Information is beginning to become available about the latest E-Class that will come with the 4-valve 3.5 liter V-6 and 7-speed automatic. Power is substantially improved, and so is economy, according to one report (Road & Track, March 2005, p. 49). They don't mention an integrated iPod installation, which I saw on a CLS at MacWorld in early January, so I don't know if that will be included. They say it will be on sale in March, but there is no change in the MBUSA web site yet.
In light of the interview in the Star with the MBUSA marketing rep, I wonder what the current status of the electronic automation is, beyond dropping FSS (which I like).