Mercedes-Benz is taking a big step into the future with the new E‑Class. The tenth-generation executive saloon delivers stylish highlights with its distinct, emotive design and high-grade, exclusive interior. This new E‑Class also introduces numerous technical innovations that enable comfortable, safe driving on a new level plus a new dimension in driver assistance. The vehicle comes complete with infotainment and control systems offering an all-new experience. Likewise exemplary: an entirely newly developed diesel engine sets efficiency benchmarks in this segment in conjunction with lightweight construction and optimum aerodynamic figures. An optional new multi-chamber air suspension system additionally ensures outstanding ride comfort together with first-class driving dynamics. The sum total of its innovations, makes the E-Class the most intelligent sedan in the executive class.
The new E-Class is sophisticated, confidently stylish and dynamic. Compared with its predecessor, its wheelbase length has grown by 65 millimetres (2939/2874), its overall length by 43 millimetres (4923/4880). The resulting increase in space is to the benefit of all passengers. The basis for agile handling characteristics is provided by an increased track width (extra 20 millimetres at the front, extra 7 millimetres at the rear). With minor exceptions, the boot capacity has been maintained at the excellent level of the previous model.
Comparison of measurements
|Vehicle length mm||4923||4880||+43|
|Vehicle width mm||1852||1854||-2|
|Vehicle height mm||1468||1471||-3|
|Track width, front mm||1620||1600||+20|
|Track width, rear mm||1626||1619||+7|
|Kneeroom, rear mm||75||69||+6|
|Front/rear shoulder room mm||1467/1450||1467/1446||0/+4|
|Boot capacity l||540||540||0|
The design of the new E-Class is characterised by hallmark Mercedes sedan proportions. The elongated bonnet coupled with a coupé-esque roof flowing into a sensual, broad-shouldered tail end creates an exciting silhouette. The powerfully extended vehicle body of the new E-Class is characterised by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut well-defined flanks displaying a fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line. It thus systematically embodies the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of “sensual purity”.
The new E-Class clearly shows a muscular front end that boasts a different look for each design and equipment line. The base version features the classic Mercedes-Benz 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-Benz star as its centrepiece. Each of the radiator grille designs lends the E-Class a distinct character – elegant and with an emphasis on status or dynamically elegant – offering a unique degree of diversity that makes each different model stand out.
At the rear end, broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches lend the E-Class its unmistakably powerful character. Single-piece tail lights featuring a two-bar design framed by the vehicle body clearly identify the E-Class as a new member of the Mercedes-Benz sedan family. Optionally, the tail lights provide an additional highlight reminiscent of stardust, the Milky Way or the glow of a jet engine. This crystal optic is created by innovative reflector technology with a specially configured surface structure for the tail lights and is making its debut appearance in the new E-Class.
Next Level Interior Design
The interior of the new E-Class embodies the synthesis of emotion and intelligence. Optional extras include two brilliant next-generation high-resolution displays, each with a wide screen diagonal of 12.3 inches – unique 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 look for the wide-screen instrument cluster: “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”. As the entire cockpit is fully digital, the driver is free to configure the information and views of relevance for them and thus create their own personal cockpit.
In a first for a car, the steering wheel features touch-sensitive Touch Controls. Like a smartphone interface, they respond precisely to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. In keeping with the motto “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road“, this allows minimum driver distraction to be achieved.
Further controls for the infotainment system are provided in the shape of a Touchpad with Controller in the centre console, which can even 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 driving 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 sportiness.
Intelligent material design
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 optionally leather-covered doors and the beltline. Another Mercedes hallmark clearly in evidence is the high-quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship.
Just as carefully composed is the material and colour concept with various shades of brown, including new attractive colour combinations such as nut brown/macchiato and saddle brown/macchiato.
Lighting atmosphere with 64 colours
The interior lighting makes exclusive use of 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).
Seat design: first class
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. Other new features in this segment are a Heat Comfort package including heated armrests in the doors and on the centre console and the quickly responding seat heating Plus.
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 for the rear passengers.
New engine generation
At launch, the E 200 model of the new E-Class will be available with a four-cylinder petrol engine while the E 220 d is, powered by an all-new four-cylinder diesel engine. The E 350 d has the six-cylinder diesel engine developing 190 kW of power and 620 Nm of torque.
Further newcomers in the fourth quarter will be the E 250 rated at 155 kW with a torque of ?? Nm, as well as the E 400 4MATIC, whose six-cylinder petrol engine will deliver 245 kW with a torque of 480 Nm.
The most important data at a glance
|E 220 d|
|E 350 d||2987||190||620||5.9||5.1||144|
All figures provisional
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.
