Taking cues from the Fascination concept unveiled in Paris, the sporty E-class features a pair of drawn and halved headlamps that nix the oval units fitted to Mercs in the last decade, along with a pair of highly stylized rear fenders sporting a two-tiered blister that flows into the reworked rear end.
Engine choices will range from 184 hp four-cylinders (E200k) to an E63 AMG variant putting down 481 hp, while a 525 hp Black Series version will be offered further down the line. Seven-speed automatics will proliferate throughout the range, along with direct injection on all gasoline-powered models.
Having learned from past mistakes, Mercedes-Benz will throttle back some of its high-tech features, nixing the brake-by-wire system, along with the air suspension and active body control. But all won't be lost. When the convertible version arrives six months after the coupe, Mercedes will offer it with a heated fabric roof to keep occupants warm in the winter, while infra-red night vision, hard-drive navigation and front seats that tilt and slide to ease ingress and egress will keep Mercedes' owners in their element.
The 2009 E-class coupe (code-named C206) should arrive in June, while the drop-top variant (A206) will follow later next year.