Mercedes Benz FORMALLY introduces the
“new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan”
We’ve seen the images of this vehicle recently and have been told it was a technological tour de force. It is. So much so that it is now the most advanced in the model line. Wow.
First of all, this new E-Class upon first appearance looks just like all the other new Mercedes sedans. This same successful family DNA is carried over to this to such a degree that you REALLY have to take a second look to see if its a C, E or S Class. They are in my opinion a bit too similar, but if it works, I guess its okay.
Upon saying that…it IS a handsome update. There are new lighting advances on this model up front as well as what’s called a “stardust effect” in the rear lights. Other than that, the exterior is pretty run-of-the-mill for a new Mercedes. Just to be clear; that’s not a bad thing.
The real business however is the interior and the included tech that this new E-Class contains. We’ve been spoiled by the over the top luxury and details of the S-Class recently. Well this new E-Class takes the successes of that S and updates it for the E-Class. They did a very good job. So much so that we expect to see the S-Class match or exceed this somehow soon.
The highlight of this new interior is the large instrument display. I’ll let the press release speak specifically about it, but it’s beautiful and well executed. Though we liked the huge dual display of the S, this one is dual but in its appearance seems like one huge display. There are no tactile buttons dividing the displays like in the S. This display appears to float within the dash area more so than the current S-Class’s cluster.
This new model is heads and shoulders above it’s competition. This competition in my opinion is most directly the BMW 5-Series. Though they’ve been direct competitors, they’ve always been different beasts, but this is even more the case with this update. The new E-Class is now considered an “Intelligent Business Sedan”. The BMW and the Audi counterpart is in need of a substantial update and maybe “upgrade” in order to stay with the offerings from Mercedes.
Again the main separating factor this release distances itself from its competitors and really elsewhere in the market lies in its technology advances. But wait…then there’s the level of luxury finishes and design of the interior. No one else matches this.
Here are some of the official press releases for your reading pleasure.
January 10, 2016 Model Positioning:
- The all-new 2017 E-Class is the most advanced vehicle the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio. The 10th generation of one of the world’s most successful sedans launches with several world- premiere technologies, an all-new emotional design both inside and out, and top levels of comfort, luxury and safety.
- PRE-SAFE® Sound: omits a short interference signal if an imminent collision is detected, triggering a protective reflex in the human ear referred to as the “stapedius effect,” which can help reduce hearing loss in the event of an accident
- DRIVE PILOT, including:
- Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is now able to follow a vehicle in front at a pre-selected distance at speeds up to 130 mph
- Steering Pilot functions at speeds up to 130 mph in ideal conditions and can now actively intervene even if road lines are unclear or non-existent at speeds up to 81 mph
- Active Lane-change Assist*: radar-and-camera-based system that aids the driver when changing lanes—when overtaking, for example. When a turn is indicated for at least two seconds, Active Lane-change Assist will aid with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects the lane is empty
- Active Brake Assist w/ cross-traffic function
- Evasive Steering Assist: when a driver deliberately or instinctively performs an evasive maneuver, this system assists by adding calculated steering torque to aid in steering wheel movement
- 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
- Car-to-X communication*: world’s first fully-integral Car-to-X solution going into series production; the E-Class simultaneously acts as a receiver and transmitter, conveying warning messages and evaluating driving conditions, effectively allowing the driver to “see around corners” and “through obstacles”
- PRE-SAFE® impulse side: if a lateral collision is detected, the system preventatively moves the driver or front passenger up to 2.75-inches away from the impact zone to the side by rapidly inflating the seat’s side bolster, reducing the load on the occupant during an accident
- Touch Controls: touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel for infotainment system control, similar to a smart-phone interface, which respond to vertical and horizontal swiping movements
- Segment-leading, next-gen, high-resolution 12.3″ infotainment display with advanced, simplified user interface
- AIR BODY CONTROL: Available multi-chamber air suspension at all corners
- Ambient lighting in 64 colors thanks to energy-saving LED technology
- Warmth and Comfort Package: (segment exclusive) offers heated door armrests, center console, steering wheel and rapidly-heating front seats
- Efficient and powerful turbocharged-2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft/tq
- 9G-TRONIC nine-speed transmission
- DIRECT CONTROL Comfort or Sport suspension with selective damping, or optional AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension
- Embodies the Mercedes-Benz “Sensual Purity” design philosophy both inside and out
- Longer wheelbase and overall length than the outgoing E-Class
|2016 E-Class (W212)||2017 E-Class (W213)||Difference|
- Audi A6
- BMW 5-Series
- Lexus GS
*Not available at launch in US market
The New Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The most intelligent luxury sedan
Mercedes-Benz is taking a big step into the future with the new E-Class. The tenth-generation of the E-Class sedan delivers stylish highlights with its distinct, emotional design and high-grade interior. The new E-Class also marks the world premiere of numerous technical innovations, enabling enhanced comfort, a new level of safe driving, a new dimension in driver assistance and a new infotainment and control system. A new, optionally available AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension ensures outstanding ride comfort and driving dynamics. The sum total of these innovations makes the E-Class the most intelligent sedan.
