New models - Mercedes-Benz - E-class - range
Mercedes reveals E-class pricing
New Mercedes E-class Sedan and Coupe debut, bringing big strides over predecessors
20 Jul 2009
A RETURN to traditional Mercedes-Benz strengths of quality, safety, technology, but with a value story to match, underscore the redesigned E-class range to be released in Australia on July 29.
Following right alongside the W212 sedan is the new – but different – C207 E-class Coupe, the replacement for the 12-year-old CLK Coupe series.
The perennial four-door sedan range – now in its eighth iteration since 1947, and the fourth to adopt the ‘E’ classification – is only available in $128,900 E350 V6 petrol and $178,900 E500 V8 petrol guises for the time being.
Surprisingly, the former represents a $2965 saving over the outgoing W211 E350 Elegance sedan, despite gaining almost $13,000 of extra kit by Mercedes-Benz’s calculations.
But, while the latest E500 is some $11,232 dearer than before, it now includes $21,000 of additional gear.
Mercedes-Benz says the four-cylinder petrol and diesel and V6 diesel sedans will debut in late September, ahead of even more models coming next year. These include the as-yet-unrevealed wagon and E63 AMG performance flagship series.
Of these, pricing has been divulged on only the $131,900 diesel-powered E350 CDI BlueEfficiency (sic), which is a $25,669 hike over the current E280 CDI.
However, again, the new car delivers measurably more in specification and technology, Mercedes-Benz says, while introducing the brand’s new eco branding.
All up, for 2009, six E-class sedan models are coming from Sindelfingen in Germany.
Likewise only four E-class Coupes are slated for the remainder of this year, led by the $127,500 V6 petrol-powered E350 Coupe and $174,500 V8 petrol-powered E500 Coupe.
Compared with the preceding CLK equivalents, the V6 is $2414 and the V8 $18,695 more expensive than before respectively.
Also due in late September will be the petrol-powered E250 CGI BlueEfficiency Coupe and diesel-powered E250 CDI BlueEfficiency Coupe.
The latter introduces the first ever diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz coupe to Australia, but Daimler is keeping these models’ pricing details a secret for now.
Both E-class shapes usurp predecessors released in Australia seven years ago. In the case of the W212 sedan it is the W211 sedan that arrived in August 2002, while the C207 E-class Coupe replaces the C209 CLK series that premiered three months earlier in May 2002.
Furthermore, as before, the E-class sedan (and wagon) is a different beast to the Coupe (and coming Cabriolet/convertible) version, despite their visual and gestational development similarities.
The W212 derives from the E-class series of mid-range sedans that dates back more than 60 years to the 1947 Model 170 V, while the E-class Coupe – like the two CLK generations before – is derived from the smaller C-class range.
In the C207 Coupe’s case, it is the existing W204 C-class sedan that donates much of the underpinnings.
W121 E-class Sedan summaryLet’s begin with the W212 E-class.
Stylistically, it departs from the forward-looking visage of the last one by returning to the quad headlight look pioneered on the ‘round eyed’ W210 E-class from 1995 to 2002.
Similarly, the controversial rear wheel arch haunches are also a throwback to a bygone Benz … this time to the W120 ‘Ponton’ models (180 and 190) of the 1950s.
The body is longer (4868mm), wider (1854mm) and lower (1464mm) than before – by 16mm, 10mm and 32mm respectively, underpinned by a wheelbase that has increased by 20mm to 2874mm, a front track that is 23mm wider and a rear track that sits 49mm prouder.
This helps increase the distance between the front and rear seats by 10mm to 848mm elbow width extends by 51mm front headroom rises by 10mm and rear headroom by 11mm. However, at 540 litres, the boot remains static in volume.
Since development started in the early 2000s the W212 has had 1400 prototypes, covering a cumulated distance of 34 million kilometres.
This research regime also included 150 in-house crash tests and 17,000 crash tests, helping to make the new sedan “arguably the safest car in its class,” according to Mercedes-Benz.
