Mercedes is moving beyond the neo-retro theme it's cultivated for its E-Class middle child. The C-Class has established some new familial cues with its recent redesign, and Autocar is reporting that the E-Class will expand on those themes. Tauter, edgier, and crisper are the words used to describe the new look, and Autocar's rendering certainly backs up its statement. The attendant increase in bulk that seems to plague each new generation will hopefully be held in check by further use of weight-saving construction techniques and materials.

Powering the new E-Class will be the 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection (E35), as well as newly revised V8s. Based on the current 4.5- and 5.5-liter V8s (M273), the new versions will pick up direct injection, as well as efficiency and performance tweaks. More exciting, perhaps, will be a hybrid model by 2010, and BLUETEC diesels. With a mileage target of 47 mpg, the hybrid is not likely to follow the "V12 performance with V8 consumption" model of the Lexus LS, but will still do that Benz thing; get you there stylishly ,safe and comfortably cosseted.

[Source: Autocar, Rendering: DeLuisi]