Like the Saloon and Estate models, Mercedes-Benz has completely revised the CoupÃ© and Cabriolet members of the E-Class family. New additions include powerful and efficient BlueDIRECT four-cylinder engines featuring pioneering injection technology and trend-setting assistance systems, which come under the heading "Intelligent drive". These are systems which can help to prevent accidents with crossing vehicles or pedestrians, Active Lane Keeping Assist or anti-glare, permanent high-beam headlamps, for example. Visually, both the CoupÃ© and Cabriolet draw on the new Mercedes-Benz design idiom. Exclusive, luxurious equipment for sublime refinement underlines the close affinity with the E-Class family.
The classic CoupÃ© and the four-seater Cabriolet of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class are amongst the most desirable vehicles at the higher end of the mid-class segment. By combining intelligent, efficient technology with luxurious equipment that offers superb comfort, neither model comprises when it comes to indulging a passion for superlative driving enjoyment. That is why they are regarded as highlights of the successful E-Class family. The design of the exterior and interior alike is fresh and sharp, as befits many of the stand-out new technical aspects.
According to Dr Joachim Schmidt, member of the Management Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars and responsible for Sales and Marketing, "Three words sum up both the E-Class CoupÃ© and the four-seater Cabriolet model: captivating, athletic, passionate. It is especially pleasing that the two vehicles also incorporate the most intelligent technology ever. This makes them true dream cars."
Design: Sporty, athletic and eye-catching
Mercedes-Benz has further honed the design of the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet as part of the facelift. Clever alterations have given the two model series a brand new face. In so doing, Mercedes-Benz has consistently implemented its new design idiom at the same time as reinterpreting the brand's traditional design values.
The new look of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet is mainly the result of the redesigned front end, with new headlamps comprising all functional elements behind a single headlamp lens. The indicator, position and daytime running lamps sitting atop each pair of headlamp eyes use LED fibre-optic cables that produce a "torch" effect. These striking, curving lighting elements help to reproduce the four-eyed look so typical of the E-Class, and give both CoupÃ© and Cabriolet an unmistakable night design. LED technology is employed for the low beam and daytime running lamps as standard, while customers are also given the option of all-LED headlamps for the first time in this segment.
The front of the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet, featuring a sporty, upright radiator grille with central star, clearly spells status, self-assurance and sportiness. Now free of all lighting functions, the restyled bumper with its more pronounced V-shape serves up a fascinating interplay between surfaces of varying curvature with crisp contour lines and soft shapes. It has a sophisticated appearance, while the wing design of its curved spoiler lip clearly underscores the sporty aspirations and dynamism of these agile cars.
All in all, the front end with its sports car grille presents a distinctive, sporty face, but at the same time emphasises the close affinity between the CoupÃ© and Cabriolet and the new E-Class Saloon.
Silhouette with dynamic proportions
The CoupÃ© has classic proportions with a long bonnet, elongated side window design, flat roof line, and muscular tail end. Traditional styling cues that render Mercedes-Benz coupÃ© models so individual and unmistakable give added impact to the two-door model's striking lines - such as the frameless doors and theâ€‘outline of the fully retractable side windows without any B-pillars to interrupt the flow.
The four-seater Cabriolet model also has fully retractable side windows, with structure lines that continuously ascend gently as they run from the front to the boot lid emphasising its clear proportions. The elongated beltline, which merges into the longer-looking tail end, stretches the Cabriolet's flanks and means that it cuts an especially dynamic figure when driving with the roof down. When the soft top is closed, it blends harmoniously into the silhouette to stunning effect, thanks to its flat roof edge and slender C-pillars. The classic fabric soft top additionally bestows the vehicle with a sense of exclusive elegance at the same time as evoking memories of the great four-seater Mercedes-Benz cabriolets of the past. Both the CoupÃ© and the Cabriolet retain the muscular-looking rear wings as a visible sign of the sporty cars' rear-wheel drive and athleticism and a clear declaration of their performance potential.
Broad, distinctive rear end
At the rear, the lights and bumper have been revised. The new, slimmer LED tail lights extending far into the flanks emphasise the vehicle width, and use LED fibre optics to create a distinctive night design that is typical of Mercedes. A third brake light as well as the white-effect number plate lighting also make use of LED technology.
The new broad-looking rear bumper captures the new design idiom and brings it to a powerful, coherent conclusion with a wing attachment with chrome-look trim that appears to be floating. Depending on the specification, the tailpipes are either concealed out of sight or highlighted for the onlooker. The eight-cylinder models as well as models with the optional Exterior Sports package or AMG Sports package have trapezoid-shaped tailpipe trims integrated into the bumper.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet owners can also add some individual visual highlights with an attractive range of new wheels. The four- and six-cylinder variants of both model series ride as standard on wheels measuring 43.2 cm (17 inches), while the eight-cylinder models are fitted with 45.7 cm (18-inch) wheels. Further wheel variants can be specified as optional extras.
The models' sporty, exclusive nature is further underlined by the new special paint finish aragonite silver, which was specially developed for the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet. The soft top colour dark brown has also been introduced with the facelift.
Interior: Exclusive style, high-quality materials
The facelift has had the effect of further reinforcing the cabin's sporty character on the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet, at the same time as blending it with a sense of luxury and class. Consequently, the interior combines with the highly expressive exterior to form a harmonious whole.
Inside the vehicles, stylish materials dominate alongside clean-cut surfaces and the two-part trim element that stretches across the entire dashboard. This has the effect of enhancing the interior's feeling of spaciousness and classiness. The trim element is bordered by a silver chrome frame, which goes perfectly with all of the various materials available. These include three fine wood and two aluminium variants, together with black piano lacquer.