The upshot includes a 30 per cent rise in body shell rigidity, a record 72 per cent high-strength steel implementation in the body, hybrid construction for the front end using sheet aluminium and fibreglass-reinforced plastic, the fitment of nine airbags and four seatbelt pretensioners.
Some of the innovations include Attention Assist driver fatigue detection system, Intelligent Light System with five different headlight functions, Adaptive High-beam Assist to automatically alter light intensity, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Distronic Plus radar-guided cruise control, PRE-SAFE Brake (autonomous emergency braking if there is an acute risk of an accident), and Speed Limit Assist, which can ‘read’ road-side speed zone signs (although this function is not yet available to Australian buyers).
All W212s are rear-wheel drive, with engine sizes ranging from 1.8 litres to 5.5 litres – 6.2-litre AMG cars notwithstanding. All petrol models include direct injection to help cut fuel use by 20 per cent compared with the previous equivalents.
The base petrol car for now is the E250 CGI, out in late September, powered by a 150kW at 5500rpm/310Nm at 2000-4300rpm 1796cc 1.8-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine, and using a five-speed automatic gearbox.
It delivers 7.3 litres per 100km and a carbon dioxide emissions rating of 174 grams per kilometre.
Next is the 200kW at 6400rpm/350Nm at 3000-5100rpm 3498cc 3.5-litre V6 petrol, using Mercedes’ 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission to help achieve 9.4L/100km and 219g/km.
The final petrol sedan variant for the time being is the 285kW at 6000rpm/530Nm at 2800-4800rpm 5461cc 5.5-litre V8 in the E500. Also using 7G-Tronic, it serves up 11L/100km and 258g/km.
On the diesel front, a pair of 2143cc four-cylinder turbo-diesels – known as CDI in Mercedes-speak – makes up the two lower-end models. Only their actual power and torque outputs differ.
The 125kW at 3000-4200rpm/400Nm at 1400-2800rpm 2.2-litre E220 CDI returns 6.1L/100km and 162g/km, but the more powerful but equivalently sized 150kW at 4200rpm/500Nm at 1600-1800rpm 2.2-litre E250 CDI cuts those ratings to 5.3L/100km and 139g/km. Both are mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox.
More performance is available from the 170kW at 3800rpm/540Nm at 1600-2400rpm 2987cc 3.0-litre V6 E350 CDI, driving the rear wheels via the 7G-Tronic gearbox to present 6.9L/100km and 182g/km.
Underpinning the W212 is a three-link front suspension with MacPherson struts and a front anti-roll bar connected to the spring strut, while the rear axle is a multi-link independent design.
The suspension boasts the company’s new Direct Control system, whereby the dampers are amplitude-dependent in their firmness as a result of them reacting to road surface and driver behaviour. Auto dampers also debut on the Airmatic air suspension set-up that is standard on the E500.
Steering is via a variable ratio rack and pinion set-up that Mercedes says is located more indirect in the central position compared to before to help improve directional stability and road adhesion.
Larger ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes are now fitted, measuring from 295mm to 344mm up front and 300mm to 320mm out back, according to which engine is chosen.
BlueEfficiency, meanwhile, comprises numerous measures the company has devised to decrease consumption and maximise efficiency.
In the E-class, this includes improved aerodynamics (down 0.1 Cd to a world-leading 0.25 Cd for a sedan), alternator management, direct fuel injection, turbocharging, smaller engine displacements, an on-demand power steering pump and fuel pump, lower rolling resistance tyres and an optimised air-conditioning compressor.
Mercedes went for horizontal surfaces with the dashboard design, seeking to reconnect with earlier models such as the lauded W124 from 1986 to 1995. Infusing a sense of well-being as well as class-leading quality was paramount, the company says.
The W212 follows previous form by employing the Elegance and Avantgarde trim series monikers – although only the entry-level E220 CDI model arrives in Australia donned in Elegance livery.
On all other models, buyers can forgo the otherwise standard Avantgarde trim for the Elegance look at no extra charge, since it more closely adheres to the more traditional Mercedes style of a chrome-plated grille, among other things.
