It's not long before we see the heavily revised Mercedes-Benz E-class at the 2013 Detroit auto show, but our artists have conjured up these fresh, more accurate images of the facelift E-class a few months early.
CAR magazine first spilled the beans on the updated E back in March 2012, but these latest artist's impressions are said to reveal the new look with surprising accuracy.
So what can we expect of the facelifted 2013 Merc E-class?
A pretty sizeable update, that's what. The quad headlamps are consigned to a stylistic dead end in favour of monobloc lights with clever graphics, most body panels are different and an array of new tech will help the E-class compete with the German/British/Japanese luxury car set. Only the roof, front doors and windows are carried over unchanged from today's E-class.
It might be a serious overhaul, but it's still very much the current Merc design look and feel. The refresh is applied to every E-class bodystyle and we hear all five derivatives - saloon, estate, coupe, cabriolet and AMG - arrive together in spring 2013.
Engine, tech on board the new E-class
Downsizing is rampant in most sectors, and one rumour suggests Mercedes is planning to fit a 1.6-litre four-pot to the E200. Mustering around 156bhp, it'd come with pious emissions stats; at the other end of the scale comes the E63 AMG, still with the 5.5 V8 but now good for some 537bhp and with a more aggressive bodykit for more on-road presence.
More likely best-sellers in the UK are the diesels and we hear a range of hybrids will be offered in the facelifted E-class. Over the next few years, additional hybrids will arrive, in varying strengths, stretching from modest 27bhp mild hybrids to 2014's 68bhp plug-in and a 109bhp electric motor coming in 2015.
As previously published in CAR, the new tech onboard the 2013 E-class includes:
• Improved night assistant Not only draws the attention to cyclists and pedestrians but also warns of crossing wild animals
• Dynamic light assistant No longer uses adaptive bi-xenon technology but relies on fast moving multi-directional LED from CLS pixels which automatically avoid oncoming traffic
• Intelligent lane assistant Not only monitor own lane but also supervises oncoming traffic and will issue an early collision warning
• Intelligent brake assistant Derived from Distronic III, this radar-based cruise control keeps an eye on the vehicle in front and - as a world first - on cross traffic
• Congestion assistant Automatically follows the vehicle in front at speeds of up to 40mph even if the route involves direction and lane changes
• Magic ride control Employs a stereo camera which scans the road surface and makes the black box adjust damper action accordingly
• Head-up display Extended functions, state-of-the-art graphics, multi-colour imaging
• Car-to-X-communication Recognises police/ambulance/fire brigade vehicles, relays car-to-car messages like black ice or aquaplaning warning, permits partially autonomous driving though brief steering, brake and acceleration inputs
Come back in the coming months when we'll publish the first official photos of the facelifted 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-class.