Also new are the instrument cluster with dials backed in white, which are designed to emphasise the sporty concept, and the head unit's trapezoid-shaped colour TFT display with its high-gloss frame. The affinity to the new Eâ€‘Class family and the classy, luxurious character are further demonstrated by the analogue clock between the redesigned air outlets, as well as by the controls in matt silver chrome.
Centre console without automatic selector lever
Contributing to the sporty, functional appeal of the interior is the redesigned centre console. In conjunction with the automatic transmission, there is no selector lever positioned here alongside the Controller with its new four-button control panel for the infotainment system. Instead, the automatic transmission is operated via the DIRECT SELECT lever and shift paddles on the multifunction steering wheel. This frees up space for stowage facilities in the horizontal part of the centre console. The controls are clearly arranged and designed in silver chrome.
Also to be found in the centre console are the controls for operating the optional Dynamic Handling package, extending and retracting the adjustable rear head restraints and the sunblind for the rear window on the CoupÃ©, and for selecting the transmission mode. Under the centre armrest on the Cabriolet there is a special control console, housing the lever for operating the soft top and the control buttons for simultaneous opening and closing of the windows as well as for the optional AIRCAP system.
Sporty steering wheel
Available in a heated version as an option, the distinctly sporty three-spoke multifunction steering wheel trimmed in nappa leather with perforated panels, thumbrests and two silver chrome inserts offers supreme ease of operation with its twelve trapezoid-shaped buttons. In conjunction with the AMG Sports package, the three-spoke AMG sports steering wheel with a flattened lower section is fitted. Contrasting red stitching is added on the variant for the AMG Plus Sports package.
The steering column benefits from an extended adjustment range. It can be individually positioned by plus/minus 25 mm for height, as well as 15 mm forwards and 35 mm backwards for reach.
High quality and colour highlights
The new surface materials in the interior convey a high perceived quality. They feature a fine grain with a high-class look and feel, which not only adds to the elegant air but is easy to clean, too. As an option, the dashboard can also be finished in a particularly attractive nappa leather trim for a distinctly sporty and luxurious ambience in the cockpit.
In order to maximise the scope for customisation, the AVANTGARDE and ELEGANCE interior concepts have been done away with and a wide choice of new interior and contrasting colours introduced in their place. New colours for the interior include silk beige, espresso brown, Bengal red and deep-sea blue. The newly available colour combination black/espresso brown symbolises "a new type of sportiness", while the new contrasting colour deep-sea blue combines with the silk beige interior to bring a breath of fresh air into the design. New colour schemes can also be created with the roof liner in a choice of silk beige, alpaca grey and black.
The door linings with their contrasting topstitching are colour-coordinated with the rest of the interior, and are offered in two different materials:
Attractive, ergonomic sports seats
The E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet are both fitted with seats that satisfy the most discerning and wide-ranging requirements in terms of seating comfort, ergonomic design, safety and sportiness. This is thanks to features such as the height-adjustable, crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints, standard electric adjustment of seat cushion height and backrest angle, as well as the seats' steel structure and integral springing.
The proven EASY-ENTRY system for the front seats facilitates easy access to the rear. After entering the vehicle, an active belt feeder with additional control button on the dashboard console automatically moves the front seat belts into a position where the driver and front passenger can easily reach them, further helping to make the driving experience as ergonomic and comfortable as possible.
Depending on the selected material, the seats in the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet have a varying appearance with contrasting topstitching that is matched to the upholstery colour and material. The seats are upholstered as standard in a fabric/ARTICO man-made leather combination. The nappa leather upholstery includes new, continuous piping in a contrasting colour, while the seat cushion and backrest side bolsters on the leather upholstered seats feature a new, distinctive perforated pattern that brings out their sporting qualities.
Alternatively, there is also the option of the Multicontour Seat package for driver and front passenger. This allows smooth, pneumatic adjustment of seat cushion length, as well as the backrest lumbar support and side bolsters. As a result, the seat can be adjusted to the ideal position for both a sporty and a comfortable ride.
Further comfort-enhancing functions are available with the Memory package for driver and front passenger, which memorises the settings of the fully power-adjustable front seats, front head restraints, steering column and exterior mirrors for each user individually and automatically restores them again. Seat heating is also available, as are climatised front seats with active seat ventilation. There is a choice of three settings for adjusting the intensity of both the seat heating and ventilation.
By no means do passengers in the rear of the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet have to compromise on comfort. The two full-size individual seats in the rear are very comfortable to sit in and include integral head restraints - which extend and retract electrically on the Cabriolet and act as a fully functional rollover protection system. When the seats are occupied, the head restraints extend automatically. The individual rear seats in the CoupÃ© have a 1/3 : 2/3 split-folding design. The fold-out centre armrest on the Cabriolet can be specified with an optional through-loading feature.
Unrivalled cabriolet comfort
The speed-dependent AIRCAP system is available as an option for exceptional comfort when driving with the top down. This reduces wind turbulence within the vehicle interior and therefore wind noise, too. New: AIRCAP deploys automatically at speeds above 40 km/h, and the wind deflector in the windscreen frame automatically retracts again below 15 km/h. This ensures that the E-Class Cabriolet appears in its purest form when driving slowly and when stationary. The two rear head restraints together with the draught-stop between them respond to the number of vehicle occupants by extending automatically if the rear seat belts are in use.
Also optionally available: AIRSCARF neck-level heating. This addition extends the cabriolet season by ensuring it is comfortable to drive with the top down even when it is cold outside. To this end, a heating element inside the head restraint warms up the air before a ventilator blows it through apertures in the head restraint, so that the heated air envelops the neck like a warm scarf. The driver and front passenger are able to individually adjust the height the air flows out at, and there is also a choice of three intensity settings.