All-new four-cylinder diesel engine
The new four-cylinder diesel unit marks the birth of a new Mercedes-Benz engine family and opens-up new dimensions in efficiency. What’s more, it is shorter and more compact than its predecessor thanks to reduced cylinder spacing (90 mm instead of 94 mm). Despite having a lower displacement than its predecessor, reduced to just under two litres, the new diesel powerplant has an output of 143 kW and, when installed in the E 220 d, delivers an NEDC combined consumption from 3.9 litres per 100 kilometres, which equates to CO2 emissions from 112 grams per kilometre – a figure that until now only significantly smaller vehicles have been able to deliver.
Furthermore, the four-cylinder engine with single-stage turbocharging and variable turbine geometry is exceptionally refined. Both the cylinder head and the crankcase are made of aluminium. The Mercedes-Benz-developed NANOSLIDE® surface coating efficiently reduces the friction between cylinder surface and steel piston.
Nine-speed automatic transmission
All models available at market launch are equipped as standard with the new 9G‑TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. It enables fast gear changes and allows low engine revs, which has a particularly beneficial effect on efficiency and noise levels.
Suspension – sporty comfort
The suspension on the new E-Class offers agile driving pleasure on twisting roads as well as the highest level of ride comfort in this segment. The sedan comes standard with a steel suspension. Three DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems with selective damping system are available in conjunction with this suspension.
- AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system (comfort suspension)
- AGILITY CONTROL suspension, lowered by 15 millimetres; included in Avantgarde Exterior
- DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL: a sporty suspension with adaptive damping adjustment, lowered by 15 millimetres, which replaces the classic sports suspension
AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension
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.
Advantages of this system: 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 basic 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 excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It controls the ride height automatically depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the motorway, for example, by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads or access roads, the ground clearance can also be increased at the push of a button using the ride height adjustment switch.
The multi-chamber air suspension is augmented by a continuously operative, electronically controlled adaptive damping system. The damping at each individual wheel is adjusted fully automatically to suit the current driving situation and the condition of the road – such as in the case of evasive manoeuvres or on rough tracks. The system therefore delivers good road roar and tyre vibration characteristics, excellent ride comfort, and outstanding driving dynamics.
What’s more, a DYNAMIC SELECT switch in the cockpit enables the driver to select from four AIR BODY CONTROL modes: “Comfort”, “ECO”, “Sport” and “Sport +”. The additional “Individual” option allows drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences.
Next-generation driving assistance systems
Mercedes-Benz’s new assistance and safety systems enhance safety, comfort and driver assistance to new levels. Active Brake Assist is fitted as standard. It is able to warn the driver of impending collisions, provide optimum support with emergency braking and if necessary also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing the danger zone ahead of the vehicle. Likewise included as standard are ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist, which can assist the driver by substantially reducing the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track.
Highlights of the optional Driving Assistance package that make the E-Class the most intelligent saloon in its class include:
- DRIVE PILOT: this system represents Mercedes-Benz’s next step along the road to autonomous driving. As Distance Pilot DISTRONIC, it is not only able on all types of road to keep the car the correct distance behind vehicles in front automatically, it can also follow them at a speed of up to 210 km/h 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 130 km/h is the fact that, like in a swarm, the system can continue to actively help with the steering by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lane markings are unclear or non-existent, like at road works. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion. Another feature that helps to relieve the workload on the driver in such situations is the extended restart function, which allows automatic starting of the vehicle within 30 seconds following a stop initiated by the Distance Pilot DISTRONIC on motorways or similar roads. As the latest generation of the front radar is heated, this additionally increases the availability of Distance Pilot DISTRONIC, especially in wintry conditions.
Further innovation designed to relieve stress: in combination with COMAND Online, the selectable Speed Limit Pilot sub-function can autonomously adjust the vehicle’s speed via Distance Pilot DISTRONIC in response to camera-detected speed limits, including gantries and signs at roadworks, or speed limits logged in the navigation system, e.g. 50 km/h in built-up areas or 100 km/h on country roads. (avail 12/16)
Integrated into DRIVE PILOT, Active Emergency Stop Assist can brake the vehicle to a standstill in its lane if it detects that the driver is permanently no longer taking control while on the move. If there is no steering wheel movement over a longer period when the Steering Pilot is activated, the system gives the driver a visual and audible prompt to place his/her hands on the wheel. If, after being repeatedly warned, the driver does not react by steering, accelerating, braking or pressing a Touch Control button, the vehicle safely decelerates to a standstill in the lane and warns the following traffic by means of the hazard warning lights.
- Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: compared with the standard version, it offers extended speed thresholds with regard to vehicles and pedestrians. Furthermore, it can detect crossing traffic at junctions and, if the driver fails to respond, apply the brakes autonomously. For the first time, it can also detect hazardous situations at the tail end of traffic jams where there is no room to manoeuvre and initiate autonomous braking far sooner in such situations. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 100 km/h or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at speeds above this level.
