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New Merc E-class bridges tradition and innovation

Mercedes-Benz South Africa says it will open a new chapter for the executive luxury saloon range, and offers a window into the future of the brand.

Mercedes-Benz says it will open a new chapter for the business saloon, with the new E-Class pointing the way forward for both executive luxury and a digital user experience.

“The E Class is the pinnacle of the executive saloon segment,” says Mark Raine co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa. “For 75 years Mercedes-Benz has perfected the recipe, and this latest model is proof that innovation is at the forefront of what we do. The 2024 E Class is the most advanced E Class ever while retaining that unrivalled luxury appeal and dynamic driving experience. It is a window into the future of Mercedes-Benz.” 

Mercedes-Benz South Africa provided the following information on the new models:

The new E-Class has the proportions of a classic three-box saloon: the short front overhang and long bonnet are followed by a greenhouse which is set well back. The “cab-backward” design is rounded off by the well-proportioned rear overhang.

A black panel-like surface connects the radiator grille with the headlamps. This insert in high-gloss black is visually reminiscent of the Mercedes-EQ models. The three-dimensionally designed radiator grille is either progressive or classic, depending on the equipment line. The new E-Class has high-performance LED headlamps as standard. As an optional extra, Digital Light is available without and with a projection function. All headlamp variants offer a distinctive day and night design. As a typical feature of the brand, the daytime running lights take the shape of an eyebrow. Powerdomes accentuate the bonnet.

The side view shows off the harmonious proportions and the distinctive “cab-backward” design to particularly good effect. The flush-fitting door handles familiar from the luxury Mercedes-Benz models are available as an option. The two separate character lines on the side emphasise the car’s sporty character.

Highlights at the rear include the two-section LED lights with a new contour and special design: the star motif in both light units provides a special day and night design.

MBUX Superscreen as a highlight of the interior design

The dashboard makes for the digital experience in the interior. If the E-Class is equipped with the optional front passenger screen, the large glass surface of the MBUX Superscreen extends to the central display. Visually detached from this is the driver’s display in the driver’s field of vision. The models without a passenger display feature a large trim element that extends to the centre. Visually detached, the central display appears to float above the concave surface of this trim element.

The front section of the instrument panel is illuminated by the light strip of the Active Ambient Lighting. This runs in a wide arc from the windscreen, past the A-pillars and into the doors. This creates a generous feeling of space. An apparently free-floating control array in the upper section of the door panels matches the look of the glass surfaces of the screens.

The centre console is designed as a homogeneous unit and merges in a straight line into the lower section of the dashboard. At the front, a stowage compartment with lid and cup holders is integrated into the three-dimensionally shaped trim element. There is a soft padded armrest in the rear part of the centre console.

The door centre panel merges seamlessly into the armrest with a concave sweep. The front section here is designed as a metallic high-tech element. It serves as a grab and closing handle, and incorporates the switches for the power windows. Another highlight is the free-floating control array incorporating the door opener and the controls for the seat functions.

The contours of the seat surface and backrest flow elegantly from the inside to the outside, and appear to float above the base of the seat thanks to their layer design. Indented vertical lines follow the outer contour, widening out towards the top.

When it comes to spaciousness, the E-Class is one of the favourites in its segment. The driver enjoys five millimetres more headroom than in the preceding model. The rear passengers particularly benefit from the two centimetre longer wheelbase: Kneeroom and maximum legroom are increased by 10 and 17 millimetres, respectively. The increase in elbow width in the rear is even greater: it is now 1519 millimetres. This is an increase by 25 millimetres, and almost S-class level. The luggage capacity is up to 540 litres.

New electronics architecture

The electronics architecture is more software-driven and less hardware-driven. The computing functions of previously separate domains take place in a single processor. Screens and the MBUX infotainment system thus share a new, very powerful central onboard computer. This form of networking improves the performance and speed of the data streams.

