The press release follows:
Detroit – With the new E-Class, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the pacemaker when it comes to safety, comfort and environmental compatibility in this market segment. With more than 20 new or further technical developments, this saloon further consolidates the leading position of Mercedes-Benz in the luxury class. They include trailblazing innovations for safe driving that are available from no other manufacturer worldwide in this combination. Examples include the standard Attention Assist, Adaptive Main Beam Assist and automatic emergency braking, which is activated when there is acute danger of a collision.
Mercedes-Benz has improved the already exemplary long-distance comfort of the E-Class even further in the new saloon, including intelligent bodyshell technology with up to 30 percent greater rigidity, further improved seats and a newly developed suspension whose shock absorbers automatically adjust to the current driving situation. The optional air suspension now works together with an electronic damping system.
The outstanding safety and comfort of the E-Class are matched by its environmental compatibility and economy: the four- and six-cylinder engines are direct-injection units, and consume up to 23 percent less fuel than before. The combined NEDC consumption of the new four-cylinder diesel engines is just 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres, which corresponds to 139 grams of CO2 per kilometre. All the engines for the new E-Cass meet the EU5 emission standard, and in the case of the E 350 BlueTEC the emissions are already below the EU6 limits planned for 2014 .
Apart from the engines, the BlueEFFICIENCY package for the E-Class is in
large part responsible for a considerable fuel saving. Engineers from every development department have worked together to optimise assemblies and components, to save fuel by means of reduced weight, a new form, improved functioning or efficient energy management.
The work done in the wind tunnel was particularly successful, for with a drag coefficient of only 0.25, the new E-Class is the world's most aerodynamically efficient luxury saloon. It betters the already good Cd figure of the preceding model by another four percent, which represents a fuel saving of around 0.25 litres per 100 kilometres when driving at a motorway speed of 130 km/h. The aerodynamics are for example improved by variable fan louvres, which control the airflow to the engine compartment in line with requirements.
Other BlueEFFICIENCY measures include newly developed tyres with up to 17 percent lower rolling resistance, energy-saving control of the generator, fuel pump, air conditioning compressor and power steering, and the ECO start/stop functionwhich switches the engine of the new E 200 CGIoff when idling. Displays in the speedometer inform the driver how much fuel is being consumed (per 100 kilometres), and when he should shift to the next higher gear in the interests of an economical and environmentally conscious style of driving.
The range of engines available for the new E-Class comprises four, six and eight-cylinder units with outputs from 100 kW/136 hp to 386 kW/525 hp. The four-cylinder engines are newly developed direct-injection units, which develop a higher output and torque than the comparable V6-engines of the preceding series despite a smaller displacement. The strategy is to replace to replace large, naturally aspirated engines with turbocharged units which excel with advantages such as lower weight, reduced internal friction and more economical operating characteristics.
Engines: new CDI-four-cylinder units with a fuel consumption of just 5.3 litres and 139 grams of CO2 per kilometre
With three completely newly developed four-cylinder engines, the E-Class also remains one generation ahead where diesel technology is concerned. These engines feature latest-generation common-rail direct injection, fast piezo-electric injectors, improved exhaust gas recirculation and an innovative twin turbocharger, making for fast responsiveness and good performance characteristics. To express this in figures, the E 250 CDI with 150 kW/204 hp and 500 newton metres develops a 25 percent higher torque than the previous V6 diesel engine, but uses around 23 percent less fuel at only 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres (combined NEDC consumption). This corresponds to 139 grams of CO2per kilometre.
The new four-cylinder diesel engine also powers the E 220 CDI with 125 kW/ 170 hp and the E 200 CDI with 100 kW/136 hp, also with a fuel consumption of only 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres.
The top model in the new E-Class diesel range is the six-cylinder E 350 CDI with an output of 170 kW/231 hp, which uses 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres less fuel than the previous E 320 CDI. From autumn 2009 the V6 diesel will also be available as a BlueTEC model with the world's best emission control technology. The E 350 BlueTEC develops 155 kW/211 hp and meets the EU6 exhaust emission standards planned for 2014. All the other engine variants in the new E-Class meet the EU5 limits.
Petrol engines: 20 percent fuel saving thanks to direct injection
The E 200 CGIand E 250 CGIare equipped with the newly developed four-cylinder direct-injection engine with a displacement of 1.8 litres, turbocharging and variable intake and exhaust camshafts. The E 200 CGI(135 kW/184 hp) is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and the ECOstart/stop function as standard, and consumes only 6.8 litres of premium petrol per 100 kilometres (combined NEDC consumption, provisional figure). This equates to 159 grams of CO2per kilometre.