“The E-Class is the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand and in the past has repeatedly redefined the standards in the business-class segment. Now it carries this tradition into the future with a wealth of top-class innovations. The new E-Class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving. In addition, it enhances efficiency, safety and comfort, reduces the stress level when driving and intensifies driving pleasure,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The new E-Class is sophisticated, confidently stylish and sporty. Compared with its predecessor, its wheelbase has grown by 2.6 inches (115.7 inches vs. 113.1 inches) and its overall length by 1.7 inches (193.8 inches vs. 192.1 inches). Its design features hallmark Mercedes-Benz sedan proportions. The elongated hood coupled with a coupe-esque roof flowing into a sensual, broad-shouldered tail end creates an exciting silhouette. The powerfully extended vehicle body is characterized by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut, well- defined flanks displaying a fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line, all of which allows the E-Class to deliver the perfect take on the Mercedes- Benz design philosophy of “Sensual Purity.”
A muscular front end underlines the status to which the business-class sedan aspires, boasting a different look for each design and equipment line. The Luxury version features the classic Mercedes radiator grill with the star on the hood, while the Sport models are identifiable by the sport radiator grill with a large Mercedes star as its centerpiece. Each of the radiator grill designs lends the E-Class a distinct character, offering a unique degree of diversity that makes each model stand out. At the rear end, broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches lend the E-Class its unmistakably muscular 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 sedan family. Rear lights provide additional levels of detail with an appearance designers refer to as the “stardust effect.” Making its debut on the new E-Class, this available “stardust effect” is created by innovative reflector technology with a specially configured surface structure for the tail lights.
Next Level Interior Design
The interior of the new E-Class embodies the synthesis of emotion and intelligence, poles that are defined by the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy – distinct forms with a sensual flow to them. The U.S. version of the E300 offers a next-generation high-resolution display, with a wide navigation display screen diagonal of 12.3 inches – a first in this segment, and a traditional gauge cluster behind the steering wheel, all integrated into one casing. Beneath its integrated glass frame, the display visually conflates into a wide-screen cockpit that seems to be hovering in thin air, creating a central element that emphasizes the horizontal orientation of the interior design. Touch-sensitive control buttons (‘Touch Controls’) on the steering wheel make their first appearance in a car. Like a smartphone interface, the Touch Controls respond precisely to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. In keeping with the motto “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road,” this new control interface minimizes driver distraction. Further controls for the infotainment system are provided by a touchpad with a controller which can recognize handwriting in the center console and a voice control system, accessible at the push of a button. For systems such as air-conditioning or various driver assistance systems, there are direct-access buttons located on the center stack. A new, intelligent graphic design with high-resolution animations, together with simplified logic, further enhances this all-new infotainment experience. At the same time, the occupants enjoy a spacious interior, which combines the elegance of the luxury class with sportiness.
Intelligent material design
High-quality materials define the E-Class’ interior style, including Natural Grain Ash wood, and wood with “flowing lines.” Another Mercedes hallmark clearly evidenced is the high-quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Interior materials and colors have been carefully selected, highlighted by various shades of brown, including several attractive, new color combinations which allow for an even more personalized interior design.
Lighting atmosphere with 64 colors
Interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology, even throughout the enhanced ambient lighting system. With 64 colors to choose from, the ambient lighting system offers a host of possibilities for personalization, adding touches of light to various trim parts, central display, storage on the center 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 and sculpted form combines Mercedes-Benz’s hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look. Another new feature in this segment is a Warmth and Comfort package, which includes heated door armrests and center console, heated steering wheel and rapidly-heating front seats. The rear bench seat in the new E-Class sedan comes with a three-piece backrest with a 40% – 20% – 40% split, making it exceptionally versatile. Integral features of the center armrest include a storage box and two pop-out drinks holders. There is also the option of a holder for a tablet device for the rear passengers.
