NAIAS 2013 Preview: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

During the week leading up to the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, The Driving Life will focus on the big news to expect from automakers, including vehicle launches and model updates.

Looking to move away from the model’s “conservative look,” Mercedes-Benz is set to unveil its upgrade to the current generation of its midsize E-Class in Detroit. The restyling was initially thought to only be for the sedan and wagon, but earlier this month the German automaker announced it would also be updating the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet.

The company has already released photos of the 2014 models, removing some of the surprise from the reveal in Detroit. The upgrade features a restyling of the exterior, with softer lines and a more rounded look. The biggest change comes in the headlights, which went from two separate clusters to a single, smoothly curving housing. The rear of the vehicle, including the taillights, also received a more rounded look.

The engine on the main lineup went unchanged – 302 horsepower V-6 for the E350, a turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 with 402 horsepower for the E550 and a V-6/electric motor combination for the E400 Hybrid with the same output as the E350. The change, however, comes for the new diesel engine, which is a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that makes 190 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It’s expected to get better fuel economy than its predecessor, which was a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 that made 210 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.

As speculated by other publications, this restyling may be Mercedes-Benz’s way of trying to steal sales from or keep sales from going to its main competitors, Audi and BMW, which feature more aerodynamic-looking, rounded designs.

Follow The Driving Life for exclusive, live coverage of NAIAS 2013 beginning Monday, Jan. 14.

[Sources: Mercedes-Benz, The Los Angeles Times]