In the E 250 CGI(150 kW/204 hp), which has a five-speed automatic transmission as standard, maximum torque is now 310 newton metres, which represents an increase of more than 26 percent over the previous V6-engine. At the same time the NEDC fuel consumption is reduced by over 20 percent to 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres, equating to 175 grams of CO2per kilometre (provisional figures).
As before, the E 350 CGI with direct petrol injection (215 kW/292 hp) and the top-of-the-line E 500 (285 kW/388 hp) are included in the range of engine variants in the new E-Class. Detailed improvements have reduced the fuel consumption of these V6/V8 models by up to 0.6 litres per 100 kilometres. As a product from Mercedes-AMG, the new high-performance E 63 AMG develops 386 kW/525 hp.
The V6 and V8-models are equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission and steering wheel selector lever as standard.
On request the V6 models E 350 CDIand E 350, as well as the eight-cylinder E 500, are available with latest-generation Mercedes all-wheel drive. This system distinguishes itself from previous all-wheel drive technology with greater efficiency, lower weight and more compact construction. These advantages produce noticeably better traction and fuel savings.
Safety: "Intelligent" partner thanks to unique combination of assistance and protection systems
For more than 50 years, the saloons in the E-Class and their predecessors have been acknowledged as trendsetters in the safety field. The new saloon continues this tradition with an unrivalled combination of the very latest assistance and protection system whose concept and development are based on what actually happens during accidents. These technologies make the E-Class an "intelligent partner"who can see, feel, react reflexively in critical situations and if necessary act independently to prevent accidents or mitigate their consequences. With this concept the new Mercedes model not only protects its own occupants, but also contributes decisively to the greater safety of other road users.
The new E-Class is the first automobile in the world whose headlamps adapt to the traffic situation and respond automatically to avoid dazzling other drivers. The optional Adaptive Main Beam Assist uses a camera on the windscreen to recognise oncoming traffic and vehicles moving ahead, and controls the headlamps so that their beams do not reach the other vehicle. This achieves the best possible road illumination in a given situation. The range of the dipped headlamp beams can be extended from 65 to up to 300 metres. If the road ahead is clear, the system performs a gentle transition to high beam.
Mercedes-Benz offers this new system as a light & sight package that includes
bi-xenon headlamps, the Intelligent Light System and LED daytime driving lights.
The Lane Safety package for the new E-Class includes Blind Spot Assist familiar from the S-Class, and as a new development, Lane Keeping Assist which seeks to prevent the vehicle from leaving the road unintentionally. When the system recognises that the car is drifting from its lane, the driver is prompted to take countersteering action by brief but unmistakable vibrations of the steering wheel. The images from the windscreen camera are also used by the new, optionally available Speed Limit Assist , which recognises speed limit signs as the car passes them, then displays the relevant speed limit in the speedometer.
Night View Assist from the S-Class is now also available as an optional extra for the new E-Class. Mercedes-Benz has improved this system with a special pedestrian detection function: as soon as Night View Assist Plus recognises pedestrians ahead of the car, they are highlighted in the onboard display to provide a greatly enhanced warning effect.
Detection of drowsiness based on 70 parameters as standard
Thanks to an innovative technology, the new E-Class has developed a highly sensitive means of monitoring its driver's attention level, and warns him of drowsiness in good time. This new ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system, which is standard equipment, is equipped with highly sensitive sensors that continuously monitor more than 70 different parameters. Observing the driver's steering behaviour has proved to be a particularly strong indicator: several years of practical research by Mercedes engineers have shown that drowsy drivers make minor steering errors that can often be rapidly corrected in characteristic ways. These corrections are recognised by a highly sensitive steering angle sensor.
Automatic emergency braking when a collision is imminent
The well-proven, radar based assistance systems from the S-Class are now also optionally available to E-Class customers. A further development of the long-range radar sensor now has a range of 200 metres (previously 150 metres), and is able to monitor the mid-distance so that dynamic events such as a vehicle ahead suddenly pulling out to overtake can be detected even more effectively. The two wide-angle short-range radar sensors, which have a range of around 30 metres, continue to be included in the system.
The radar-supported systems are able to assist the driver with emergency braking. Their sensors are linked to the Brake Assist PLUS system, which automatically calculates the braking pressure to prevent a collision in critical situations. The driver is given an acoustic and visual warning at the same time. When the brake pedal is depressed, the system immediately activates the calculated level of braking assistance.
If the driver fails to respond to the warnings, the radar system first initiates partial braking action. As a second stage, if there is still no driver response and a collision is unavoidable, emergency braking is initiated. This can considerably lessen the severity of an accident, i.e. the system acts as something like an "electronic crumple zone".