Body: Sporty rigidity and safety
The CoupÃ© and Cabriolet bodies have long since proven their qualities when it comes to safety, rigidity and comfort. On top of this, they offer outstanding aerodynamics and, thanks to innovative production and quality assurance processes, consistently high quality.
Since the basis of the body has remained the same, the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet continue to boast the same outstanding characteristics. These include:
Compared to the CoupÃ©, the components and load-bearing structures have been further reinforced on the Cabriolet, ensuring high levels of structural safety despite the absence of a stabilising fixed roof structure. The additional measures include:
Also new are the headlamps featuring LED technology - with the option of an all-LED variant. The main advantages of LED technology are:
Cabriolet roof with class-beating acoustics
Thanks to the acoustic soft top with its particularly high-grade insulation, the E-Class Cabriolet achieves the lowest noise level in its class. The unique acoustic soft top ensures that, even at high speeds, only very little wind noise is heard in the interior. The soft top mechanism is operated fully automatically using the lever in the cabriolet control cluster or the infrared remote control. The soft top, which is suitable for automatic car washes, can be opened and closed on the move at speeds up to 40 km/h.
A roll-over protection system integrated into the rear head restraints automatically protects the occupants in the event of the Cabriolet rolling over. It consists of two robust bars, each with a diameter of 35 mm, which are housed behind the rear backrest in cartridges inside the rear head restraints. Based on skidding movements or high acceleration resulting from an impact, a sensor can detect the risk of the vehicle rolling over, meaning that the occupants are in imminent danger. If this sensor then triggers a corresponding signal, pre-tensioned pressure springs are activated by pyrotechnic means. Both roll-over bars in the rear head restraints shoot up in a fraction of a second and lock into place automatically. In combination with the robust A-pillars, each of which is reinforced with two high-strength steel tubes, the steel bars provide highly effective roll-over protection.
Top aerodynamics figures
The outstanding aerodynamic qualities of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class CoupÃ© and E-Class Cabriolet have also been retained following the design modifications. Both lead the way for aerodynamic performance: the CoupÃ© excels with a remarkably low Cd value of 0.25, while the Cabriolet achieves a class-beating figure of 0.29.
Space for travelling
Both CoupÃ© and Cabriolet provide a spacious, illuminated boot. It has a capacity of 450 litres (VDA) on the CoupÃ© and 390 litres in the case of the Cabriolet - even with the roof down, there are still 300 litres of luggage space spare.
Engine and drive system: Sporty performance and fuel efficiency
There is a wide choice of powerful petrol and diesel engines for the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet. All are highly efficient and equipped with the ECO start/stop function. Six petrol engines are available, ranging in output from 135 kW (184 hp) to 300 kW (408 hp) together with three diesel engines ranging from 125 kW (170 hp) to 185 kW (252 hp).
The BlueDIRECT petrol engines from Mercedes-Benz, which to date have comprised the familiar V6 and V8 engines, boast the very latest technology. A new addition is a six-cylinder engine which is being offered for the first time in the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet not only as a naturally aspirated engine, but also as the E 400 with a displacement reduced to three litres but with a biturbo drive to compensate. With its power potential and formidable torque at low engine speeds, this six-cylinder model sets new standards in its segment. It produces 20 kW more power compared with the E 350. Its torque has increased by 110 Nm and is on tap between 1400 and 4000 rpm. On top of this, the new, efficient six-cylinder engine also fulfils the EU6 emissions standard. The E 500, meanwhile, not only promises sports-car-like performance - it is also making a name for itself as the most economical model in the V8 segment.
Another new addition to the BlueDIRECT petrol engine family is the four-cylinder petrol unit. With a combined fuel consumption in the E 250 CoupÃ© of 5.7 litres and CO2 emissions of 132 grams per kilometre (Cabriolet 6.2 litres and 144 g CO2 per km) and producing 155 kW (211 hp) from a displacement of just two litres, plus 350 Nm of torque across a wide range from 1200 to 4000 rpm, it redefines standards in the four-cylinder segment. Producing a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of 7.1 s (Cabriolet 7.5 s), it really underlines the sporty temperament of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet.
Lean-burn process with stratified charge operation
Depending on the operating conditions, the new four-cylinder engine operates in stratified charge or homogenous mode. With stratified charge operation, the high-compression engine runs with significant excess air. To achieve this, the fuel is only sprayed into the air, which has already been compressed by the pistons, during the compression phase. A precisely controlled electronic multiple injection system helps to ensure that a fuel/air cloud builds up in a limited area around the spark plug, precisely at the time of ignition. The spark plug lights the ignitable fuel/air mixture around it, while only a very lean mixture with a high proportion of excess air is to be found in the remainder of the combustion chamber. This enables extremely efficient combustion.
A prerequisite for stratified charge operation is fast piezo injectors. They spray the fuel into the combustion chambers several times in succession per power stroke, and as such enable specific control of the mixture formation and thus the flammability.
The new four-cylinder petrol engine from Mercedes-Benz also sees the world's first use of this stratified lean-burn process in combination with exhaust-gas turbocharging and external high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation. As a result, the E 250 CoupÃ© is the only vehicle in this segment to achieve efficiency class A. In addition, the new BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines already meet the EU6 emissions standard which will apply from 2015. The new four-cylinder unit also meets the EU6 emissions standard in the guise of the homogenous variant for countries with different fuel qualities.