Standard features include adaptive dual front airbags, full-coverage side airbags, window airbags, knee airbags, adaptive brake lights that flash when applied hard, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, adaptive brakes with hill hold and hill start assist, electronic stability control, anti-whiplash head restraints, anticipatory occupant protection, a tyre pressure warning system, a drowsiness detention system, an auxilliary connector, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, remote central locking, climate control air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, daytime driving lights, cruise control, electrically adjustable front seats, 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 225/55 R16 tyres (E220 CDI), a multifunction steering wheel, Mercedes’ Audio 20 CD infotainment system (CD-audio, eight speakers, Bluetooth interface) and a colour display screen on the upper dash that is operated by a centre-console sited controller.
The Avantgarde denotes niceties including leather upholstery, bi-Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, LED daytime driving lights, LED tail-lights, 17-inch (and above) alloys, sports-tuned suspension, unique cabin and instrumentation lighting, different bumper designs and high-gloss black grille louvres.
Of course, a vast arrays of options are available, including individual and specially contoured front and rear seating, TV tuner, sunroof, keyless-go entry and start, an AMG sports pack, premium audio and satellite navigation.
C207 E-class Coupe summaryThe original E-class Coupe debuted with the W114 sedan-based C114 in 1968, then progressed with the C123 generation in 1977, and finally died with the C124 in the mid-1990s.
There was no coupe version of the first true compact Mercedes sedan (W201 190E) from 1983 to 1993, but the Germans rectified that with the 1993 W202 C-class based C208 in 1997. This evolved in the outgoing C209 CLK (spawned from the W203 C-class released in Australia in 2001) from 2002 to 2009.
The new C207 E-class Coupe, then, is actually a W204 C-class underneath, although it shares no exterior or interior panels at all.
Compared with the old CLK, the body is longer and wider by 46mm.
Like the W212 sedan, this car has had 34 million kilometres of testing involving some 1400 development prototypes.
Some of the sedan-sourced safety innovations include Attention Assist driver fatigue detention, the Intelligent Light System, Adaptive High-beam Assist, DISTRONIC Plus radar-guided cruise control and the PRE-SAFE brake device.
Engines are compatible with the W212 E-class sedan.
The base unit is the E250 CGI out in late September, powered by a 150kW at 5500rpm/310Nm at 2000-4300rpm 1796cc 1.8-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine with a five-speed automatic gearbox. It delivers 7.0L/100km and a carbon dioxide emissions rating of 164g/km.
Next is the 200kW at 6400rpm/350Nm at 3000-5100rpm 3498cc 3.5-litre V6 petrol, using Mercedes’ 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission to help achieve 9.5L/100km and 222g/km.
The final petrol Coupe variant for the time being is the 285kW at 6000rpm/530Nm at 2800-4800rpm 5461cc 5.5-litre V8 in the E500. Also using 7G-Tronic, it serves up 11L/100km and 256g/km.
On the diesel front, only a single 2143cc 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel will be made available in the E250 CDI Coupe, offering 150kW at 4200rpm/500Nm at 1600-1800rpm, as well as 5.3L/100km and 158g/km. It is mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox.
Underpinning the C207 is a wheelbase that grows 45mm over the CLK to 2760mm. At 1538mm and 1544mm, the front and rear tracks are 33mm and 70mm wider respectively.
The three-link front suspension employs MacPherson struts and a front anti-roll bar, while the rear axle uses a multi-link independent design and an anti-roll bar.
Steering is via a powered rack and pinion set-up.
On the brake front, the ventilated front disc brakes vary from 295mm to 344mm up front depending on engine size, while the solid rear discs are 300mm in diameter.
On the equipment front, the E-class Coupe is fairly closely aligned with the E-class sedan specifications mentioned above.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
17th of February 2009
First look: Mercedes bends E-class into shape
First images of CLK-replacing E-class Coupe to go on sale in August with E-class
12th of January 2009
Detroit show: New E-class revealed
Mercedes-Benz heralds new technology and opinion-dividing styling with new E-class
All new models
Motor industry news