Mercedes claims this is
E-Class bristles with technology
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,
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.