New engine generation
In the US market at launch, the new E-Class will feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. Further model variants will be added to the range after the market launch.
Nine-speed automatic transmission
All E-Class models available at market launch will be equipped with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. This advanced transmission enables both fast gearshifts and low engine revs while cruising, which provides improvements in both efficiency and interior 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 the segment. The E-Class sedan comes with a steel-spring suspension as standard. Two DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems with selective damping are available in conjunction with this suspension:
- DIRECT CONTROL Comfort suspension
- DIRECT CONTROL Sport suspension
AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension
Alternatively, the new E-Class can be equipped with a multi-chamber air suspension at all corners – the only car in its segment to offer this option. Three chambers of different sizes 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 firmly the suspension reacts to the road. In this way, the occupants enjoy a soft base suspension, together with the secure feeling of good handling stability as speed increases.
Furthermore, the highly sensitive and fast-responding AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension features all-round self-leveling for excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It automatically controls the ride height depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the freeway, for example, by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads, ground clearance can be increased at the push of a button.
The multi-chamber air suspension is supplemented by a continuously operating, electronically controlled damping adjustment system, which automatically adapts the damping on each individual wheel to the current driving situation and road conditions. The system therefore delivers good road roar and tire vibration characteristics, excellent ride comfort and outstanding driving dynamics. 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 driver assistance systems
Mercedes-Benz’s new assistance and safety systems take safety, comfort and driver assistance to a new level. Standard on the new E-Class is PRE-SAFE® Sound. This system is based on a protective 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.
Active Brake Assist, fitted as standard, is able to warn the driver of impending crash situations, provide just the right level of support during emergency braking and, if necessary, also apply the brakes automatically. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing within the area ahead of the vehicle.
Additional standard equipment includes ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist, which can assist the driver by substantially mitigating the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track.
Highlights of the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus that make the E-Class the most intelligent sedan in its class include:
- DRIVE PILOT: This system represents Mercedes-Benz’s next step along the road to autonomous driving. While on both freeways and country roads, Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically maintain the selected distance from the vehicle in front, but, for the first time, it can also follow the traffic in front at speeds of up to 130 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 Steering Pilot – even on moderate bends. Another unique feature of Steering Pilot is that the system can continue to actively intervene by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or nonexistent, as they can be during road construction, even at speeds up to 81 mph. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion. Additional DRIVE PILOT innovations include, for the first time, Active Lane- change Assist. This radar-and-camera-based system assists the driver when changing lanes on multi-lane roads and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver – when overtaking, for example. Once the driver has indicated a turn for at least two seconds, Active Lane-change Assist assists with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016.
- Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: Compared with the standard version, this system has extended speed thresholds with respect 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 a traffic jam where there is no room to maneuver and initiate autonomous braking well in advance. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 43 mph or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at speeds above this leve
- Evasive Steering Assist: This new system ideally complements the pedestrian detection function of Active Brake Assis When the driver deliberately or instinctively performs an evasive maneuver in a dangerous situation, this function can assist by adding precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid, for instance, a 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 Plus 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 lanes, this being done by corrective one-sided application of the brakes, including in the case of broken lines and risk of collision, 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. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can also protect against collisions with traffic following behind, reducing whiplash and other adverse effects on the occupants.
The range of new features in the new E-Class also includes:
- Remote Parking Pilot: For the 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. More details will be offered at the time of the S. launch in summer 2016.
- Car-to-X communication: The MY2017 E-Class will have the world’s first fully integral Car-to-X solution going into series production. The mobile phone-supported exchange of information with other vehicles further ahead on the road, for example, can effectively allow the driver to “see around corners” or “through obstacles” well in This means that the driver receives an earlier warning than previously in the event of imminent danger, such as a broken-down vehicle at the edge of the road or also in the event of heavy rain or black ice on the road ahead. In this case, the new E-Class simultaneously acts as a receiver and a transmitter, since warning messages are conveyed automatically by evaluating vehicle status or manually by the driver to the backend. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016.
- 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 preventively moves the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone to the 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 while, at the same time, reducing the forces acting on the occupants.