Advanced technology makes engines more efficient
The BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines combine spontaneous response and exemplary power delivery with high efficiency and best-in-class emission performance. To achieve this goal, Mercedes-Benz transferred the BlueDIRECT technology from the V6 and V8 engines into the four-cylinder models. Direct petrol injection with spray-guided combustion, which Mercedes-Benz was the first car manufacturer to introduce in series production, has been developed further by the engineers into third-generation direct petrol injection with spray-guided combustion. The system pressure is now up to 200 bar and is adjusted to the optimum level based on the engine's performance map. Completely newly developed piezo injectors allow up to five injections per power stroke for the best possible mixture formation.
The third-generation direct injection system also features "rapid multi-spark ignition" (MSI). Following the first spark discharge and a brief combustion period, the coil is quickly recharged and a further spark is discharged. The MSI system enables up to four sparks to be discharged in succession within one millisecond, creating a plasma with a larger spatial expansion than conventional ignition.
The rapid multi-spark ignition can be actuated to vary both the timing of the sparks and the combustion period to suit the relevant operating point. This provides scope for the best possible centre of combustion and improved residual gas compatibility. This in turn reduces fuel consumption. The result of this is excellent utilisation of the fuel with minimum emissions.
In conjunction with continuous adjustment of the intake and exhaust camshaft, the direct injection system also provides the essential basis for so-called scavenging. As a result of a partial overlap of the opening times of the intake and exhaust valve, part of the drawn-in cold fresh air conveys the hot exhaust gas contained in the cylinder into the exhaust manifold, thereby improving cylinder charging substantially in comparison with the conventional mode of operation. Due to the increased mass flow in the exhaust line, the turbocharger additionally responds much more quickly at low revs in particular, avoiding turbo lag.
A new thermal management system has also been developed: in a cold state, a switchable water pump with flow-optimised ball valve ensures that no coolant flows through the engine, providing for swift heating-up of the combustion chambers after starting up the engine. The thermostat is electronically controlled and the coolant temperatures are adjusted according to driving style and ambient conditions. The thermostat itself is also a flow-optimised ball valve. In the interest of high efficiency, the volumetric flow of the oil pump is also controlled as in the V engines.
All engine variants are designed for operation with E10 premium petrol and an octane number of 95 RON.
Powerful diesel engines in the best efficiency class
The six-cylinder diesel unit for the CoupÃ© and Cabriolet comes in the guise of a BlueTEC model with further improved SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology, which allows it to comply with the EU6 emissions standard.
ECO start/stop function with direct-start
The ECO start/stop function included as standard in all models operates with starter-supported direct-start. This means that when the engine is switched off, the attitude of the crankshaft is registered by a new crankshaft sensor so that the engine control unit knows the positions of the individual cylinders. On restarting, it can then select the cylinder that is in the most suitable position for first ignition. After the starter has briefly turned over the engine, reliable injection, ignition and combustion is immediately possible in the ideally positioned cylinder.
Optimised drive train
Mercedes-Benz will continue to offer two transmissions for the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet in future: a 6-speed manual transmission with extremely smooth shifting and short shift travel, and the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever and DIRECT SELECT shift paddles. The features of the latest version of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS to emerge include a new torque converter with reduced slip, an ECO shift mode with an improved ratio spread and an auxiliary oil pump to maintain the operating pressure during automatic stops. Low-friction components and low-viscosity oil help to reduce the operating pressure.
A new feature is Momentary M mode. The benefit here is that if the driver has shifted up or down manually, the transmission independently switches back to the fuel-efficient, automatic shift mode after a set period of time. This period of time is lengthened under specific conditions (no accelerator pedal use, e.g. on downhill gradients, high lateral acceleration, e.g. when cornering, or if the speed falls below a minimum threshold when coming to a stop), preventing the return to automatic mode.
Both in Momentary M mode and "fixed" M Mode included with the Sports packages, the driver will in future receive gear recommendations on the instrument cluster's multifunction display to foster an efficient driving style.
Chassis and suspension: Supreme, agile handling
Like the Saloon and Estate models, the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet will be equipped with the electromechanical Direct-Steer system as standard in future. The AGILITY CONTROL suspension, meanwhile, ensures optimum road contact.
The new electromechanical Direct-Steer system combines speed-sensitive power assistance with a steering ratio that varies with the steering angle. This helps to achieve excellent straight-line stability and makes for comfortable handling and high levels of steering comfort across all speed ranges. The electromechanical assistance also offers the potential to make considerable savings by only using up energy when the steering is turned, and also makes innovative assistance systems such as Active Parking Assist possible in the first place.
Agile, sensitive suspension
As standard, the CoupÃ© and Cabriolet are fitted with the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system. The shock absorbers adapt to changing road surface conditions, thereby ensuring a high level of ride comfort. This also enables sporty handling while still delivering the comfort on long journeys that the brand is renowned for.
An AGILITY CONTROL sports suspension with selective damping system and firmer damping characteristics is available as an alternative along with the Dynamic Handling package. The latter offers a driving mode setting with sportier accelerator pedal characteristics and gearshift points, as well as electronic damping control. This allows the driver to adjust the damping to their requirements at the touch of a button, depending on whether they want a comfortable or sporty ride.
A three-link front suspension helps to ensure optimum driving dynamics. The torque strut and cross strut links in the lower link plane are responsible for the axle's comfortable characteristics. The third link, the tie rod, forms part of the rack-and-pinion steering system.
At the rear is a multi-link independent rear suspension featuring a lightweight design. It provides good wheel control qualities for high levels of comfort and excellent driving dynamics.
