For the first time, Mercedes took a model other than the S-Class to spearhead its new technologies. That car was the current W213 E-Class, probably one of the best-received mid-luxury sedans in many years, which is now on the receiving end of a mid-life facelift.
A prototype was spotted testing somewhere in the Swedish Lapland. The main change is at the front. Although the bumper is completely covered up, the headlights do give us a hint into the design direction. They appear to be smaller than before, with a sort of angry look projected by the LED brows. The overall impression is similar to the new CLS four-door coupe, which is still the closest model to the E-Class, even though they decided against calling it the CLE. One could also say that the A-Class inspired this slightly brooding design. Either way, it's fresh and attention-grabbing.
There's also a new type of grille going on the E-Class. It's got the usual horizontal bars, but it's denser between that. The rest of the car is completely uncovered, and it appears to be identical to the current E-Class.
The rest of the bumper also seems to have that understated look. The changes are more restrained at the back, where we seem to be looking at new taillights for the E-Class. These are early times for the W213 facelift, and it remains to be seen whether Mercedes does more back there, especially since fake exhausts have been so harshly criticized.
Inside, the E-Class might see a few features trickle down from the new S-Class, which has been recognized with only one large screen in the middle, like a Tesla Model 3.
People aren't expecting many powertrain changes, as Daimler has already invested billions into new engines. There's the 299bhp 2-litre mild-hybrid turbo, a couple of hybrid and many turbodiesels like the 150bhp E 200 d, 194bhp E 220 d and 245bhp E 300 d based on 2-litre units, and a 3.0-litre 286bhp E 350 d and 340bhp E 400 d.