The new Mercedes E-Class Coupe lacks nothing in the style stakes, but until now it’s not had the firepower to match its looks and flagship status. That’s all set to change, however, with the arrival of the sporty E400.

Packing a powerful 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, the newcomer blends the big-hearted performance of a V8 with the economy and emissions of a much smaller unit. With 328bhp and 480Nm of torque, the E400 has 74bhp and 120Nm less than the 4.7-litre V8-engined E500 it replaces, yet boasts the same 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds.

Better still, it feels every bit as fast as the figures suggest. With peak torque delivered at just 1,400rpm, the 3.0-litre V6 provides the effortless acceleration you’d expect from an upmarket grand tourer, allowing you to blast past slower traffic. It sounds good, too, emitting a muted growl under hard acceleration.

All E400 models are fitted with Merc’s Dynamic Handling Package, which includes adjustable adaptive dampers, sharper throttle response and quicker shifts for the standard seven-speed automatic gearbox. Even so, this car doesn’t feel as agile as a BMW 4 Series on a twisting back road. With the dampers in their firmest setting, the E-Class still rolls through the corners, while the steering lacks the bite and precision of its German rival.

In fact, it’s best to leave the dampers in comfort mode and revel in the E400’s abilities as a long distance cruiser. With excellent refinement, the suspension soaks up bumps – but the heavyweight Coupé does tend to crash into potholes.

Externally, the E400 is marked out by its LED headlamps and AMG bodykit which includes a deeper bumper, side skirts and a subtle tailgate spoiler.

As you’d expect, this blend of performance, refinement and luxury doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at £46,275, while the car in our pictures cost £52,240, despite being fitted with only a handful of options. Still, the promised fuel returns of 37.7mpg and CO2 emissions of just 176g/km take some of the sting off running costs.

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