Excellent braking with ADAPTIVE BRAKE
The brake system on the CoupÃ© and Cabriolet is fitted with ADAPTIVE BRAKE as standard. Depending on the engine variant, the following brake types are used on the front axle with internally ventilated brake discs:
The CoupÃ© and Cabriolet are braked at the rear wheels by single-piston floating brake callipers with brake discs of various sizes. In the case of the V6 and V8 engine variants, the brake discs are internally ventilated.
All of the engines have a foot-operated parking brake with integrated, automatic cable adjustment. The force applied by the driver is distributed to two additional drum brakes on the rear axle via the brake cables in the centre tunnel. Automatic adjustment helps to reduce the service costs.
New level of safety: Intelligent assistance systems with a keener eye
What started with the PRE-SAFEÂ® system some ten years ago and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS has resulted in a new dimension of motoring at Mercedes-Benz, with comfort and safety merged into one: "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive". The CoupÃ© and Cabriolet are optionally available with a whole host of new assistance systems on board which help to make motoring more comfortable and safer.
In the main markets, both models are fitted as standard with COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, a radar-based proximity and collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist. This can significantly reduce the risk of a rear-end collision. Also forming part of the standard equipment is ATTENTION ASSIST, which is now able to warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider speed range and to inform the driver about their level of alertness and the amount of driving time which has elapsed since their last break. It also offers adjustable sensitivity levels.
"The intelligent assistance systems of the future will be able to analyse complex situations and recognise potential dangers out on the road with the aid of improved vehicle sensing systems even more accurately than today," explains Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "Figuratively speaking, the new E-Class Cabriolet and CoupÃ© don't just have eyes at the front, they have 360-degree all-round vision."
Of crucial importance in this respect is the networking of all systems, or "sensor fusion" as the safety experts call it. Mercedes-Benz is continually enhancing the performance capabilities of its assistance systems with the aim of ensuring comprehensive protection, not just for the occupants of a Mercedes-Benz, but for all other road users too.
The new systems hold tremendous potential for either preventing accidents or mitigating their consequences according to Prof. Dr Weber: "Take, for instance, the new assistance system BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist. The results of our accident research based on the data from the GIDAS (German In-Depth Accident Study) indicate that it could mitigate or prevent 27 percent of all accidents at road junctions resulting in personal injury. That equates to some 20,000 accidents a year in Germany alone."
New sensors, new senses, new intelligence
The basis for the innovative functions comes courtesy of sensors and appropriately networked algorithms. Mercedes-Benz is making a major leap forward with the introduction of the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera (SMPC), or stereo camera for short. Just like the Multi-Purpose Camera (MPC) fitted previously, it is positioned behind the windscreen in the vicinity of the rear-view mirror. It has an aperture angle of 45 degrees and is capable of, amongst other things, spatial detection of objects and pedestrians moving crossways ahead, and of calculating their path. The camera's two "eyes" provide it with a three-dimensional view of the area up to approx. 50 metres in front of the vehicle, and it is able to monitor the overall situation ahead for a range of up to 500 metres. In this way, the new camera is able to provide data for processing by various systems.
Intelligent algorithms evaluate this information in order to detect and carry out spatial classification of vehicles that are driving ahead, oncoming or crossing, as well as pedestrians and a variety of traffic signs within a large field of vision.
Whereas the stereo camera's lenses act as the car's eyes, the radar sensors are its ears, so to speak, and provide additional data. The system of radar sensors comprises two short-range radar sensors in the front bumper with a range of 30 metres and a beam angle of 80 degrees, which are complemented by a long-range radar system (200 metres, 18 degrees) including medium-range detection (60 metres, 60 degrees). The data from the camera and radars is amalgamated in a common control unit in order to provide the system-specific data for the various functions.
Assistance with lateral lane guidance: DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist
The DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control system is a driver aid designed to help keep a safe distance to a vehicle in front that is travelling slower than the selected cruising speed. This basic radar-based function has now been enhanced by the addition of Steering Assist, which helps drivers to stay centred in their lane by generating the appropriate steering torque when travelling on a straight road and even on gentle bends.
The stereo camera recognises lane markings as well as vehicles driving ahead together with their spatial positioning. When driving at slow speeds, e.g. in congested traffic, Steering Assist can use the vehicle ahead as a means of orientation, enabling semi-autonomous following of traffic jams even when there are no clear lane markings visible. As a result, the system is able to further boost driving comfort and substantially ease the driver's workload in many traffic situations.
The new Steering Assist sub-function integrated into the DISTRONIC PLUS system is predominantly based on the new stereo camera. At the same time, the area in front of the vehicle continues to be monitored by two short-range radar sensors and a long-range radar sensor with medium-range detection. The system fuses the data gleaned from both technologies, calculates any reactions required, and then regulates the vehicle's linear speed as requirements dictate by controlling engine power, transmission and brakes, as well as actuating the electric steering for lateral vehicle guidance.
DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist can be activated as before with a selector lever on the steering wheel in a speed range from 0 - 200 km/h. Any speed between 30 and 200 km/h can be selected as the desired cruising speed, even when stationary. A green steering wheel symbol appears in the instrument cluster to indicate when the Steering Assist is operating while DISTRONIC PLUS is activated. Meanwhile, linear controlling actions (DISTRONIC PLUS function) continue to be visualised in the speed display by means of circular segments and the speedometer needle.
Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times in case the steering torque applied by the system is insufficient or, for example, is not applied at all because the lane cannot be detected. Legal considerations also mean there are no plans to introduce hands-free driving. The system's design is so refined that the sensors can detect whether the driver's hands are actually on the steering wheel. If they are not, a visual warning is output first. Should the driver fail to react to this, a warning signal sounds and lateral lane guidance is deactivated. This does not affect the cruise control function, however, which continues to be operative.
