HAMBURG, Germany -- Mercedes-Benz isn't waiting for the E-class redesign in 2016 to outfit its mid-sized range with some of the high-tech equipment that was developed for the S-class sedan that arrives this fall.
An extensively restyled 2014 E-class range, including the coupe and soft-top cabriolet that go on sale in June, have standard and optional safety and handling features from the S class. They include an optional steering-assist system called Distronic Plus that keeps a vehicle centered in its lane and keeps pace with traffic.
The coupe and cabriolet will be sold initially as the E350, with a 3.5-liter V-6 with 302 hp, and the E550, with a 4.6-liter, 402-hp V-8 engine. This fall, the 2015 E400 biturbo with an estimated 333 hp will replace the E350 coupe and cabriolet.
The coupe and cabriolet will compete with the Audi A5 sedan/convertible and the Jaguar XF coupe and XK coupe and convertible. Pricing hasn't been announced.
The E-class range, including a sedan and station wagon that were restyled in April, got more than the usual midlife upgrades because of mounting competition in the mid-sized luxury segment. The E class was the segment leader in the United States in 2012 with sales of 65,171 units.
New standard features for the E class include radar-based collision prevention and attention assist systems, a stop-start feature and LED lights.
Options also available on the new S class are called Intelligent Drive and include a system that recognizes pedestrians and stationary vehicles and brakes autonomously at speeds up to 30 mph.
Also optional is Pre-safe Plus, which can recognize an imminent rear-end collision and brake the car to avoid secondary accidents. c