- Evasive Steering Assist: this likewise new system ideally complements the pedestrian detection function of Active Brake Assist. If the driver deliberately or instinctively initiates an evasive manoeuvre in a hazardous situation, this function can add precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid the pedestrian in a controlled manner while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the vehicle to allow the situation to be negotiated safely.
- Advanced assistance systems: the intelligent assistance systems in the new Driver Assistance package also include proven systems that have been further developed in terms of their mode of operation and the sensors they use. Active Lane Keeping Assist can help stop the driver from unintentionally changing lane, this being done by corrective one-sided application of the brakes in the case of solid or broken lane markings and risk of collision, e.g. with oncoming traffic or fast overtaking vehicles. Active Blind Spot Assist can now also warn of the risk of a lateral collision in typical urban traffic at low speeds and, in addition, as before, correctively intervene at the last moment to prevent a collision at speeds above 30 km/h and activate the PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can protect against collisions with following traffic and their impacts on the occupants by warning the vehicle behind, activating the PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners and, if stationary, by applying the brakes to stop the vehicle from being shunted. In addition, the functionality of Traffic Sign Assist has been extended to include, for example, a warning of people in the vicinity of zebra crossings and an extended wrong-way warning function.
Furthermore, the range of new features in the new E-Class includes:
- Remote Parking Pilot: for this first time, this system 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. (Available in SA 2017)
- PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side: this system is part of the Driving Assistance package PLUS. If a lateral collision has been detected and is imminent, it can move the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone in a sideways direction by way of precaution. To do this, the system inflates an air chamber in the side bolster of the front seat backrest nearest the side of the imminent impact in a fraction of a second, thus increasing the distance between occupant and door and, at the same time, reducing the forces acting on them.
- PRE-SAFE® Sound: this system is based on a human reflex in the inner ear, called the stapedius reflex. PRE-SAFE® Sound emits a short interference signal through the vehicle’s sound system if the risk of a collision is detected. This signal can trigger the natural reflex and thus prepare the occupants’ ears for the expected sound of the accident, in order to reduce the stress on the occupants.
- High-resolution MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, each with 84 individually controlled high-performance LEDs, automatically illuminate the road with a hitherto unsurpassed, precision-controlled distribution of exceptionally bright light – without dazzling other road users. That’s because this grid allows the light distribution of the left and right headlamps to be controlled separately and adapted to the changing situation on the road quickly and dynamically. All functions of the Intelligent Light System in low-beam and high-beam mode can furthermore be depicted purely digitally and without mechanical actuators for the first time, including, as a world first, a purely electronically implemented active light function.
- Digital Vehicle Key: this drive authorisation system uses Near Field Communication (HFC) technology and allows the driver’s smartphone to be used as a vehicle key. (avail 12/16)
Multifunction Telephony – ideally connected, and not a cable in sight
An all-new infotainment generation is making its debut in the E-Class equipped with COMAND Online. Its highlights, alongside the double display, include the touch-sensitive Touch Controls on the steering wheel and the new, intelligent graphic design of the Multifunction Telephony. It allows mobile phones to be charged and, at the same time, connected to the vehicle’s exterior aerial – with absolutely no need for cables or a telephone holder. The wireless, inductive charging system works with all mobile devices that either support the Qi standard or can be upgraded to this standard. The charging pad, built into the stowage facility at the front of the centre console, is compatible with mobile phones with a screen diagonal of up to 15.2 cm (6 inches). When the “NFC” logo is touched, the system connects the mobile phone to the infotainment system and the exterior aerials via Near Field Communication (NFC). Phone calls can then be made via the Bluetooth® hands-free system.
If the vehicle is equipped with COMAND Online, it is also possible to use Apple’s smartphone-based infotainment system CarPlay® as well as Google’s Android Auto™.
Three-dimensional listening pleasure
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 speakers, the occupants are treated to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall thanks to roof speakers.
Robust yet lightweight bodyshell
An outstandingly stiff body forms the basis for exceptional handling, astonishingly low noise and vibration levels, and a high level of crash safety. 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 tangibly sporty and agile vehicle handling.
Against the wind
Aerodynamic performance is one of the main reasons behind the outstanding efficiency of the new E-Class. Here the E-Class raises the benchmark with a record-breaking drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.23. To achieve this, the aerodynamics experts optimised numerous details and implemented new ideas. By way of example, the AIRPANEL shutter system, available for most engines in the EXCLUSIVE line and base models, opens the radiator grille by means of adjustable louvres when extra cooling is required and additionally features a second shutter in the air intake beneath the number plate to further improve the system’s overall performance. The sophisticated aerodynamics additionally minimise wind noise and ensure that the new E-Class is even quieter than some luxury-class models.
Considerably more intelligent, but hardly more expensive
The new E-Class is available from R707100 (E 200). The E 220 d is available at R759 100 and the E 350 d R946 300. All three models are available in showrooms as of June 2016.