Needless to say, the driver is able to override the Steering Assist function at any time. If the driver signals to change lane, for instance, the lateral guidance function will switch into passive mode for the duration of the lane change. The performance capabilities of the basic DISTRONIC PLUS function have been increased once again. Now, the system is able to brake at a rate of up to 5 m/sÂ² without any intervention from the driver. If the "S" drive mode button is pressed, the rate of acceleration increases, too. Vehicle acceleration is also far more dynamic if the driver signals a wish to overtake by switching on the indicators, assuming the road is clear.
By combining the radar and camera data, DISTRONIC PLUS is also able to detect both vehicles cutting in and vehicles ahead in adjacent lanes and take any necessary action promptly. This can prevent illegal overtaking on the inside lane on motorways and similar multi-lane highways, for example, by adapting the speed to that of vehicles in the outside lanes.
Braking assistance for cross traffic: BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist
Apart from material damage, accidents at junctions often result in serious injuries, too. The new Brake Assist BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist from Mercedes-Benz is therefore capable of more than just helping the driver to avoid collisions with vehicles ahead or lessening their consequences in a purely linear direction: the new Cross-Traffic Assist function can also come to the driver's aid when there is a risk of a collision with cross traffic at junctions.
If this anticipatory system detects a hazardous situation of this type, it prompts the driver to start emergency braking by activating visual and acoustic warnings. If the driver presses the brake pedal too tentatively, BAS PLUS will step in by automatically boosting brake pressure for effective emergency braking, even applying the brakes at full power if necessary. Applying just the right amount of braking power for the situation at hand maximises the available braking distance for traffic behind.
The Cross-Traffic Assist function is operative at speeds up to around 72 km/h, while BAS PLUS is able to aid the driver in linear situations at any speed.
BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist is potentially able to either prevent or lessen the severity of around 27 percent of all accidents at road junctions resulting in injury. This equates to some 20,000 accidents a year in Germany alone (source: investigations carried out by the GIDAS - German In-Depth Accident Study - and Mercedes-Benz Accident Research).
With pedestrian detection and city brake function: BAS PLUS and PRE-SAFEÂ® Brake
Pedestrian detection has been added to the BAS PLUS and PRE-SAFEÂ® Brake functions, while autonomous braking for vehicles in front has undergone a major enhancement too.
Thanks to the combination of stereo camera and radar sensors, it is now possible to detect pedestrians in front of the vehicle. Visual and acoustic warnings are triggered when a risk of a collision is spotted. If the driver then reacts by braking, the braking power will be boosted by BAS PLUS as the situation requires, right up to a full brake application. Should the driver fail to react, PRE-SAFEÂ® Brake triggers autonomous vehicle braking. The PRE-SAFEÂ® Brake with pedestrian detection is active up to approx. 72 km/h, and is able to prevent collisions with pedestrians autonomously up to an initial speed of 50 km/h.
Evaluations of GIDAS accident data indicate that this new technology could avoid six percent of pedestrian accidents and reduce the severity of a further 41 percent. The operating range of the autonomous braking function for stationary vehicles has been optimised so that rear-end collisions can likewise be avoided at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist and the PRE-SAFEÂ® Brake with pedestrian detection rely on the same sensors employed for the adaptive proximity control system DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist: the new stereo camera plus the multistage radar sensor system.
Reacts to broken lines too: Active Lane Keeping Assist
The new improved version of Active Lane Keeping Assist is now also able to intervene should the driver inadvertently cross a broken line when the neighbouring lane is not clear, meaning that a lane change could result in the risk of a collision. The system can determine if this is the case using the information from the stereo camera and the radar system. The latter has been supplemented by a sensor at the rear, which works in unison with the other sensors in the front and rear bumpers.
Active Lane Keeping Assist is not only capable of recognising critical situations such as overtaking vehicles, vehicles to be overtaken and parallel traffic, it can also respond effectively to oncoming traffic. If a collision risk is detected because the adjacent lane is not clear and the vehicle crosses the lane markings, not only does the system cause the steering wheel to vibrate in pulses as a tactile warning for the driver, it also guides the vehicle back into lane by applying a corrective braking force on one side via the ESPÂ®. It thereby forms the ideal complement to the Active Blind Spot Assist, and for the first time means that it is also possible to prevent the often serious collisions with oncoming traffic.
Active Lane Keeping Assist is active at speeds between 60 and 200 km/h. If driver activity in the form of active steering, braking or acceleration is detected, for example, or when the indicators are switched on, both the warning and the corrective brake actuation are suppressed.
Now also identifies no-overtaking zones and no-entry signs: Traffic Sign Assist
A new Traffic Sign Assist system which builds on the capabilities of the previous Speed Limit Assist represents yet another contribution to accident prevention from Mercedes-Benz. The system is now also able to recognise no-overtaking zones and alert drivers to no-entry restrictions.
The camera on the inside of the windscreen continues to pick up speed limit signs including any additional information and the lifting of speed limits, even when the signs appear on overhead gantries or at roadworks, for example. The camera's data is cross-referenced against the information in the navigation system and can be displayed in both the instrument cluster and the map view. If the camera fails to spot any road signs showing a speed limit or a speed limit is lifted, the legal speed limits based on the navigation data are shown instead, such as a maximum speed of 100 km/h on country roads in Germany or 50 km/h in built-up areas.
No-overtaking zones and the signs signalling their end are also registered and displayed. If the vehicle passes a sign imposing no-entry restrictions, an acoustic warning is additionally emitted together with a visual warning in the instrument cluster - effectively helping to prevent serious accidents caused by drivers unintentionally driving the wrong way down a road.