Three-dimensional listening pleasure
Fitted as standard, the Mercedes-Benz Frontbass system in the new E-Class delivers a unique listening experience, utilizing space in the cross-member and side member of the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers. The E-Class is optionally available with two Burmester® sound systems, including the top-of-the-line Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system. If the vehicle is 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, as it includes a third dimension of sound courtesy of 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 aluminum and ultra- high-strength steel components than its predecessor. The front fenders, hood, trunk lid and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminum. This lightweight design reduces fuel consumption while making for perceptibly 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. To achieve this, the aerodynamics experts had to optimize numerous details and implement new ideas. The sophisticated aerodynamics also minimizes wind noise while making sure that the new E-Class is quieter than many luxury-class models.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will be available at US dealers in the summer of 2016.
Next Level Interior Design
December 09, 2015 – Stuttgart
Mercedes-Benz is taking a big step into the future by numerous innovations with the new E-Class, including in terms of the design of the interior, which features a wide high-resolution next-generation dual display (12.3 inches per display) that appears to hover in space. In addition, touch-sensitive control buttons on the steering wheel make their first appearance in a car. They allow the driver to control the entire infotainment system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The all-new experience is rounded off by a novel, intelligent graphic design with high-resolution visualisations and animations as well as simplified control logic. At the same time, the occupants enjoy a sensual interior with spacious architecture and high-quality materials.
“With the interior of the new E-Class, we are giving a new interpretation to the concept of contemporary luxury,” says Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design. “We have designed a spacious and intelligent interior. True to Mercedes-Benz’s design philosophy of sensual purity, it employs technological innovation and high-grade equipment to create an exceptionally emotive experience for driver and front passenger. The E-Class thus not only sets a new standard in the business class. Alongside a workplace and private environment, it also becomes a “third place” – a living area in which passengers are able to enjoy contemporary luxury.”
Wide dual display can be configured to suit personal preferences
The eye-catcher in the comfort-oriented, luxurious interior of the new E-Class is two displays each with a 31.2 cm (12.3-inch) screen diagonal and a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. These merge visually to form a wide-screen cockpit, thus acting as a central element to emphasise the horizontal bias of the interior design of the new E-Class. 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. A common glass cover results in a modern flat-screen look. The driver can choose between three different styles to select their preferred screen design for the wide-screen instrument cluster: “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”.
The wide-screen instrument cluster is optionally available with COMAND Online. Instead, the entry-level model of the new E-Class combines two tube-type round dials and a 17.8 cm colour display cluster (1000 x 600-pixel resolution) with a central display with a 21.3 cm screen diagonal (960 x 540-pixel resolution). The round dials, instrument cluster and central display are installed in a single frame with a high-gloss piano-lacquer look.
The driver can adapt the content of the central display to suit their personal preferences. With the exception of the navigation map (which always fills the complete display area), the graphic content of the central display of COMAND Online is divided into a main area for informative graphics and animations (2/3 on the right side of the display) and a supplementary area (1/3 on the left side of the display).
The display can be backlit at night with multicolour ambience lighting – which then makes the wide-screen cockpit appear to float in space.
Touch control: finger swipes
In a further innovation, the new E-Class is the first ever car to integrate touch control buttons in the spokes of the multifunction steering wheel. Like the surface of a smartphone, the buttons are touch-sensitive and therefore respond precisely to horizontal and vertical finger swipes. This enables the driver to control every function of the infotainment system in the same simple, logical and intuitive manner as with a smartphone without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. Having selected the desired function with a swipe, the driver presses the appropriate touch control button to trigger the function.
Another four buttons in each switch panel are provided with the familiar functions, such as for volume control and telephone control.
A further input option, familiar from the C-Class, is offered by the touchpad on the centre console. This, too, allows all functions to be controlled by single or multi-finger gestures (multitouch). The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting. Having recognised the handwritten characters, the system reads them out to enable blind operation without the driver having to divert their attention from what is happening on the road. A handrest detection feature makes for added operating safety while helping to prevent incorrect inputs. Three touch-sensitive buttons are arranged behind the touchpad and can be used to operate key functions quickly and directly (back function, switch to favourites menu, audio quick menu).
In addition to the touch control buttons and the touchpad, the driver can use the COMAND controller and LINGUATRONIC voice control to control the infotainment system. They can choose at any time which input method they prefer.
The new E-Class can also be controlled by direct buttons, such as for controlling the air-conditioning system or – in another first – for simple activation/deactivation of certain driver assistance systems.
