Mercedes-Benz has announced the pricing for its expanded E-Class range, which will include at least two AMG models, a plug-in hybrid and a suite of diesel and petrol engines.
Entry to the range has jumped almost $10,000 to $89,990 for the E200 with its 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (135kW/300Nm).
Mercedes-Benz justifies the price increase with the extra technology shoehorned into what is a larger car. As well as twin 12.3-inch colour screens and extras such as ambient lighting, the E-Class gets Pilot Drive, which includes advanced auto braking, self-parking and partial self-steering. The safety systems also include advanced obstacle detection – including recognition of kangaroos and the ability to steer around one – and front seat-mounted air cushions that push occupants towards the centre of the car to reduce injuries in a side impact. There’s even technology designed to reduce hearing damage before a crash; it emits a sound that stimulates a muscle in the ear to contract, in turn protecting the ear drum itself.
From there it’s a near-$3K jump to the diesel-powered E220d, which gets a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel producing 143kW/400Nm. As with all E-Classes it’s mated to a nine-speed automatic. For $92,900 it gets the same equipment as the E200, including 18-inch wheels; electric front seats; digital radio tuning and radar cruise control. The sales pitch is that the diesel’s 4.1 litres per 100km claimed fuel use is 36 percent better than the 6.4L/100km of the petrol engine.
Next is the $107,900 E300; a car expected to account for a large chunk of E sales. It uses a more powerful version of the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (180kW/370m) in the E200 and brings more equipment, including 20-inch alloys; mutlibeam active LED headlights (they can adjust the beam for the road ahead and block out other traffic); heated front seats and adjustable air suspension.
The only other diesel in the range is the E350d ($134,900), which has a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6. There’s 190kW and 620Nm as well as extra equipment including a head-up display, panoramic sunroof and more powerful Burmester sound system.
The E400 is the performance hero for now and the first E-Class to be offered with all-wheel drive in Australia (Merc calls it 4Matic). A twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine delivers 245kW and 480Nm. The E400 is priced from $139,900 and matches the E350d for equipment.
Mercedes-Benz is planning on offering at least three other engines for the E-Class.
The E350e will get a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. It pairs a regular engine with an electric motor and batteries. The engine powers the car and recharges the batteries.
The E43 AMG will use a twin-turbocharged V6 tuned by the AMG performance division. It gets a sportier exhaust sound as well as more power, for 295kW and 520Nm in total.
The E63 AMG is yet to be revealed but will get a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing more than 400kW of power. It is expected to cost something approaching $250,000.
There are also various packs available, depending on the model.
The Vision Pack, for example, is $4990 and brings the sunroof, Burmester sound system and head-up display.
The AMG Pack adds 20-inch alloys, a body kit and other aesthetic tweaks and air suspension for $6300.
There’s also an Active Comfort Package that brings things such as a heated massaging seats and Air Balance, which includes air ionisation and a fragrance kit.
Still to arrive in the E-Class range are the wagon models as well as the rumoured high riding version of that wagon that’s designed for light-duty off-road work. A direct rival to the Audi A6 Allroad – itself following a similar theme to the Subaru Outback – the E-Class off-roader, is expected in 2017.
Want more? Check out the full Mercedes-Benz range here.