The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan characterizes the ninth generation of the highly successful model line, with a total of more than 10 million Mercedes-Benz E-Class vehicles produced over the past 60-plus years. Packed with state-of-the-art safety technology, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan line features the Mercedes-Benz E350 and Mercedes-Benz E550 models, along with the E63 AMG and new E350 BlueTEC. New safety features for MY2011 include Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist with automatic brake intervention.
Among the many standard life-saving features on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the innovative ATTENTION ASSIST system that can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S. A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving. Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies the erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning, and a "Time for a Rest?" message with a coffee cup icon appears in the instrument cluster.
Adaptive Highbeam Assist uses a small video camera to sense both headlights and taillights, then softly and automatically transitions between high and low beam operation to avoid dazzling other drivers. With this system, the range of the headlights can be varied infinitely from their current 220 feet to up to 1,000 feet.
Night View Assist PLUS can now allow a driver to see pedestrians up to 300 feet earlier than before. When the system recognizes pedestrians, they appear in the display with an outlined frame highlighting each person. In contrast to passive systems that rely on thermal imaging, this active system bathes the road ahead with invisible infra-red light from two beams mounted in the headlights. Extending the driver's ability to see ahead to nearly 500 feet, Night View Assist PLUS uses an infra-red camera in the windshield and displays the reflected images as highly detailed black & white video images in the instrument cluster.
Optional Distronic Plus system also includes Active Blind Spot Assist, which monitors both blind spots behind, and to the side of, the vehicle. Whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot, the driver gets visual and audible warnings. It also operates along with the Electronic Stability Program to steer the vehicle away from potential danger via specific rear wheel braking.
The innovative PARKTRONIC system also incorporates Parking Guidance, which utilizes ten ultrasonic sensors mounted behind the front and rear bumpers. At low speeds, the system scans available parking spaces and displays a "P" in the dash if the car will fit in the space. When the car's in reverse, Park Assist displays a pictogram of the steering wheel and provides helpful steering guidance.
When the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is equipped with optional Distronic Plus, another revolutionary Mercedes-Benz safety feature - PRE-SAFE® brake - can now apply full braking automatically in emergencies, to reduce accident severity. When PRE-SAFE Brake senses an impending collision, the system sounds three warning tones.
About 1.6 seconds before impact is likely, partial braking is automatically initiated, and the PRE-SAFE occupant protection system are activated. If the driver still fails to react, full-power braking is initiated about 0.6 seconds before the collision, reducing the impact and effectively acting as an "electronic crumple zone."
All Mercedes-Benz E-Class models are equipped with standard PRE-SAFE - the world's first system that can sense and take protective measures before a crash. The innovative PRE-SAFE system first automatically tensions the seatbelts if the car senses an impending collision. PRE-SAFE uses resettable electric tensioners in addition to the existing pyrotechnic belt tensioners.
In addition, if the front passenger seat is overly reclined or forward, PRE-SAFE automatically moves it to a more favorable crash position. If the seat cushion angle of the front passenger seat is too shallow, it is also re-adjusted to help prevent submarining. If the vehicle skids (often a precursor to rollover), the system closes the sunroof and side windows. If a crash is averted, the electric belt tensioners automatically relax and are ready to deploy again.
If necessary, PRE-SAFE reacts to fishtailing (or oversteer) as well as "plowing" (or understeer) by using existing sensors for ESC stability control to measure steering angle, vehicle yaw and lateral acceleration. Emergency braking can also trigger PRE-SAFE, which monitors sensors for the Brake Assist system as well.
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class now comes with a new knee air bag for the driver that minimizes leg injuries in frontal collisions, while new pelvic air bags work with the existing curtain and side air bags to provide extra protection for front passengers in dangerous side-impact collisions. With front air bags as well, the E-Class now boasts nine supplemental restraints, and rear side air bags are optionally available.
The Mercedes-Benz E350 uses the latest four-valve-per-cylinder V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, while the E550 model is powered by a 32-valve 5.5-liter V8 delivering 382 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. The E350 BlueTEC comes with an innovative V6 turbodiesel that develops 210 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTEC is powered by a purpose-built 3.0-liter V6 diesel with 210 horsepower, an astonishing 400 lb.-ft. of torque and 30 percent better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine. Using several technologies to minimize diesel exhaust emissions, the E350 BlueTEC begins with a four-valve-per-cylinder diesel featuring centrally located piezo-electric injectors, CDI direct injection, a variable-nozzle turbocharger and exhaust gas recirculation.
Building on this foundation of advanced engine design, the E350 BlueTEC incorporates several modular after-treatment units in the exhaust stream - an oxidizing catalytic converter, a maintenance-free particulate filter, an SCR converter and an NOx storage converter. In the "denox" storage converter, nitrogen oxides are absorbed temporarily, and during brief regeneration pulses of a richer fuel-air mixture, the nitrogen oxides are released, reacting with other exhaust gas to form harmless nitrogen. These regeneration pulses also raise temperatures in the particulate filter, which automatically burns off the deposits.
The new-generation Mercedes-Benz E350 and Mercedes-Benz E550 Sedans can be equipped with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. As modern all-wheel-drive systems become more refined, they are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the luxury car market. With negligible weight and fuel-efficiency tradeoffs, full-time four-wheel drive provides year-round traction and stability benefits on both wet and dry roads.
The latest Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC system is cleanly integrated into the automatic transmission so it fits right into the standard body and utilizes the existing front suspension. Fuel efficiency has been improved, due to a number of innovative measures that minimize the energy needed to turn the extra gears and shafts.
The rev-matching function provides precisely computerized matching of engine speed with every manual or automatic downshift, and is active in the "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual) modes. Not only does this smooth downshifting make driving more fun, but it also minimizes jerking, a special benefit when braking into a curve.