In designing the control and display elements, the aim was not only to logically group the vehicle’s controls and display functions in terms of form and content, but also to upgrade and emphasise them. Metallised switch surfaces and genuine-metal controls are used to special high-value effect. Thanks to finely textured, metallic-looking surfaces, some of them in a special finish, each individual control in the vehicle radiates an attention to detail in terms of both touch and sound.
New control experience
The goal in developing the all-new control and display concept was to closely unite intuitiveness of use with functionally expressive yet attractive design. The result is that passengers in the E-Class can enjoy a new control experience with high-resolution visualisations and animations. The developers have focused on the use of newly implemented presentation and display techniques to make it easier – i.e. more intuitive – for the driver to register and experience information. For example, animated displays are used to show the mode of action of assistance systems, or of DYNAMIC SELECT. The likewise animated ECO display in the instrument cluster helps the driver to adopt an economical driving style in an easily understandable manner.
The new look also comes with a novel, clearer menu structure that makes functions easier to select and which, in many cases, leads efficiently to the desired outcome in a manner appropriate to the situation. Ergonomics and intuitiveness of use were key criteria for the developers.
With user experience and connectivity ever more in the spotlight, Mercedes-Benz has set up two new departments to address the digital future: “Digital Graphic & Corporate Design” and “User Interaction”. These centres are closely networked for designing the control and display concepts, i.e. the user interface, for current and future vehicles. This is because, alongside a workplace and private environment, the vehicle interior is increasingly becoming a “third place”, a living area in which passengers wish to enjoy contemporary luxury. With the new department, Daimler is responding to the global trend of “Digital & Connected Life” and thus the rapid advance of digitalisation in all areas of life.
The interior as an expression of emotion and intelligence
With its design bias towards a sense of space, the interior of the new E-Class combines the elegance of the luxury class with the cultivated sportiness of the C‑Class. The design idiom of the new business saloon is characterised by an interplay of strong solid bodies with sculptural surfaces and an avant-garde clarity and extensiveness of control and display zones. This gives form to an expression of emotion & intelligence, a wholly unique, contrast-rich Mercedes-Benz design language that optimally reflects the design philosophy of “Sensual Purity”.
The horizontal, low-lying trim part of the instrument panel with its elegantly sweeping form and flowing lines creates a visual sense of space with a formal calm. The wrap-around of the wave motion into the door linings provides a continuation of the horizontal emphasis on width with timeless sweeping forms. This is typical of the design of Mercedes-Benz saloons from the C-Class to the S-Class. Four circular air vents as in the S-Class make it additionally clear that the new E-Class is closely focused on the luxury segment.
Above the low-lying trim part is a formally coherent and separate solid body, which is forceful and sporty in appearance, as if the upper part of the instrument panel is floating in space. Free-standing yet successfully integrated, the wide-screen display stands in front of the upper part of the instrument panel. Ultra-flat and smoothly glazed across its entire area, the high-resolution screen is of a uniquely superior quality of manufacture. It lends the interior an avant-garde quality that forms a contrast between the cutting-edge design of state-of-the-art consumer electronics and the classically elegant automotive design of the passenger compartment. With its emotional design idiom on the one side and intelligent interior architecture as well as highly advanced control and display elements on the other, the interior of the new E-Class perfectly embodies the synthesis of the two opposite poles of emotion and intelligence.
Depending on the transmission variant, the new E-Class comes with two differently designed centre consoles. Models with automatic transmission have a straight-through centre console, with dynamically rising, sportily high connection to the cockpit, by a control panel in a “Black Panel” glass look. Other controls, such as in the doors, also feature the “Black Panel” look. Conversely, models with manual transmission are provided with a centre console in the form of two separate trim parts.
Intelligent material design
High-grade materials define the both sporty and elegant style of the interior. 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. Typical of Mercedes is the high-quality look and feel thanks to meticulous detail design and craftsmanship.
Just as carefully composed is the material/colour concept with various shades of brown, including new attractive colour combinations such as brown/macchiato and saddle brown/macchiato. This allows a personalised interior design.
Lighting atmosphere with 64 colours
The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the optionally available enhanced ambience lighting. 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, mirror triangle 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, which create an ergonomic, sculptural impression with their torso form, uniting Mercedes-Benz’s typical suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look. The seats are differently designed depending on the line:
- Even the basic fabric version emphasises the luxurious ambience of the new E-Class.