Active bonnet, seven airbags and PRE-SAFE® as standard
During the course of its development, the new E-Class was subjected to more
than 150 high-speed crash tests and a total of more than 17,000 realistic crash simulations. The crumple zone principle invented by the Mercedes safety pioneer Béla Barényi has been continuously improved by the engineers in Sindelfingen. The front-end deformation zone of the E-Class acts on four independent levels, and is even more effective than before. The increased use of highest-strength steel alloys also helps to ensure that the bodyshell is able to withstand high impact forces. Around 72 percent of all the body panels are made from these high-tech steels – yet another unrivalled figure in passenger car development.
With seven airbags as standard, belt tensioners, belt force limiters, crash-responsive head restraints and ISOFIX child seat attachments, the new E-Class has even more extensive safety features than the preceding model. Another new feature is the active bonnet, which is a continuation of many years of commitment to pedestrian protection on the part of Mercedes-Benz. It is standard equipment in the new E-Class. In the event of an impact, a system of springs raises the rear section of the bonnet by 50 millimetres within fractions of a second, thereby increasing the available deformation space. Thanks to the cleverly conceived mechanism, the driver is able to reset the active bonnet to its normal position himself, without visiting a workshop.
Another standard feature is the preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. In potentially hazardous situations this reflexively activates precautionary protective measures for the vehicle occupants, so that the seat belts and airbags are able to fulfil their protective function to the full during an impact.
Comfort: Further progresses with adaptive shock absorbers and improved air suspension
As in the safety field, the E-Class has been setting the standards for long-distance comfort in this vehicle class for several decades. Bettering the already high level of the preceding series, Mercedes engineers have achieved further advances with the new saloon – especially where ride, seating and climatic comfort are concerned.
Standard equipment includes a further improved suspension with adaptive shock absorbers. These automatically adapt to the current driving situation by reducing the damping forces when driving normally, thereby noticeably improving ride comfort. When taking bends at speed or during rapid evasive action, the system switches to the maximum damping effect so that the saloon is stabilised to best effect.
A version with dynamic damping characteristics and a lowered suspension is available as an optional alternative to the standard suspension (standard for the AVANTGARDE line).
The air suspension system optionally available for the V6 models (standard
in the E 500/E 500 4MATIC) has for the first time been combined with an electronically controlled damping system, which processes various sensor signals and controls each wheel independently. In this way Mercedes specialists have achieved significantly better ride comfort while improving handling safety and agility at the same time. The driver is able to select either comfort or sport mode at the touch of a button.
Well-proven seat technology with a new design
Where seat development is concerned, Mercedes-Benz had added a new quality to a well established Mercedes concept, namely padded seat piping –
a sophisticated and demanding upholstery technique that is only used by Mercedes-Benz. This involves the insertion of an additional foam filling under the fabric or leather cover, and gives an immediate feeling of comfort and wellbeing when sitting in the car. There are different versions of this padded seat piping: in the basic model and AVANTGARDE line the upholstery is transversely contoured, while the ELEGANCE line has longitudinal piping and is reminiscent of the well-known and highly effective Mercedes seat design from the 1960s and 70s.
Active multicontour seats with massage function from the S-Class
The active multicontour seat package (optional) includes newly developed multicontour seats with comfort head restraints and a two-stage massage function in the backrest that has proven highly successful in the S-Class. Depending on the steering angle, lateral acceleration and vehicle speed, fast-acting piezo-electric valves on the air chambers in the backrests vary their pressure and volume to give the driver and front passenger even better lateral support.
On request the E-Class is also available with a rear seat unit consisting of two comfortable, single seats. This rear-seat comfort package includes seat heating, leather upholstery, a centre console, comfort head restraints, roller blinds in the rear doors, an electrically operated roller blind for the rear window, comfort sun visors and a through-loading facility to the boot.
Individual climatisation modes at the touch of a button
Mercedes-Benz has developed a climate control system for the E-Class which not only allows individual temperatures to be set in three zones – for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers – but also offers different "climatisation modes". If this optional THERMOTRONIC system is specified, the occupants of the new E‑Class are able to select "Diffuse", "Medium"or "Focus"at the touch of a button, and adapt the air volume and distribution to their personal preferences without sacrificing the convenience of automatic mode. In standard trim the new E-Class is equipped with the two-zone THERMATIC automatic climate control system.
Design: Distinctive lines flow as an expression of effortless
grace and status
In 1995 the E-Class was the first Mercedes model to appear with the highly acclaimed twin-headlamp face – a highly symbolic design feature that still characterises the identity of the E-Class. Nonetheless, the design idiom has remained fluent even for this characteristic styling feature, and has been adapted to suit the self-assured, masculine overall appearance of the saloon. The designers have now reinterpreted these four "eyes"as rectangles, with a direct reference to the interesting geometrical shapes found in cubism. They have the effect of precious gems that have been precisely set into the wings. In the same way, the radiator grille with its three-dimensional chromed surround, dynamic arrow-shape and more upright position underlines the status of the car as the epitome of a business saloon.
