E-Class a

It’s so quiet in the cabin there’s no sense of speed, writes NEILMcDONALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

THE good folk at Sin­delfin­gen have looked to the past to give us the fu­ture. At first glance the MercedesBenz E-Class sedan shows the de­sign team has taken cues from the fa­mous 1950s Pon­toon mod­els.

The E-Class shares that car’s bulging rear wheel arches, in­cor­po­rated into the ninth-gen­er­a­tion car’s 21st-cen­tury de­sign.

Apart from a pass­ing nod to the Pon­toon, the Merc gains a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the E-Class’s quad head­light treat­ment wrapped around a new body.

As ex­pected, it bris­tles with safety and tech­nol­ogy. Mercedes boldly de­scribes it as the world’s safest car.

Prices have been trimmed on some mod­els and there is more equip­ment across the range. Ser­vice in­ter­vals have been lifted to 25,000km.

The range starts with the $128,900 E350 V6 and $178,900 E500 V8. Four other mod­els will ar­rive in two months.

The first two both carry the same en­gines with no change in per­for­mance. The E350 de­vel­ops 200kW and 350Nm. The E500 ups the ante with 285kW/530Nm.

From Septem­ber two four­cylin­der tur­bod­iesels, a diesel CDI V6 and a four-cylin­der petrol en­gine will join the line-up.

Th­ese en­gines are all part of the com­pany’s Blue Ef­fi­ciency tech­nolo­gies de­signed to im­prove aero­dy­nam­ics, con­sump­tion and emis­sions.

The en­try car will be the $80,900 E220 CDI diesel four. Then will come the $93,900 E250 CGI petrol four, $96,900 E250 CDI diesel four and $131,900 E350 CDI V6.

The lat­est-gen­er­a­tion tur­bod­iesels and petrol CGI en­gines show just how far en­gine tech­nol­ogy has come, de­liv­er­ing more power and torque from smaller-ca­pac­ity units.

Mercedes-Benz Aus­tralia manag­ing di­rec­tor, passenger cars, Horst von San­den says an en­try-level tur­bod­iesel is a marked de­par­ture for the brand. It’s also the first four-cylin­der diesel E-Class to be sold here.

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