Music becomes visible: Sound Visualisation

With the new Active Ambient Lighting with Sound Visualisation, occupants in the new E-Class can experience music with three senses: pieces of music and sounds from films or apps can be heard (with Dolby Atmos technology if desired), felt (by means of sound resonating transducers in the optional Burmester 4D surround sound system) and now also “seen”. Visualisation takes place on the light strip of the Active Ambient Lighting (optional extra). For the first time, this applies throughout in the E-Class. For example, fast sequences of beats can cause rapid light changes, while flowing rhythms can create softly merging lighting moods.

The entertainment experience for the front passenger is always impressive. On their optional screen, the front passenger can watch dynamic content such as TV or video streaming even when the driver at the wheel is looking over at them. This is because the display is switchable. The advanced camera-based privacy function reduces its brightness and therefore the risk of driver distraction.

Automatic air vents

With Thermotronic automatic climate control (optional extra), Digital Vent Control enhances the comfort experience. It automatically adjusts the front air vents to a desired ventilation scenario. This can be done for each seat via the user profile, for example. However, the nozzles can also be aligned by hand as usual.

AIRMATIC and rear-axle steering are optionally available

The agile handling of the new E-Class is due in large part to precise guidance of the front wheels by four control arms each. At the rear axle, an optimised multi-link independent rear suspension with five links ensures excellent wheel control and excellent straight-line stability. At both axles, the springs and dampers are combined in a single strut and are not involved in wheel guidance tasks, therefore the suspension responds with corresponding sensitivity. The front subframe and rear axle carrier decouple the suspension and body from vibrations and noise. As standard, the mild hybrid models are equipped with an agility control steel spring suspension with selective damping system. It is also 15 millimetres lower than the suspension of the plug-in hybrids.

The new E-Class is available with the Technology package as an option. This includes the all-round airmatic C air suspension system with ADS+ continuously adjustable damping and rear-axle steering. The airmatic suspension with air springs and adaptive ADS+ dampers responds very sensitively. Level control is another feature of airmatic. It keeps the ground clearance constant irrespective of the vehicle load, but also makes changes when needed.

The new E-Class is especially agile and stable with the optional rear-axle steering and the accompanying, more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The steering angle at the rear axle is 4.5 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by up to 90 centimetres.

Numerous driving assistance systems, some of which have been developed further

The standard equipment of the E-Class with driving assistance systems includes Active Distance Assist Distronic, Attention assist Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with reversing camera and Speed Limit Assist. The status and activity of the driving assistance systems are shown as a full-screen view in the Assistance mode of the driver’s display.

The Driving Assistance Plus package is also offered as an optional extra, for example as part of the Premium package. Components include Active Steering Assist, which assists with lane-keeping. As already on motorways, the E-Class can now also restart automatically in city traffic and on country roads after a longer standstill. Another new feature: if Active Steering Assist is no longer available because the lane markings are not clearly visible, it signals this to the driver by vibrations in the steering wheel.

Sophisticated body concept and coordinated restraint systems

The safety concept of the E-Class is based on a body with a particularly rigid passenger cell and specifically deformable crash structures. The restraint systems, e.g. seat belts and airbags, are specifically adapted to this. In the event of an accident, they can be activated in such a way that their protective effect for the occupants is adapted to the situation.

In addition to driver and front passenger airbags, a knee airbag on the driver’s side is also standard. It can protect the legs from contact with the steering column or instrument panel in a severe frontal crash. The standard window airbags can reduce the risk of head impact with the side window or penetrating objects. In the event of a serious side-on collision, the window airbag on the side of the impact extends from the A- to the C-pillar like a curtain over the front and rear side windows. If a rollover is detected, the window airbags can be activated on both sides.

The model range at market launch in South Africa

 E 200E 220 d
Add. output (boost)kW/hp1717
Peak torqueNm320440
Add. torque (boost)Nm205205
Combined fuel consumption, WLTPl/100 km7.3-6.45.5-4.8
Combined CO2 emissions WLTPg/km166-144143-125
Acceleration 0-100 km/hs7.57.6
Top speedkm/h240238

E Class Model Range Pricing:

E 200 R1 344 750

E 220 d R1 430 550

5 year/100 000km Service Plan and Maintenance Plan included

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