The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2013: More efficiency, more intelligence, more emotional appeal
1. Model range, quotes, design, interior and individualisation
2. Bodyshell construction and safety concept
3. Engines, drive system, chassis and suspension
4. Infotainment technology
With new, efficient engines, new assistance systems and a new design idiom, Mercedes-Benz has comprehensively modernised the E-Class and as such is extending its leading position in the luxury segment even further. In both the Saloon and Estate models, no less than eleven new or optimised assistance systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere. They combine a host of comfort and safety features, all of which Mercedes-Benz refers to as "intelligent drive". They include systems which for the first time can help to prevent accidents with crossing vehicles or pedestrians, active Lane Keeping Assist which can help to prevent accidents with oncoming traffic, or anti-glare permanent high-beam headlamps. As such Mercedes-Benz is underscoring its leading position as a safety pioneer. The new E-Class makes a significant step forward when it comes to efficiency and ecology too. This comes courtesy of new, powerful BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines featuring sophisticated direct injection technology. This powerful development boost is reflected to exciting effect in the design of the E-Class. Along with its new design, it encapsulates efficiency, intelligence and emotional appeal in a visually superior manner.
Mercedes-Benz has revised all of the model series of the E-Class more comprehensively than ever before to make the latest technical advances available in practice at an early stage. This is why it even makes advance use of developments from the future S-Class. In addition, the new E-Class offers a considerably sharpened design with a refined, sporty look, as well as significantly enhanced comfort, high-quality appointments, efficiency and driving pleasure. As a result, the E-Class is continuing to consolidate its leading position in the luxury class.
Design: two new front ends to choose from
Thanks to intelligent modifications to the design, the new E-Class features a new front end as well as new proportions. When it came to the modifications, the designers followed the new Mercedes design idiom and reinterpreted the classical design values of the brand using the existing basis. The result is a superior and refined, sporty appearance.
The headlamps have been redesigned and comprise all functional elements with a single headlamp lens. Flowing light elements within the headlamps help to ensure that the "four-eyed" look which is typical of the E-Class has been graphically retained. When it comes to light and visibility, the new E-Class sets standards: both the low-beam headlamps and the daytime running lamps feature LED technology as standard. Full LED headlamps are also available as an option for the first time in this class.
For the first time, the E-Class is available with two different front ends: the standard specification and the ELEGANCE equipment line come as standard with the classic, three-dimensional saloon radiator with three-louvre look and Mercedes-Benz star on the bonnet. The AVANTGARDE equipment line, on the other hand, incorporates the sporty front end with central star, and as such boasts an independent, front-end look with a sporty emphasis.
The bonnet and front bumper have also been completely redesigned too. With its flowing lines, the bonnet follows the new design idiom in a smooth, very straightforward manner. The bumper, which boasts a new shape and is free of all light functions, has a modern appearance and, along with the wing design of its spoiler lip, discreetly underscores the sporty credentials of the E-Class.
Dynamic, elegant proportions
A new feature line and a repositioned three-dimensional trim strip give both the Saloon and Estate models new, visually exciting proportions. The feature line runs below the structure line from the rear door through to the tail light. Visually this benefits the vehicle in terms of length. It underscores the side trim, which has been shifted downwards. Overall the
E-Class looks more elongated and elegant, yet at the same time both dynamic and composed.
Broad, distinctive rear end
At the rear, the lights and bumper have been revised. The new horizontally structured LED tail lights with new two-tone look emphasise the width and feature a characteristic night design.
The interior of the E-Class has also been visibly reworked and harmonised with the expressive exterior. High-quality materials and refined, subdivided areas with precise joints and sharp curves underscore the high-quality overall impression of the generous interior.
A new feature is the two-part trim which stretches across the entire dashboard. It can be selected in a wood or aluminium look, irrespective of the equipment line. Also new is the design of the air vents as well as an analogue clock between the two central vents.
The harmonious interior is characterised by the redesigned centre console without selector lever, as well as a new multifunction steering wheel with DIRECT SELECT lever and shift paddles in conjunction with automatic transmission.
Limitless individual appointments
As ever, there are attractive design packages to visually enhance both the interior and exterior. In addition to the basic appointments, there is also a choice of ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE equipment lines – with the latter highlighting the sporty character of the Saloon and Estate models in particular.
Furthermore, the new E-Class offers a variety of individualisation options, currently unique in this class. Irrespective of the chosen equipment line, all appointment options remain available. As such each vehicle can be individually tailored to ensure that it is unlike any other. For example, an E-Class Saloon or Estate can be totally classic on the outside, but display a highly modern character on the inside.
