boost braking power accordingly. Other options include 360 degree cameras, blindspot monitors and lane assist
the 2013 Mercedes E-Class have any new engines? With all that extra tech, you weren’t thinking Mercedes would leave the engines alone, were you? Chief amongst the changes is a new “BlueDirect” four-cylinder petrol engine – which bring the latest efficiency improvements from Mercedes’ bigger engines to a compact four-cylinder unit for the first time

 the benefit of the BlueDirect petrol engine in the 2013 Mercedes E-Class? This incorporates quite a package of technical innovations, including high-pressure multiple fuel injection, “quick” multi-spark ignition, fully variable camshaft, controlled oil pump, a selectable water pump and a dynamic balancer shaft – which is a first in a petrol engine. Sounds trick, right?

How powerful and how fast is the new BlueDirect engine in the 2013 Mercedes E-Class?It’s also got a turbocharger and high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation – which means the E200 version produces 184hp and does 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds, the E300 211hp with 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds. Both versions emit just 135g/km CO2 and return 48.7mpg. Best in class for petrol. Extremely impressive

Mercedes-Benz - What about diesel and hybrid versions of the 2013 Mercedes E-Class?Other engine choices for the 2012 E-Class cover all the usual turbodiesel options – E200 CDI, E220 CDI, E250 CDI and E350 BlueTec – plus a 170hp E300 Hybrid diesel that emits just 107g/km CO2 and returns 69.0mpg. Most can already meet EU6 emissions regulations, which aren’t set to come into force until 2015

Mercedes-Benz - What suspension choices are offered on the 2013 Mercedes E-Class? Moving further below the skin, the new E-Class is offered with no less than four choices of suspension configuration: standard, comfort-orientated “Direct Control” with selective damping; a sport version of the same lowered 15mm; an AMG sport set-up; and Airmatic air suspension with electrically controlled damping .

 Does the 2013 Mercedes E-Class estate have Airmatic suspension?The air suspension is standard on the rear axle of all E-Class estate variants, helping to better control heavier loads. Not necessarily such good news is the standard fit Direct-Steer system, which is a variable ratio as well as variable assistance setup. These systems can take a little getting used to

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