The All-New Mercedes-Benz E Class – The Most Intelligent Yet?
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class really has been a massive success with 13 million vehicles sold globally; it is one of the oldest models in Mercedes range. With so much success surely Mercedes would think ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’ but no … they just keep making it better and better.
The new Mercedes E-Class is the 7th generation and promises to be a masterpiece of intelligence....
The Saloon and Estate versions have been released first, with a wait until 2017 for the Coupe and Convertible models to become available. The new E-class is the most advanced yet, making further strides towards autonomous cars, blurring the line further between human and computer control.
All of the new E-Class models have Intelligent Drive including Active Steering. Cameras, radars and sensors work together to create a digital image of the surrounding area. Using this image the E-Class can then use Steering Assist to steer around bends, change lanes and keep a safe distance from all other traffic using the road all the way up to motorway speeds. This may sound like autonomous driving, but the driver must always have their hands placed on the wheel. If the driver removes their hands audible warnings will sound in the cabin. Other steering controls will support the driver by detecting an avoidance manoeuvre, for example a swerve to avoid a pedestrian on the road. This Evasive Steering Assist will apply additional steering force to help the obstruction be avoided. These advanced technologies are added to those already available such as Blind Spot Assist, Attention Assist and Cruise Control.
It’s not only the steering the new E-Class can help control, it can also influence the speed of travel. Active Brake Assist can produce a visible warning of a danger ahead if it appears the driver has not taken any action and start applying the brakes. It can even analyse moving traffic at junctions so you don’t miss anything and pull out into the path of another vehicle. This Mercedes will also keep an eye on speed limits for you, if you seem to be unaware of the speed limit or have failed to react to signs signalling a new speed limit your driving speed will be adjusted accordingly for you. With pedestrians in mind the new E-Class has an Active Bonnet. If a collision with a pedestrian is unavoidable the rear portion of the bonnet is lifted 50mm in milliseconds. This creates more space between the pedestrians head and body and engine parts which cause the most damage in accidents and so reduce the severity of injury. For the protction of the driver and the front passenger Mercedes have developed Pre-Safe Impulse. With this system, if a side collision is detected the driver and front passenger can be moved sideways away from the danger zone to decrease damage the impact of the crash.
The new Mercedes E Class can also interact with the owner’s smartphone. With Mercedes-Benz Connect Me you can use your smartphone as a digital key. You can lock and unlock your Mercedes whever you are and locate your E-Class if you've forgotton where you've left it. Clever telediagnostics can recognise when certain parts are in need of replacing and let you know as well as reminding you when your service is due. More than this, in the biggest leap towards autonomous driving you can use Remote Pilot Parking. Over the years cars have had expanding waistlines in the quest for better driver and passenger comfort, so are now struggling to fit in parking spaces that have remained exactly the same size over the years. So for drivers trying to park in a tricky space or those you are not as proficient at parking as they want to be, this is like a dream come true. You can stand outside of your Mercedes and ask it to park using your smartphone, it will only move at speeds of up to 2mph so you may have to wait a while!
The engines on offer are all Euro 6 compliant and all use Mercedes 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox. For the saloon version there is a choice of the 4-cylinder E200d or E220d, 2 litre engines or the E350d 6-cylinder 3 litre engine for diesel drivers. For petrol drivers there is the Mercedes-Benz E343 4MATIC 6-cylinder 3 litre engine which is the fastest with a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds. A hybrid version is also available that has a 2 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine alongside an electric motor. This is the most enviromentally friendly option with the lowerst CO² levels and the 135.5 mpg, the highest of the E-Class range. The estate version offers the most space with a boot capacity of 640 litres with the E220d, 2 litre, 4-cylinder engine avaialble. The SE and AMG trim levels are on offer across the range.
On the outside the new version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a much more fluid, smoother and softer look, the boxy edges of the 6th generation model are nowhere to be seen. There are new multi-beam headlamps, the current 24 individual high performance LED’s on the 6th generation Mercedes E Class, are upped to an impressive 84 on the new model. It will be bigger than before, but Mercedes have still managed to make the new saloon lighter.
Mercedes believe their intelligent Drive system will help lead the way to autonomous and accident free driving. But, Mercedes for that to be the case everyone on the road would need a clever car like this …. If you believe in an autonomous and accident free future that strongly I will happily accept a new Mercedes-Benz E Class to help the cause!
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3 October 2016
Written by Natalie Faughy