- The sporty bias and adapted contours of the seats for the AVANTGARDE line, the centre sections of which are transversely tacked, put the accent on sportiness with good lateral support and back-ventilation.
- The newly developed seat for the AMG line impresses with a sportier form of the backrest with extremely sporty side bolsters and wide shoulder section for added lateral support.
- The EXCLUSIVE line comes with longitudinally tacked centre sections, colour-matched to the overall seat sculpture in fabric/leather combination or nappa leather.
- Also available is a diamond-patterned designo seat with perforations similar to an S-Class seat combined with the enhanced lateral support of the sports seat.
3D sound with concert hall experience
The Frontbass system in the new E-Class delivers a special listening experience as standard. 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, the occupants are treated to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall. This is because the new second-generation Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system (the first generation is available for the S-Class) uses four roof speakers – two in the front of the roof and two in the rear. The effect: reflections, which come off the ceiling in a concert hall, are incorporated in the same authentic manner into the sound design of the E‑Class. By contrast, other 3D sound systems dispense with roof speakers and merely use appropriate algorithms to simulate a 3D sound.
Apart from 3D Surround, four other preset sound modes can be selected to suit every taste and audio source:
- Pure: audiophile sound reproduction with no additional effects, for unadulterated musical enjoyment
- Live: appealing, dynamic sound background akin to live music
- Easy Listening: milder sound background for relaxed listening over longer periods
- Surround: virtual surround sound
- 3D Surround: three-dimensional listening experience provided by the roof speakers
The technical specification of the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system employs 23 high-end speakers with diaphragms of glass-fibre fabric for high level stability, low weight and higher power. Specially developed for their task, the roof speakers are extremely small and flat and radiate sound in all directions. The speaker package includes a 25-litre bass box with its own 400 W amplifier in the boot, two woofer/mid-range speakers in the front doors as well as seven mid-range speakers and ring radiator tweeters of aluminium for precise sound resolution. The tweeters in the front mirror triangle not only fulfil their sound function, but are also fascinating design objects: when the sound system is turned on, they revolve out from the mirror triangle into the optimal radiation position. The ambience lighting also transforms them into a visual highlight. Two amplifiers with a total power of 1450 W drive all the speakers individually via separate channels and active crossovers.
A combination of digital and analogue amplifiers also contributes to the special listening experience. The analogue technology ensures a warm, round and full sound, while the digital technology uses a separate power supply to produce high peaks in order to enable a high dynamic between the quietest and loudest tones.
As in the S-Class, the sound can be optimally adjusted for every seat position using the so-called VIP setting.
The intelligence of the new E-Class is reflected also in the headlamps. A characteristic element is the double eyebrow of the reinterpreted front lights. The face of the vehicle is shaped by distinctive headlamps with a clear-lens design. The optional LED High Performance headlamps give the saloon a majestically focused look while featuring an unmistakable design, also by day, with double torch and high-quality modelled details.
A striking feature is the integration of the brand-typical corporate design in the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps. Following the inner contour, it gives a distinctive note to the direction indicators, Coming Home lights, side lights and daytime running lamps. The result is that, in both their night and day design, the Mercedes-Benz models are uniquely identifiable, clearly standing apart from other vehicles at the visual level.
All the headlamp functions are grouped under a lens of clear polycarbonate with scratch-resistant coating. Like various other design elements, the edging is in black, giving an impression of quality and depth.
High-resolution MULTIBEAM LED technology
The E-Class is optionally available with a MULTIBEAM LED headlamp system with ILS (Intelligent Light System) and Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus. The MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are immediately identifiable. They provide new, visual highlights with passively illuminated, blue light surfaces. These outline the hallmark E-Class “torch effect” of the daytime running lamps and side lights and, even when low beam or high beam is switched on, create a blue setting for a fascinating look. This lends an unmistakable character to the light design of E-Class models with MULTIBEAM LED headlamps.
This characteristic look also points to a new dimension in headlamp technology, because MULTIBEAM LED headlamps use 84 individually controlled high-power LEDs in each headlamp. This makes them bright and precise, as they automatically illuminate the road surface with a previously unsurpassed, precision-controlled distribution of light – without dazzling other road users.
When it comes to the number of pixels, the same is true of an LED headlamp as of a monitor: the higher the number of individually controllable pixels, the higher the resolution and the more detailed the image. A high number of pixels also allows greater dynamism in the display. In terms of perception, this leads to a clear increase in precision and brilliance.
