Mercedes-Benz E-Class performance
For now, Mercedes is only releasing information about one of the E-Class’ powertrains. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, rated at 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It’s coupled exclusively to a nine-speed automatic that’s made its way into the new SLC-Class as well as the CLS-Class.
In the medium term, we expect turbodiesel, V-6, V-8, AMG, AMG Sport, and plug-in hybrid models will follow. There’s no official word on the availability of all-wheel drive; the C-Class was launched exclusively with all-wheel drive when it was last renewed for the 2015 model year.
No EPA-estimated fuel economy figures have been released for the 2017 E-Class sedan, either.
Two different suspension types are planned for U.S. E-Class sedans. The basic multi-link independent suspension gets augmented with adaptive dampers, and Mercedes will tune that hardware to Comfort and Sport specification. New this year is what’s dubbed Air Body Control–essentially, an air suspension with two air chambers per strut in front, three per strut in back, with the ability to selectively inflate and deflate bags based on ride and handling needs of the moment. The system includes the adaptive dampers, and also incorporates automatic load leveling, and lowers the E-Class at highway speeds for improved fuel economy, while it can also raise the ride height for better ground clearance. As before, the suspension–and steering, transmission, and throttle settings–can be cycled through comfort, economy, sport, and Sport+ modes.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class comfort, utility, and quality
The new E-Class has more high-strength steel in its body and more lighter-weight aluminum panels on its body, which should help handling, according to Mercedes.
It also pays a dividend in cabin space: compared with the outgoing car, the new E-Class is 1.7 inches longer, at 193.8 inches long, and has a wheelbase 2.6 inches longer, at 115.7 inches long.
In front, the new E-Class has a new package of fittings for driver and passenger that warms the armrests and center console, as well as the steering wheel. The rear seats have a middle-section split that offers a storage armrest with its own cupholders, and can be fitted with a tablet holder.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class safety and autonomous driving
Undoubtedly, it’s the safety and autonomous driving features baked into the new E-Class that will draw buyers even away from an S-Class. The claim of world’s most advanced sedan? There’s something to it, what with all the new technology that advances some of the E-Class’ features.
Standard equipment includes the coffee-cup warnings of Attention Assist; a new Pre-Safe Sound that emits a distinct frequency if the car senses an imminent accident; forward-collision warnings with automatic braking; and a rearview camera.
It’s the Driver Assistance suite of features that sets the new E-Class further down the path to autonomous driving. Adaptive cruise control can now follow, stop, and accelerate to follow a car ahead at speeds of up to 130 mph; the so-called Drive Pilot is claimed to do a better job of following the road ahead even when lanes aren’t clearly market, at speeds of up to 81 mph. The E-Class will also change lanes for the driver once the turn signal has been activated for two seconds.
The automatic-braking and steering features of the E-Class have been expanded to operate at higher speeds, or even to apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t recognize the approach of cross-traffic. And finally, the car will add torque to the steering system when it detects a driver making evasive maneuvers.
Other new functions spun off of this technology include the ability to park the car, and move it out of a parking space, solely through a smartphone app; hardware that emits and receives data about nearby vehicles and obstacles and could one day help to avoid accidents; and a trigger for the front seats to inflate a seat bolster, shoving the passenger almost three inches further away from a potential point of impact.
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