Visualising drowsiness: ATTENTION ASSIST
A quarter of all motorway accidents in Germany are put down to drowsiness, making it one of the most frequent causes of accidents, most of which are of a serious nature. In 2009, Mercedes-Benz presented ATTENTION ASSIST, which is able to detect telltale signs of inattentiveness and increasing drowsiness based on changes in steering behaviour and a host of other factors.
The system has been subject to ongoing development, and the latest version has the ability to detect drowsiness and inattentiveness across a far greater speed range from 60 - 200 km/h. Furthermore, the system's sensitivity can be adjusted, e.g. for drivers who already feel tired when they get behind the wheel.
A new menu in the instrument cluster display also makes the system more tangible and transparent for the driver by visualising the current attention level and the driving time since the last break. What's more, it is also possible to see whether the system is active in the current driving situation.
The system can be deactivated by making the appropriate selection in the instrument cluster menu. However, it will always be automatically reactivated with the sensitivity setting last selected the next time the vehicle is started.
Automatic manoeuvring into and out of parallel and end-on parking spaces: Active Parking Assist
Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and end-on spaces. It is an advanced version of the PARKTRONIC system with Parking Guidance offered previously. What's more, the system is now also able to manoeuvre out of parallel parking spaces again all by itself with automatic steering and brake control, assuming the vehicle was parked there automatically previously.
When travelling at speeds below 30 km/h, ultrasonic sensors with an extended range in the bumpers' side sections survey the nearside of the road for suitable parallel and end-on parking spaces. The same procedure is carried out for the far side of the road if the driver indicates accordingly. A symbol in the instrument cluster shows that the system is in the process of measuring. If a suitable parking spot is identified, an arrow appears alongside the symbol indicating that the system is ready for automatic parking. All the driver now has to do to activate the system is engage reverse gear and confirm by pressing the OK button on the steering wheel.
The Active Parking Assist steers and brakes the vehicle automatically as well as indicating the required driver actions in the display each time, such as the gear to be selected. The driver moves the vehicle by lightly pressing the accelerator or releasing the brake.
PRE-SAFEÂ® PLUS: occupant protection for an impending collision from the rear
Mercedes-Benz has extended the PRE-SAFEÂ® anticipatory occupant protection system to cover dangerous situations caused by traffic following behind.
A radar sensor in the rear bumper monitors the traffic behind the vehicle and can detect an impending rear-end collision. The system alerts the driver of the vehicle behind to the dangerous situation by causing the rear hazard lights to flash at high frequency (not for the USA and Canada).
If the vehicle is stationary, PRE-SAFEÂ® PLUS will keep it firmly braked, thus reducing any forward jolt. This can greatly reduce the strain placed on the occupants and the risk of whiplash injuries, for instance. Firmly applying the vehicle's brakes can help to prevent secondary accidents too, such as running into a vehicle in front, for example, or colliding with pedestrians or other road users at junctions.
PRE-SAFEÂ® PLUS additionally triggers the PRE-SAFEÂ® anticipatory occupant protection measures, such as the reversible belt tensioners and active NECKâ€‘PRO head restraints, just prior to impact.
Permanent high beam with no dazzling: Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus
Around 20 percent of all road journeys in Germany are undertaken at night. But this is when some 40 percent of all accidents occur. A main cause here is poor visibility. According to a study by the University of Michigan, high-beam headlamps can only be used during eight percent of driving time - which is nowhere near enough. Based on this, it can be assumed that the time during which high-beam headlamps can be used in Germany is likely to be even lower, given the denser amounts of road traffic compared with the USA.
For the first time, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently while driving by masking out any other road user detected in the beams' cone of light. If the camera-based system registers either oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead, it will adapt the light distribution according to the specific situation when the high beam is switched on. Consequently, the driver can simply leave the high-beam headlamps on at all times and use their full range without irritating or even endangering other road users. There is no need to switch them on and off manually, resulting in a significant increase in the overall driving time with high beam.
Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus likewise makes use of the new stereo camera also employed by other assistance systems. If its image recognition algorithm picks up a vehicle that is oncoming or driving ahead, it actuates a mechanism in the headlamp module. This then masks the portion of the LED headlamps' main-beam cone of light where there are other vehicles, to prevent their drivers being dazzled. If road users are detected outside the area that can be masked - for instance when cornering with multiple vehicles in the headlamps' beams - the system will switch to the familiar function of situation-based headlamp range control using the low-beam headlamps.
Possible backglare caused by increased use of the high beam and highly reflective signs at the side of the road is also detected and eliminated by dimming the relevant portion of the headlamps.
Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus builds on the Adaptive Highbeam Assist system first introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 2009. If this system detects oncoming traffic or traffic driving ahead with the help of a camera, it dips the headlamps and automatically adapts the low beam's range according to the situation. In this way, it allows the road to be illuminated for a long way ahead without dazzling other drivers. In addition to this, adaptive control of the low-beam headlamp range with smooth transitions results in gentler lighting changes that the eyes can quickly adjust to.
Trailblazing safety: Airbags, restraint systems and pedestrian protection
Innovative driver assistance systems, precautionary protective measures, a load-resistant body structure and highly effective restraint systems make the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet among the safest vehicles in their segments.
The basis for this is the integrated safety concept from Mercedes-Benz, which combines all elements of active and passive safety in a well thought-out system - providing protection for both the vehicle occupants and other road users. The integrated safety concept meets, to an unprecedented extent, the requirements for a high degree of vehicle and road safety, based on real-life accidents.
In the event of an accident, the best possible protection is provided by the restraint systems, the full complement of airbags and the body's structural safety. An innovative sensor system triggers the safety systems depending on the situation and coordinates them all with each other.