A sophisticated interplay between lines and surfaces is one of the hallmarks of today's Mercedes design. Large concave or convex surface areas are structured by taut, clearly defined lines. This design concept has been perfected down to the last detail in the new E-Class. The flank contours become connecting features that influence the entire body design, i.e. not just the side aspects but also the front and rear-end styling.
At the rear this harmonious flow culminates in a new feature, namely a graceful line that follows the rear wheel arches and lends a clear shape to the imposing, muscular contours of the rear wings. Here Mercedes aficionados will recognise styling features reminiscent of the famous "Ponton Mercedes" introduced in 1953, which already emphasised its sovereign character with these striking
contours at the time — a symbolic feature, and at the same time a hallmark of the E-Class that well illustrates how tradition is made to harmonise with the future in this model series.
With typical Mercedes attention to detail, the designers have also given great attention to the interior of the new E-Class, ensuring that every feature appeals in both emotional and functional terms with its form, colour or material. The result is a harmonious whole – an atmosphere in which the car's occupants immediately feel safe and protected, and long journeys can be taken without any feeling of effort or stress. In short: Typically E-Class, welcome home.
Model range: High level of standard appointments and individual variants
Individuality and variety have always been two of the outstanding attributes of the E-Class. The new saloon not only provides Mercedes customers with a choice of ten engines and three suspension variants, but also two design and equipment lines, 12 wheel/tyre combinations in 16, 17, 18 or 19-inch size, twelve exterior paint finishes and six different seat upholstery materials in up to five colour combinations to suit their individual preferences. The choice of interior trim has been doubled versus the preceding series, with the range now including high-gloss exotic wood, open-pored wood and aluminium trim.
Standard specifications already include 16-inch light-alloy wheels in a nine-spoke design, eucalyptus or embossed aluminium trim (optional) and a four-spoke multifunction steering wheel lined in fine nappa leather with chrome inserts. Also included in the standard equipment is the Audio 20 CD infotainment system with a twin receiver, CD-player, eight loudspeakers and a Bluetooth interface for a mobile phone. The colour display in the centre of the dashboard can be operated by the driver or front passenger, using the Controller on the centre console.
The individualisation programme for the E-Class is based on two design and equipment lines. The ELEGANCE line lives up to its name with a decidedly elegant, classic appearance. This is in part due to additional features such as a chrome-plated radiator grille with four silver-painted louvres, 16-inch light-alloy wheels in a ten twin-spoke design, burr walnut trim and stylish ambient lighting with fibre optics that frame the dashboard and door panels.
In contrast the AVANTGARDE line shows the E-Class in a decidedly modern and innovative light. This is ensured by additional standard features such as bi-xenon headlamps with the Intelligent Light System and LED daytime driving lights, LED technology for all the rear lights, 17-inch light-alloy wheels in a five twin-spoke design, a special, lowered suspension setup, ambient lighting and the instrument cluster in a sporty tubular design. This model variant is also distinguishable by its different bumper design and a chrome-plated radiator grille with three glossy, black louvres.
Equipment packages: extras for the discerning customer
In addition to the design and equipment lines, the AMGsports package and the Exclusive package offer more scope for equipping the new E-Class to personal taste. These packages contain high-quality features that are mostly not available in isolation.
In the AMG sports packagethey include bumpers and side skirts in an AMGdesign, sport seats with enhanced lateral support, contrasting decorative seams in the seats and armrests, a three-spoke sports steering wheel with shift paddles, a black roof lining, a lowered sports suspension , perforated disc brakes with the Mercedes logo and 18-inch light-alloy wheels in an AMGdesign.
The Exclusive package includes a wood/leather steering wheel, the roof lining, pillar claddings and sun visors in Alcantara, the seat upholstery, armrest and door panels in nappa leather, an attractively lined dashboard with decorative seams and velours floor mats.
Market position: With ten million models since 60 years the world's most successful business saloon
The new E-Class saloon is the successor to a Mercedes model that has been successful throughout the world, and of which more than 1.3 million examples have been sold since 2002. In Germany more than 40 percent of all saloons in this market segment have an "E"in their model plate, and in many western European countries this Mercedes model series is the number one in the luxury class.Since 1947, when the Model 170 V was introduced as the direct ancestor to the E-Class, Mercedes-Benz has produced more than ten million saloons belonging to this series. This makes the E-Class easily the world's most successful business saloon.
The new E-Class will appear in the showrooms of the European Mercedes sales and service outlets and dealerships in March 2009.