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Mercedes E-Class news - Detroit show: New Mercedes E-Class - 2009

Mercedes has taken the covers off the new E-Class in Detroit and – well, you didn’t think you were going to do anything too shocking in the visuals department, did you?

OK, so the looks are fairly conservative – though those double-cut headlights might raise a few eyebrows – but Merc has focussed on two things with the new E: restoring its reputation for bullet-proof build quality – over 700 prototype E-Classes were built and then battered in every conceivable manner – and adding a bit of green for good measure.

So every E (with the exception of the V8s) gets Merc’s ‘BlueEfficiency’ modifications – low rolling resistance tyres, energy-saving power steering and air conditioning, and stop-start technology.

More significantly, all the engines available at launch – three versions of a new four-cylinder diesel unit, a diesel V7, and two new petrol four-pots along with the E350 and E500 – all get direct injection engines, while the E-Class has been tweaked aerodynamically to be four per cent more slippery, making it the most aerodynamically efficient big saloon on sale.

As you’d expect, there’s heaps of new safety technology – most interestingly something called Attention Assist, which monitors driver behaviour to detect any drowsiness of loss of concentration. We’ll also see the night vision systems and automatic braking from the S-Class.

The new E-Class goes on sale in UK in March. Expect prices to remain similar to the outgoing model.

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