STUTTGART: Details of the 10th-generation E-Class from Mercedes-Benz have finally emerged.
The latest model marks the world premiere of numerous technical innovations. They enable comfortable, safe driving on a new level plus a new dimension in driver assistance – among other things.
A powerfully designed front end underlines the status the business-class saloon aspires to, boasting a different look for each design and equipment line. The base version features the classic Mercedes radiator grille with the star on the bonnet, as does the EXCLUSIVE line – albeit in an even more elaborate fashion. The AVANTGARDE and AMG Line models are identifiable by the sports radiator grille with a large Mercedes star as its centrepiece. Each of the radiator grille designs lends the E-Class a distinct character, offering a unique degree of diversity that makes each different model stand out.
The rear end features broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches. Single-piece tail lights featuring a two-bar design framed by the vehicle body identify the E-Class as a new member of the Mercedes saloon family. Optionally available rear lights provide an additional highlight reminiscent of stardust, the Milky Way or the glow of a jet engine. This "stardust effect" is created by innovative reflector technology with a specially configured surface structure for the tail lights and is making its debut appearance on the new E-Class.
The interior of the new E-Class promises a new level of sensual design. Optional extras include two next-generation high-resolution displays, each with a wide screen diagonal of 12.3 inches – a first in this segment. Beneath their shared glass cover, the two displays visually conflate into a wide-screen cockpit that seems to be hovering in thin air, creating a central element that emphasises the horizontal orientation of the interior design. As the instrument cluster, this wide-screen cockpit contains a large display with virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver as well as a central display above the centre console. The driver can choose between three different styles to select their preferred design for the wide-screen instrument cluster: "Classic", "Sport" and "Progressive".
In addition, touch-sensitive control buttons ('Touch Controls') on the steering wheel make their first appearance in a car. Like a smartphone interface, they respond to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control theinfotainment system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.
Further controls for the infotainment system are provided in the shape of a touchpad with controller in the centre console, which can recognise handwriting, and the LINGUATRONIC voice control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling functions such as the air-conditioning system or – in another first – for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driver assistance systems.
A new, intelligent graphic design with high-resolution visualisations and animations, together with a simplified logic, further enhances this all-new operating experience. At the same time, the occupants enjoy a sensual interior with spacious architecture, which combines the elegance of the luxury class with accomplished sportiness.
High-quality materials define the interior style. They include open-pore woods, wood in a yachting look with flowing lines as a contemporary interpretation of inlaid wood and a novel metal fabric. The use of authentic materials is continued in the leather-covered doors and the beltline for selected lines.
Mercedes-Benz is offering material/colour concept with various shades of brown, including new attractive colour combinations such as nut brown/macchiato and saddle brown/macchiato. This allows a personalised interior design.
The interior lighting uses only durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the enhanced ambient lighting included in the lines. With 64 colours, it offers a host of possibilities for personalisation. It adds touches of light, for example, to the trim parts, central display, front stowage facility on the centre console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system).
A further highlight of the new E-Class is its seats. Their ergonomic, sculptural form combines Mercedes-Benz's hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look, featuring a unique design for each line. Another new feature in this segment is a Heat Comfort package including heated armrests in the doors and on the centre console.
The rear bench seat in the new E-Class Saloon comes with the option of a three-piece backrest with a 40% - 20% - 40% split, making it exceptionally versatile. Integral features of the centre armrest include a stowage box and two pop-out drinks holders. There is also the option of a holder for a tablet PC for the rear passengers.
The new E-Class will come with a choice of two engines at market launch: the E 200 with a four-cylinder petrol engine and the E 220 d with an all-new four-cylinder diesel engine.
Further model variants will be added to the range after the market launch, including the E 350 e featuring hybrid technology.
All engines for the new E-Class are equipped with the ECO start/stop function. The petrol engines meet the requirements of the EU 6 emissions standard, while the new OM 654 four-cylinder diesel engine is already configured with future RDE limits in mind.
SIDE VIEW COMPARISON
All models available at market launch are equipped with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard. It enables fast gear changes and allows low engine revs, resulting in better efficiency and lower noise levels.
The sedan comes with steel suspension as standard. Alternatively the new E-Class can be equipped with multi-chamber air suspension all round – the only car in its segment to offer this option
Three chambers of different size in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control, in three stages, how stiffly the suspension reacts. In this way, the occupants enjoy soft base suspension, and the secure feeling of good handling stability as the speed increases.
Furthermore, the highly sensitive and fast-responding AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension features all-round self-levelling for enhanced ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded.
Mercedes-Benz's new assistance and safety systems enhance safety, comfort and driver assistance to new levels. They include Active Brake Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, Crosswind Assist. Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist.
For this first time, the Remote Parking Pilot allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app, enabling the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even if space is very tight.
FRONTAL VIEW COMPARISON
DRIVE PILOT represents Mercedes-Benz's next step along the road to autonomous driving. As Distance Pilot DISTRONIC on motorways and country roads, it is not only able to keep the car the correct distance behind vehicles in front automatically, it can also follow them at a speed of up to 210kph for the first time. This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving and also receives plenty of steering assistance from the Steering Pilot – even on moderate bends. Another unique feature at speeds up to 130kph is the fact that, like in a swarm, the system can continue to intervene actively by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or non-existent, like at road works. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion.
Fitted as standard, the Mercedes-Benz-developed Frontbass system in the new E-Class delivers a unique listening experience. It uses the space in the cross-member and side member of the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers. If the vehicle is additionally equipped with the optionally available Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system with 23 loudspeakers, the occupants are treated to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall as it includes a third dimension of sound courtesy of roof loudspeakers.
A stiff body forms the basis for exceptional handling, low noise and vibration levels, and a high level of crash safety as well as a low drag coefficient of 0.23. To achieve this, the engineers opted for a bodyshell with a far higher proportion of aluminium and ultra-high-strength steel components than its predecessor. The front wings, bonnet, boot lid, and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminium. This lightweight design reduces fuel consumption and makes for sporty and agile vehicle handling.
REAR VIEW COMPARISON