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Friday, August 18, 2006

2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Preview
Here is a nice preview review about the 2007 Mercedes E-class from

Safety is E-Class Priority

Unquestionably, the most popular luxury executive sedan on the global market today is Mercedes-Benzs E-Class. While Audi and BMW managed to elbow their way into the spotlight with daring styling and a sporty spin on upper-level luxury, the three-pointed star remains a strong but silent best-seller in its home market of Germany (thanks partly to E-Class taxi-cab dominance - Ed.), and the rest of Europe, where it takes a respective 38 and 30 percent market share respectively. In fact, since the current generations launch back in 2002, Benz has sold over a million E-Class sedans and wagons, a production figure that hasnt been touched by any of its competitors in the past four years.

Today, the E-Class is still extremely strong in the sales department, but, to Mercedes-Benz, the present isnt the only important time - the future is too. To retain the all-important number one position, Mercedes has chosen to give the E a mid-life update. For this years New York International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz pulled off the wraps to an updated version of the E, which has been honed for model-year 2007. The new car features all of the goodies and gadgets that have appeared in all of Benzs new introductions, in a package thats familiar to the masses.

The most prominent change with the revised E-Class is its nose, and in particular the grille. Though the four individual headlamps have more or less stayed the same, Benz has brought greater focus to the front of the vehicle by augmenting the grille. Its now taller and brighter like the S-Class. New bumpers have been fitted; those in front are slightly more complex in appearance than before, with three separate intakes and LED driving lamps, though, the ones in back are classy and simple. The E-Class exterior is rounded out by a new decklid with chrome accent trim, new head and tail lights featuring different bezels, plus new wheels and a new color palette.

Inside, changes are minimal, mostly made to the decor of the interior with new materials and colors. Aside from a revised version of the Thermatic climate control system and a rear-seat entertainment system, the only real new addition to the E-Class is a new steering wheel. More impressively, the new four-spoke tiller (borrowed from the CLS-Class) is linked to a reworked steering system thats approximately 10 percent sharper than before. Combined with new spring link dampers, these changes improve the cars dynamics, a change thats said to boost driver confidence.

Benz is also aiming to make the E the safest vehicle in its class with new technologies to help the driver and drivers of other vehicles avoid accidents. The 2007 E-Class will feature M-Bs new Intelligent Light System, a five-mode program for the standard bi-xenon headlamps. Depending on vehicle speed, the beam adjusts in order to provide enhanced visibility without creating excessive glare and dazzle from oncoming drivers. Likewise, the E-Class also features flashing rear brake lamps, which are present to reduce the reaction time of drivers behind the vehicle. Benz claims a shortening of 0.2 seconds for reaction time, which works out to an amazing 18 feet of distance when traveling at 60 mph. Benz also hopes that in the event of an accident the new E will also be one of the safest automobiles to be in. Aside from having a safety pedigree, the E-Class is fitted with numerous new passive safety features that include the Pre-Safe system, which primes all safety systems (including raising reclined seats, pretensing the seatbelts and even closing the sunroof) in the event of an unavoidable collision in order to allow the passive safety features to provide maximum protection. Also new, the Neck-Pro whiplash prevention system is standard on all models, as are a full count of airbags which include side impact airbags and side curtain airbags.

Part of what made the E-Class so successful in Europe, and to a certain degree, North America, is its extensive model lineup. The range could only be described as expansive, and stretched from small but efficient four-cylinder turbodiesels to supercharged V8s capable of warp-speed-like acceleration. Out of the ten engines offered on the E-Class, six were heavily revised or completely new for the 07 E. These motors include the 200 Kompressor, a supercharged, four-cylinder engine that is used in the base model (unavailable in U.S.), a new 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine as featured in the new S-Class, and a whole host of turbodiesels.

Out of all of these new engines, there are two that really stand out; interestingly, they come from opposite ends of the spectrum. First is the powerplant fitted to the new, top of the line AMG model; as its name suggests, the E 63 is powered by a 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated engine, tuned and hand-built by AMGs craftsmen. This engine, which debuted in Mercedes SUV range, features a thoroughly impressive 507 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, which makes it the most powerful E-Class ever, surpassing the likes of the old 5.5-liter supercharged V8.

The other engine is of a completely different nature, and will make its world debut in the North American marketplace. As was promised at this years NAIAS in Detroit, Bluetec Diesel technology is on its way, and will be featured first on the E. The principle behind this new technology is nitrogen oxide emission abatement to a level that clears the worlds most stringent emissions standards. This, of course, comes with no penalty to power or fuel consumption; while performance figures have yet to be released, Benz claims that the E 320 CDI Bluetec consumes between 20 to 40 percent less fuel than the equivalent gasoline model.
posted by Muamer Hodzic @ 8/18/2006 03:00:00 PM    
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