On April 12, 2006, the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class will celebrate its world premiere at the New York International Automobile Show. Like its predecessors, the new E-Class will feature innovations that are without comparison in its segment worldwide. "Through its role as a technological trendsetter, the new generation of the E-Class is again setting benchmarks," says Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Mercedes Car Group, responsible for Sales and Marketing. "With its new engines, pioneering safety technology and cutting-edge lighting systems, the vehicle is the safest, cleanest, most powerful and most reliable E-Class of all time."
When the new-generation E-Class hits showrooms in Europe in early June and in the U.S. a few weeks later, customers will be able to choose from 29 model variants â€” 16 sedans and 13 station wagons. As a result, Mercedes-Benz offers a larger and more diverse range of models in this market segment than any of its competitors. The dynamism, power and performance of the new-generation E-Class are particularly evident in the car's new design. New features for the vehicle interior include attractive new color combinations, a new four-spoke steering wheel and a new control unit for the automatic climate control system, which is standard equipment.
E-Class: Safest vehicle in its class
Thanks to its pioneering innovations, the E-Class continues to be the safest vehicle in its segment. "One of the key features of the new-generation E-Class is its outstanding safety level," says Maier. "It is clearly the safest vehicle in the upper-range segment."
Standard equipment in the sedan and the station wagon models will now include the anticipatory PRE-SAFEÂ® system, which automatically activates safety measures for the driver and front passenger if an accident becomes imminent. The award-winning system makes the most effective use of the seatbelt and airbag in the event of a collision. No other upper-range car in the world offers a comparable safety system. Also unique are the standard NECK-PRO headrests, which provide sensor-controlled head support for the driver and front passenger during rear-end collisions. Mercedes-Benz has also enhanced occupant safety by equipping the new-generation E-Class with blinking brake lights that activate to prevent rear-end collisions during emergency braking maneuvers.
Intelligent Light System: World premiere of a new headlight system
The new-generation E-Class is the world's first automobile to be equipped with adaptive headlights that optimally adjust to driving and weather conditions, thus substantially improving driving safety. The new headlight technology â€” known as the Intelligent Light System â€” is available as an option for the sedan and station wagon and features five different light functions. The new country mode extends the motorist's field of vision, ensuring faster recognition of obstacles or other road users. The system's highway mode creates a uniform cone of light that automatically illuminates the width of the entire road at speeds of 90 km/h and higher. Compared to the previous version, the new system extends the driver's field of vision by about 50 meters in the center of the cone. An improved fog light system also makes it easer to drive in fog, and the active cornering light function has been enhanced as well. The Intelligent Light System also features a cornering light that improves safety at intersections and when taking curves at low speeds.
New diesel and gasoline engines: A big boost in power and agility
Six of the ten engines available for the new-generation E-Class are either new or have been enhanced. The four-cylinder-diesel engines for the E 200 CDI and E 220 CDI in particular have been optimized down to the last detail in order to further improve output, torque and smooth running characteristics.
Mercedes-Benz has been offering the E 320 CDI in the U.S. since 2004, making it the first diesel-powered car in the upper-range segment of the U.S. market. Beginning in autumn 2006, Mercedes-Benz will also be offering the first BLUETEC series-production vehicle in the U.S. The automobile is equipped with the cleanest diesel engine in the world, which considerably reduces nitrogen oxide emissions in particular. At the same time, the E 320 BLUETEC consumes 20 to 40 percent less fuel than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is also preparing to launch the first BLUETEC-equipped passenger cars in Europe by 2008.
The gasoline engines for the E-Class were also enhanced, and the engineers at Mercedes focused particularly on the four- and eight-cylinder drive systems. At the top of the E-Class' engine range will be the all-new 5.5-liter V8 from the S Class, with an output of 388 hp. The model lineup will be expanded by the E 63 AMG, whose 514 hp engine makes it the most powerful E-Class ever built. Agility and driving pleasure will be greatly enhanced not only by the new and improved engines, but also by the DIRECT CONTROL package with more responsive steering and a retuned chassis.
The 60-year success story of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 10 million E-Class vehicles delivered to customers worldwide
For more than 60 years, Mercedes-Benz' upper-range model has epitomized the brand's signature attributes, including safety, comfort, innovation, fuel economy and quality. Since 1946, about ten million customers from all over the world have opted for Mercedes-Benz' upper-range model. And the seventh generation of this successful model, the current E Class, has also been a great success: One million sedans and station wagons have been sold worldwide since this model was launched on the market in 2002. As a result, more E-Class vehicles were sold during this time period than any other competing premium-class automobile. In 2005, the E-Class defended its leading market position in both its home market of Germany and in the rest of Western Europe, despite having to contend with substantially younger competitors in the premium segment.