This new dimension of precision in light distribution also allows longer use of the partial main-beam lights for added safety, because the driver benefits from better illumination of the road. Compared with conventional systems, MULTIBEAM LED headlamps have up to 2.5 times the partial high-beam light output.
New safety-enhancing functions
Thanks to the totally freely configurable, high-resolution light distribution, it is possible to implement all high- and low-beam functions of the Intelligent Light System by all-digital means. In a world first, the dynamic cornering light function is implemented purely by electronic means. In addition, a host of new, adaptive light functions are possible that make night-time driving safer for both the driver and other road users. These include newly developed bad-weather lights, a City light and a navigation-based junction light.
Stardust at the rear
Another visual characteristic of the new member of the family of Mercedes saloons is the one-part rear lights. The tail lamp in torch design takes up the contour of the rear light not only to emphasise – also in the night design – the characteristic form of the rear light, but also to improve safety.
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 due to many minute and irregular reflectors in the lens of the tail lamp. These so-called Lambert reflectors ensure an extensive, highly homogeneous and brilliant appearance. The optionally available rear light uses all-LED technology.
The newly designed rear lights are also brilliant in terms of safety. The light intensity of the brake lamp varies between daytime and night-time within the legally permissible limits (multi-level functionality). In addition, the direction indicator, which also has multi-level functionality, extends across the entire width in the lower region of the rear light.
The new E-Class – in the fast lane with Active Lane Change Assist
Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz will expand the new Driving Assistance package of the future E-Class for the market launch in spring with “Active Lane Change Assist” and will thereby make the business class saloon car even more intelligent. The radar- and camera-based assistance system supports the driver in changing lanes, e.g. when overtaking on multi-lane roads. The system thus offers a significant further increase in comfort and can help to prevent collisions.
Nearly 15 percent of all accidents on German roads happen between two vehicles travelling in the same direction, almost 20 percent of them resulting from collisions when changing lanes.
To defuse such risky situations, Mercedes-Benz has been offering Blind Spot Assist since 2007, which was further advanced into Active Blind Spot Assist in 2010. Apart from the visual and additional audible warning when the turn indicator is activated, Active Blind Spot Assist is able to intervene with one-sided brake applications to keep the vehicle in its lane.
Mercedes-Benz now takes another major step forward with Active Lane Change Assist. As part of DRIVE PILOT, it reduces the pressure on the driver in typical lane-changing situations, because the driver is thus better able to focus on what is happening on the road around them. Also, as an addition to Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, the system helps to prevent accidents.
“The new E-Class is even more in tune with the wishes of customers in the business class segment. With the help of numerous innovations, there is no loss of driving pleasure, even on monotonous and overfilled stretches of road. DRIVE PILOT and Active Lane Change Assist optionally support the motorist with driving tasks that are often not pleasurable,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
Automatic lane change
When the driver activates the turn indicator for more than two seconds to change lanes, Active Lane Change Assist steers the new E-Class into the adjacent lane. The vehicle will only change lanes automatically if the sensors do not detect any vehicles in the relevant safety zone. It is inconsequential whether the car wants to change to the left lane for overtaking or wants to return to the right-hand lane. A long-range radar system and the stereo camera monitor the area in front of the vehicle, while multi-mode radar sensors permanently check the area to the rear and sides. Both factor-in the speed of detected vehicles in the vicinity. The driver themselves need only monitor the lane change. For Germany, the Federal Motor Vehicle and Transport Authority has already issued provisional approval for Active Lane Change Assist. The application procedure for EU-wide approval has been started.
The criteria for the operation of Active Lane Change Assist are:
- operation of the turn indicator for longer than two seconds
- the unoccupied zone detection system allows a lane change within three seconds
- Steering Pilot is activated
- vehicle travelling on multi-lane, motorway-like roads, detected via the navigation module integrated into COMAND Online
- separate adjacent lane, detected via stereo camera
- speed between 80 and 180 km/h
- The active lane change is aborted by the system when the sensor system detects an obstacle, no longer sees lane markings, the driver countersteers or Steering Pilot is switched off.
Active Lane Change Assist is a sub-function of DRIVE PILOT and thus a component of the Driving Assistance package from Mercedes-Benz, which celebrates its world premiere in the new E-Class next year. The new E-Class will be launched in Germany in spring 2016.