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The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Is a Cornucopia of Technology

Once all the “OMG, it looks like a larger C-Class/smaller S-Class” Internet comments start to die down, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class should settle down as the first sedan in Stuttgart to encompass some downright scary technology features in a rather recognizable body.
2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 51 photos
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Sure, the overall exterior design is a bit too cookie cutter for some people, but Mercedes-Benz will try to address this issue by offering up to four different design lines, depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean the model is sold.

The base model in Europe, which is also set to soon become Germany's favorite taxi, will feature the classic Mercedes-Benz grille with the three-pointed star on the hood, similar to the so-called Exclusive line, which will add a few more luxurious details. Both the Avantgarde and the AMG Line have a sportier engine grille, with a much larger three-pointed star sitting right in the middle.

In the United States, only two design lines will be offered, with the Sport line being the equivalent of the Avantgarde/AMG line in Europe while the Luxury version will be quasi-identical with the Exclusive line on the Old Continent.

Thanks to an increase in both wheelbase and length, the 2017 E-Class W213 should provide slightly better accommodation to its passengers. The length has increased from 192.1 in (4880 mm) to 193.8 in (4923 mm) while the wheelbase has jumped from 113.1 in (2874 mm) to 115.7 in (2939 mm). Of course, some of those extra inches have also gone to the much longer hood, which is set to cover at least a pair of inline-sixes in a couple of years or so.

The interior design harmoniously blends the two wide screens similar to those found in the S-Class with the flowing center console of the C-Class, the result being at least two generations ahead of the W212 E-Class. For the first time in a production car, Mercedes-Benz has gifted the E-Class with a steering wheel that has touch-sensitive control buttons, which can respond to vertical or horizontal swiping gestures just like a modern smartphone.

Due to LED technology, you can choose from no less than 64 colors for the interior ambient lighting system, while the optional Warmth and Comfort package includes heated armrests, center console, steering wheel and rapidly-heating front seats. Powertrains and suspension
In Europe, the first E-Class W213 models will have four engines to choose from in the beginning. On the gasoline front, the E 200 has a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder with 184 hp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque, while the E 250 e is a plug-in hybrid that pairs a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder with an electric motor for a combined 279 hp and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of torque.

As far as diesel goes, things are just as interesting, as Mercedes-Benz has finally replaced the old 2.1-liter four-cylinder with an entirely new unit. Therefore, the E 220 d will come with a 2.0-liter diesel that delivers 195 hp and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. Those wanting a bit more oomph will be met by the E 350 d, with the familiar 3.0-liter diesel developing 258 hp and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque.

A few months after the start of production, the new E-Class will also get E 250, E 300 and E 400 gasoline versions, while the new 2.0-liter diesel will also get a slightly less powerful version for the E200 d model.

In the U.S., only a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will be available in the beginning in the E 300, but more versions will arrive shortly after, including a diesel, despite the crash that the diesel market suffered because of VW's Dieselgate. All engines available at the start will be paired exclusively with the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission.

No less than five types of suspension will be available, with the standard model featuring steel springs. Three Direct Control types of suspension with selective damping systems are available with the steel-springed version: a Comfort suspension, a slightly sportier Comfortable Avantgarde suspension that is lowered by 15 mm, and a Sporty suspension with adaptive damping, which replaces the sports suspensions from the previous E-Class. Those with deeper pockets can opt for a fifth type of suspension, since the new E-Class W213 can also be equipped with the only multi-chamber air suspension in its segment.Gadgets for everyone
The biggest changes compared to the previous generations revolve around the new semi-autonomous features. By far the most impressive one is the Drive Pilot, which can allow the E-Class to follow the car in front at speeds of up to 210 km/h (130 mph), automatically braking and accelerating, while the Steering Pilot can take care of moderate bends without driver intervention.

A Speed Limit Pilot sub-function can autonomously adjust the car's speed in response to speed limits that were either detected by a camera or already logged in the navigation system.

The Active Lane-change Assistant is a radar- and camera-based system that can automatically steer the car into the lane selected by the driver. If the lane is unoccupied and the driver has indicated the turn for more than two seconds, the car will steer on its own into the adjacent lane when overtaking.

Another interesting feature is the Remote Parking Pilot, which needs a smartphone app to allow the car to be moved into and out of garages or parking spaces remotely. From the first info available, it seems that the system is somewhat similar to the one recently introduced by Tesla on the Model S as a “summon car” feature.

While it was introduced back in 2013 as a retrofit solution, the Car-to-X communication feature comes fully integrated from the get-go into the new E-Class. The mobile phone supported system allows information to be shared with other vehicles so that the driver is prepared in case there's an imminent danger ahead, with the car acting as both a receiver and a transmitter.

Pre-Safe gets two new extra features as well, both being downright futuristic. The Pre-Safe Impulse Side comes as part of the Driving Assistance Plus package. If a lateral collision is detected as being imminent, the driver or front passenger is moved away from the closest door in a fraction of a second by way of an inflatable chamber in the side bolster.

Pre-Safe Sound is just as impressive, as it emits a short interference signal through the car's sound system if the risk of an imminent collision is detected. Thanks to the so-called “stapedius reflex” in the inner ear of a human, the signal can trigger the passengers' natural reflex and prepare their ears for the unexpected sound of the crash.

The Multibeam LED lights first introduced on the facelifted CLS-Class are present on the new E-Class as well, only this time they each consist of 84 individually controlled LEDs, which allow the light distribution to adapt to any driving condition.

Thanks to the implementation of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the driver's own smartphone can be technically used as a key.

Last but certainly not least, it seems that the new E-Class will again become the most aerodynamic sedan in its segment, with certain versions having a drag coefficient value of just 0.23. This should, of course, improve fuel consumption at higher speeds and also give the model a quieter interior.



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