It was just the other day that a prototype for the new Mercedes E-Class facelift was spotted for the first time. It came a little early as it was not expected to launch until late 2013. However a new report that stems from British based Car Magazine says it will be launched in January 2013, shortly before the sedan variant hits the first dealerships.

It means the engineers still have the best part of a year to complete development, which is quite a long time for a mid-cycle facelift. But this is no ordinary facelift, according to the report and recent evidence, the 2014 model year E-Class will see some significant changes.

The prototypes that were caught previously had some thick camouflage hiding the new styling. We know it will receive a completely restyled front end including a new bonnet, grille, headlights and bumper. Rumors are suggesting the stylists have used the design of the upcoming A-Class as its inspiration, but there are also contrary rumors saying any radical styling changes will be saved for the next generation E-Class in 2015.

The report has also mentioned some of the first details of what could be expected in the engine department. The entry level E200 will use a Renault-sourced (with a bit of Mercedes tuning) 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 156bhp (116kW / 158PS).

The E350 is expected to house a 3.5-liter V6 unit producing 333bhp (248kW / 338PS) whilst the E500 will get a new turbocharged 4.6-liter engine pumping out 435bhp (324kW / 441PS) and 699Nm (516lb-ft) of torque.

The range topping AMG will be the only model that gets a V8 unit in its engine bay. This will be the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that will be tuned to produce around 537bhp (400kW / 544PS).

Mercedes will also use the E-Class facelift to introduce their new and updated driver and safety assistance systems. These will include the following.

  • Improved night assistant that will be updated to detect wild animals
  • Dynamic light assistant that features moving LED lights instead of bi-xenon technology
  • Intelligent lane assistant that will incorporate an early collision warning system
  • Congestion assistant that will control the vehicle speed when a driver is caught in slow moving traffic (up to 40mph).
  • Magic ride control detects the road surface that adjusts the damper action accordingly
  • Car-to-X-communication which is a basic form of an autonomous drivng system that communicates with other cars such as emergency vehicles and breifly affects steering braking and acceleration inputs.
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