Mercedes claims this is

E-Class bris­tles with tech­nol­ogy

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - LUXURY CARS - Neil McDon­ald

THE good folk at Sin­delfin­gen have looked to the past to give us the fu­ture.

One glance at the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan shows that the de­sign team has taken some cues from the fa­mous 1950s Pon­toon mod­els.

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

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

As ex­pected, it bris­tles with safety and tech­nol­ogy.

Mercedes boldly de­scribes it as the safest car in the world.

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

The range be­gins here with the $128,900 E350 V6 and $178,900 E500 V8.

Four other mod­els will ar­rive in two months.

Both carry over the same en­gines with no change in per­for­mance.

The E350 de­vel­ops 200kW/ 350Nm while the E500 ups the ante with 285kW/530Nm. From Septem­ber, two four­cylin­der CDI turbo-diesels, a V6 CDI and a four-cylin­der CGI di­rec­tion in­jec­tion petrol en­gine join the line-up.

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

The en­try car will be the $80,900 E220 CDI diesel four, $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.

The 2.1-litre E220 CDI de­vel­ops 125kW/400Nm; the 1.8-litre E250 CGI has 150kW/ 310Nm; the E250 CDI de­vel­ops 150kW/500Nm and the E350 CDI de­vel­ops 170kW/540Nm.

The ar­rival of an en­try-level turbo-diesel is a marked de­par­ture for the brand, ac­cord­ing to Mercedes-Benz Aus­tralia manag­ing di­rec­tor of passenger cars Horst von San­den. It also be­comes the first four-cylin­der diesel E-Class to be sold here.

Von San­den says the E220 CDI re­flects the grow­ing ac­cep­tance of mod­ern diesel tech­nol­ogy by Aus­tralian cus­tomers. He says adding more gear into the cars was also a re­ac­tion to mar­ket de­mands.

The lux­ury seg­ment had be­come more price sen­si­tive, Von San­den says.

‘‘We saw that with runout of the old car.

‘‘Even lux­ury buy­ers ex­pect­ing more.’’

The new E350 costs $2965 less than the out­go­ing model,

the

are yet gets more than $10,000 in ad­di­tional stan­dard equip­ment.

The E500 sedan is $11,232 more ex­pen­sive but gets about $21,000 worth of ad­di­tional stan­dard equip­ment.

Buy­ers can also spec­ify the $5700 AMG sports pack, which adds 18-inch AMG al­loys, a body kit, firmer sus­pen­sion, sports seats, three-spoke steer­ing wheel and brushed al­loy ped­als.

The E350 gets front and rear park­ing sen­sors with park­ing guid­ance; a seven-speed G-tronic au­to­matic; lane keep­ing pack­age with blind-spot alarm; at­ten­tion as­sist; 18-inch al­loys; bi-Xenon head­lights with adap­tive high-beam as­sist; cruise con­trol; split-fold rear seats; cuphold­ers; ca­ble for the iPod in­put; multi-con­tour front seats, and; multi-zone cli­mate con­trol air-con­di­tion­ing.

The E500 ups the ante with key­less en­try-and-go, more lux­u­ri­ous front seats, alarm and sun­blinds.

The ninth-gen­er­a­tion sedan has grown slightly in all di­rec­tions but height. At 2874mm, the wheel­base is 20mm longer, which has helped lib­er­ate more in­te­rior room. The sedan’s boot ca­pac­ity re­mains at 540 litres but it has been re­designed to im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

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