"Intelligent drive" with new assistance systems
What started with the PRE-SAFE® system and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS has resulted in a new dimension of motoring at Mercedes-Benz: comfort and safety are merged into one. Mercedes-Benz refers to this as "intelligent drive". In the E-Class, a whole host of new or optimised systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere, making motoring more comfortable and safer.
The basis for all this is formed by new, state-of-the-art sensors and corresponding algorithms. Mercedes-Benz has made a major step forward with the introduction of the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera. Just like the Mono Multi-Purpose Camera fitted previously, it is positioned behind the windscreen in the vicinity of the rear-view mirror. However, this camera features two "eyes" set at an angle of 45 degrees and with an overall range of 500 metres that produce a three-dimensional view of the area up to around 50 metres in front of the vehicle. In this way, the stereo camera provides data for processing by various systems. Intelligent algorithms perform an evaluation of this three-dimensional visual information in order to detect and carry out a classification, both spatially and in terms of their movement, of vehicles that are driving ahead, oncoming or crossing, as well as pedestrians and a variety of traffic signs within a large field of vision.
At the same time as the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera, Mercedes-Benz is also introducing improved versions of the multistage radar sensor system. As standard, both the Saloon and Estate models are fitted with COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, a radar-based collision warning system with brake assist systems. It helps to significantly reduce the risk of a rear-end collision. Also forming part of the standard equipment is ATTENTION ASSIST, which is now able to warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider speed range, and also inform the driver about their level of fatigue and the amount of driving time which has elapsed since the last break. It also offers an adjustable sensitivity level.
In addition, also optionally available are a number of assistance systems which are either new or now feature significantly extended functions. The following is an overview of the innovations:
- DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist can help to take the burden off the driver when it comes to keeping the vehicle in its lane and also track traffic in tailbacks semi-automatically
- for the first time, the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS with Junction Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians too, and boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly
- the PRE-SAFE® Brake can detect pedestrians and initiate autonomous braking to avoid a collision at speeds up to 50 km/h
- PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision. The driver of the vehicle following behind is warned by activation of the rear warning lights with increasing frequency (not in the USA and Canada). The PRE-SAFE® system then triggers occupant protection measures to reduce the forces to which occupants are subjected. It can also firmly apply the stationary vehicle's brakes in the event of a rear-end collision to prevent secondary accidents
- Active Lane Keeping Assist can now detect when the adjacent lane is occupied, in particular by oncoming traffic too. When there is the risk of a collision, the system can also prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane unintentionally, when continuous lines are present, by applying the brakes on one side. As such it makes the ideal supplement to Active Blind Spot Assist
- Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently without dazzling traffic by masking out other vehicles in the beams' cone of light
- Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and end-on spaces
- in addition to speed limits, Traffic Sign Assist can now also detect and display no-overtaking zones and the respective signs signalling their end. In the case of signs imposing access restrictions, it can also provide visual and acoustic warnings. For this reason, it is the first system which can prevent drivers from unintentionally becoming a “phantom driver” i.e. driving the wrong way along a motorway.
- The 360o camera covers all four sides of the vehicle, thus enabling a uniform all-round view, including virtual bird's-eye view – a top-down view of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. Dynamic guide lines help with entering and leaving parking spaces as well as manoeuvring
Engine and drive system: superior performance, economical consumption
Both the E-Class Saloon and Estate are available with a particularly broad range of powerful and efficient petrol and diesel engines. All are fitted with the ECO start/stop function and are highly efficient.
A new element is the expansion of the BlueDIRECT petrol engine family with the addition of a four-cylinder petrol engine with spray-guided direct injection, based on the same trend-setting technology used in the latest generation of six and eight-cylinder engines from Mercedes-Benz. Its technology package includes fast-acting piezo injectors for multiple injection, quick multi-spark ignition, turbocharging, fully variable camshaft adjustment on the inlet and exhaust side, as well as a controlled oil pump.
New developments for the four-cylinder engine include the first dynamic balancer with full anti-friction bearings to be used in a petrol engine as well as a switchable water pump.
The engine also sees the world's first use of the stratified lean burn process in combination with exhaust-gas turbocharging and external high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation. As a result the E-Class achieves a combined optimum consumption figure of 5.8 litres per 100 km (corresponding to 135 g/km of CO2), and is therefore the only vehicle in this class to achieve efficiency class A. In addition, the new BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines already meet the EU6 standard which will apply from 2015.