Restraint systems form the backbone of passive safety. The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet offer:
Also fitted on board is a sophisticated system of airbags:
Automatic child seat recognition makes a further contribution to safety. It can deactivate the airbag on the front passenger side when a child seat with a corresponding transponder is fitted.
Systematic pedestrian protection
The following measures are implemented for pedestrian protection:
Infotainment: Navigation, internet connection and media player
The CoupÃ© and Cabriolet models offer a range of state-of-the-art infotainment systems. These help to keep drivers up to date with what is happening around the world or in the office while out on the road, at the same time as offering them great listening pleasure as well as the option of adding powerful navigation systems or an internet connection.
The Audio 20 CD radio comes as standard. It features eight loudspeakers, a twin tuner and MP3-capable CD player as well as a USB connection in the centre armrest. The TFT colour display measures 14.7 cm diagonally. BluetoothÂ®-capable devices can also be connected and SMS text messages displayed. Thanks to a "cover art" function, the front cover images of the music albums currently being played are also shown if their details are stored in the audio file.
Optionally the Audio 20 CD can be combined with a six-disc CD changer as well as the attractively priced, entry-level BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT navigation unit, which can also be retrofitted if the appropriate pre-installation is ordered. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central control, voice output via the vehicle's loudspeakers and display on the Audio 20 screen, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating and expansion via an internet portal.
With internet connection, navigation and emergency call function: COMAND Online
Alternatively, Mercedes-Benz offers the COMAND Online multimedia system for the E-Class CoupÃ© and Cabriolet, with 17.8 cm high-resolution colour display, internet connection, hard-disc navigation and emergency call feature, which can also be combined with a six-disc DVD changer. COMAND Online provides internet access enabling customers to surf the web while the car is stationary or call up Mercedes-Benz apps, whose particularly fast page loading and simple operation make them suitable for use while on the move, too. Integrated apps include Googleâ„¢ Local Search and Weather, Googleâ„¢ Streetview as well as Googleâ„¢ Panoramio. In addition, all COMAND Online users have access to a Facebook app.
COMAND Online is operated via a "COMAND Controller", located close to the armrest on the centre console. This ergonomic positioning allows for safe operation. The Controller is a rotary pushbutton with a galvanised finish, and can be moved intuitively in eight directions. Functions can also be activated or confirmed by turning and pressing it. A new control logic for the main menus as well as for the sub-menus, which open up step by step, enables drivers to leaf through the menus in a targeted manner.
COMAND Online comprises the following features:
In addition, COMAND Online also supports the following components:
The fast hard-disc navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. These include a 3D display with three-dimensional city views. Routes covered can furthermore be recorded and repeated later, while personal points of interest can be stored or imported via an SD card. Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive map updates for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years.
COMAND Online also includes the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new "one shot" input function for the navigation system is particularly convenient, allowing the place and road to be spoken directly after one another. This function is currently available in ten languages and significantly enhances ease of operation. With COMAND Online and LINGUATRONIC, music can also be easily searched for using voice control.
Apps for COMAND Online
The range of apps is being constantly expanded: currently there is already a free news app, a Yelp app (in the US version only), plus further apps besides.
Music to suit your personal taste
Where the audio equipment is concerned, too, new forms of visualisation bring a fresh look and more convenient operation. The Cover Flow function, for instance, sorts the cover images of the stored music albums in a carousel-like form, so that the driver can leaf through their music collection. The memory for compressed audio files (mp3, wma and aac formats) is now 10 GB in size.
Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be according to various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. The driver is therefore able to devote their full attention to the traffic. As a further advantage, the occupants are able to search all the connected media and devices simultaneously.
SPLITVIEW - one screen, two programmes
A further highlight is the optionally available screen featuring SPLITVIEW technology, which allows the driver and front passenger to view two different sets of content at the same time. While the driver is checking the navigation instructions, the front passenger can sit back and watch a film on the very same display.
Developed by Mercedes-Benz and Bosch, SPLITVIEW technology makes use of a backlit active matrix colour display (TFT-LCD). This shows two different images simultaneously by placing pixels adjacently to each other. A filter masking the display divides this mixed image in such a way that depending on the seating position, only the pixels making up one or the other image can be seen. As a result, the driver and front passenger can view different content on the same screen at the same time.
So as not to distract the driver, a remote control is available for the front passenger. In addition, he can enjoy his personal entertainment programme using headphones. Of course, the front passenger need not dispense with making use of telephone or navigation features, since he is also able to use the display to access all of the information from the COMAND Online control and display system.
Mercedes-Benz emergency call system: emergency services are notified automatically
The Mercedes-Benz emergency call system is also included in combination with the COMAND Online multimedia system. As long as COMAND Online is connected to a mobile phone, the emergency call system can automatically alert the emergency services without delay in the event of a serious accident.
After the airbags or belt tensioners are triggered, the vehicle's exact GPS position and vehicle identification number (VIN) are sent by text message to an emergency centre, with the positional data additionally being transmitted in parallel using the dual-tone multi-frequency method. Even if the occupants are unconscious or unsure of exactly where they are because they are on a holiday trip, for example, the emergency services alerted by the emergency centre can be notified quickly with accurate information. The driver can also make the emergency call manually as "MB emergency call" is always the first entry in the system phone directory.
On receiving the call, the emergency centre establishes voice contact with the vehicle occupants in a matter of seconds. A particularly practical aspect in an emergency is that communication takes place not in the language of the country where the accident has occurred but in the language which the driver has preset in COMAND Online.
Other than any mobile phone communication charges, which would only arise in the event of an actual emergency call, no charges are incurred for the emergency call facility and no contractual relationship - other than the regular mobile phone contract - is required.