Also making up the BlueDIRECT petrol engine range are the familiar V6 and V8 engines. A new addition is the six-cylinder engine, which is being offered for the first time as the E 400 with biturbo drive. With its performance potential and enormously high levels of torque at low engine speeds, this engine sets new standards in the six-cylinder sector and also meets the EU6 emissions level.
All BlueDIRECT petrol engines of the new E-Class combine a spontaneous response and exemplary power delivery with the highest levels of efficiency and best-in-class emissions performance.
Powerful diesel engines in the best efficiency class
All six-cylinder diesel models of the E-Class are available as BlueTEC models fitted with the established SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology and as such meet the EU6 emissions standard.
The comprehensive engine range is supplemented with the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. It combines the four-cylinder diesel engine (150 kW / 204 hp) with an electric motor (20 kW / 27 hp). The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID consumes 4.1 l/100 km and produces CO2 emissions of 107 g/km. As such it occupies the leading position among the most economical models in the upper medium-size category.
Transmissions for a dynamic and economical driving style
Mercedes-Benz will also offer two transmissions for the E-Class in the future: a 6-speed manual transmission with high ease of shifting and short shift travel, and the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever and DIRECT SELECT shift paddles. This latest stage of evolution of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS provides significant advantages in terms of efficiency and ease of maintenance.
A new feature is the short-term M mode. The benefit of this: if the driver has shifted up or down manually, after a set period of time the transmission independently switches back to automatic, fuel-efficient shift mode.
Traction and driving stability can also be improved in the new E-Class with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system – particularly in difficult road conditions.
Chassis and suspension – the basis for superior handling
For the new E-Class, Mercedes-Benz is offering four refined suspension configurations:
- the standard model and ELEGANCE line are fitted with the DIRECT CONTROL suspension with selective damping system, configured for comfort
- the sportily configured DIRECT CONTROL suspension with selective damping system is positioned 15 mm lower and forms part of the AVANTGARDE line
- the DIRECT CONTROL lowered sports suspension is available in conjunction with the Exterior Sports package and AMG Sports package
- the AIRMATIC air suspension with electronically controlled damping system is fitted as standard on the V8 models. The Estate is fitted as a matter of course with rear-axle air suspension with integrated level control
The suspension variants feature outstanding sensitivity and ride characteristics and help to ensure a high level of handling safety. All of the models of the E-Class family will in future be fitted with an electromechanical Direct-Steer system as standard. This combines the speed-dependent power assistance of speed-sensitive steering with a variable ratio across the steering angle range. The steering assistance provided by the rack and pinion steering gear is controlled on-demand and therefore contributes towards efficiency.
Advantages of the electromechanical Direct-Steer system:
- improved agility thanks to more direct steering response
- comfortable handling and high levels of steering comfort across all speed ranges
- considerable savings potential, since energy is only required when steering occurs
- enables the use of innovative assistance systems, e.g. Active Parking Assist
The new E-Class is already fitted with a comprehensive series of high-quality appointments as standard. The new optional highlights, meanwhile, include HANDS-FREE ACCESS in conjunction with KEYLESS-GO. This enables the boot lid to be opened and closed without actual physical contact by simply holding one’s foot beneath the bumper, and is therefore extremely convenient when loading and unloading the vehicle.
A modern range of infotainment systems helps to keep the driver up to date while on the road in terms of what is happening around the world or in the office. The systems also enable music to be enjoyed or also optionally offer powerful navigation solutions as well as an internet connection. As standard, both the E-Class Saloon and Estate‑come with the Audio 20 CD Radio. It features a twin tuner and mp3-capable CD player as well as a USB connection in the centre armrest. The TFT‑colour display measures 14.7 cm diagonally. Bluetooth®-capable devices can also be connected, and SMS text messages displayed. Optionally the Audio 20 CD can be combined with a six-disc CD changer as well as the reasonably-priced, entry-level Becker® MAP PILOT navigation solution, which can also be retrofitted.
Alternatively, Mercedes-Benz offers the COMAND Online multimedia system for the E-Class with 17.8 cm high-resolution colour display, internet connection, hard-disc navigation and emergency call feature, which can also be combined with a six-disc DVD changer. COMAND Online provides internet access enabling customers to surf the web while the car is stationary or call up a Mercedes-Benz app, whose particularly fast page loading and simple operation make it suitable for use while driving. Integrated apps include Google™ Local Search and Weather and the facility for downloading a route which has previously been configured on a PC using Google Maps and transmitted to the car. In addition, apps for Google™ Streetview as well as Google™ Panoramio and other apps are also available.
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