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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4Matic, 2010

 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4Matic, 2010

With snow, sleet, freezing fog, black ice, temperatures hovering around zero and severe frosts, the winter months hold some unpleasant road conditions in store for drivers. Despite these impediments, however, drivers of Mercedes models equipped with the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system can set off for the daily commute to work or savour the drive to the next winter wonderland with complete peace of mind. This is because the 4MATIC drive concept boasts formidable performance on snow-covered or icy roads. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC in particular stands out for its blend of high traction reserves, excellent directional stability, peerless safety and exceptional comfort levels. Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating the capa-bilities of the Saloon and Estate models by staging a 4MATIC Workshop in extreme winter conditions on the Timmelsjoch high alpine road in Austria.

The drive mechanism's permanently engaged design offers key advantages over other systems that first need to diagnose a lack of grip before activating the 4x4 drive. The 4MATIC on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class will have already made use of this valuable time to start transmitting drive torque via the wheels to the road.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC: stable handling on snow and ice
When pulling away in wintry conditions, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC models are designed to develop maximum traction. To this end, certain road conditions are automatically detected and the interventions of the 4ETS electronic traction control system adjusted so as to achieve the greatest possible acceleration while minimising wheel slip, ensuring optimum directional stability in the process. This strategy also allows the vehicle to pull away under the most adverse conditions, such as when one side of the vehicle is on an icy slope (µ-split) or both wheels on the front or rear axle have limited grip (µ-jump).

On twisting roads covered with snow and ice, vehicle stability is primarily controlled by the ASR acceleration skid control system's regulation of engine torque. The ASR control thresholds are adjusted according to the driving situation based on the vehicle's longitudinal and lateral dynamic readings as continuously measured by the ESP sensor system. If vehicle stability is to be maintained, the longitudinal force when cornering must be controlled by means of engine torque regulation in such a way that there are sufficient reserves of lateral force at all times. In order to comply with this physical correlation, when cornering on road surfaces with a low friction coefficient the control thresholds for engine torque regulation at the wheels on the outside of the bend are reduced considerably so that the tyres can develop sufficient lateral force.

4MATIC: cutting-edge technology breaks new ground
The 4MATIC powertrain in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the best-performing permanent all-wheel-drive systems on the market. The basic design concept, with the engine installed longitudinally and the integral transmission and transfer case unit, produces a compact, lightweight arrangement that minimises frictional losses, heralding a number of benefits compared to other passenger car systems with a transverse power unit and selectable 4x4. Fuel consumption, for instance, is a mere between 0.2 and 0.6 litres more per hundred kilometres than on a com-parable model with conventional drive, while vibration and acoustic comfort meet the high standards expected of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class synonymous with supreme ride comfort
Mercedes-Benz achieves the standard of ride comfort which all versions of the E-Class are renowned for courtesy of the highly sophisticated DIRECT CONTROL suspension with adaptive shock absorbers, an intelligent body design with excellent rigidity, plus enhanced seats which are also available with massage and climate control functions. The weight-optimised DIRECT CONTROL system, featuring a three-link front suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension, automatically adapts to the changing driving situation by varying the damping forces, resulting in a substantial improvement in ride comfort. The air suspension system - optional for all 4MATIC models and standard on the E 500 4MATIC - is combined with a continuously variable, electronically controlled damping system that processes a series of sensor signals and controls each wheel individually. So, not only do Mercedes customers experience the best in ride comfort, they reap the benefits of excellent handling safety and sporty agility too.

THERMATIC and THERMOTRONIC heat up the passenger compartment of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class extremely efficiently, even after a cold start on winter mornings. This is thanks to a heating output of eleven kilowatts, equivalent to the capacity of the central heating system in a modern family home. On the diesel models, a heat exchanger with six integral PTC heating elements (PTC = Positive Temperature Coefficient) is also activated when the outside temperature falls below a certain level in order to boost the effect of the main heat exchanger with an electrical output of around 1200 watts. The assistance from the PTC heater is necessary due to the high thermal efficiency of today's CDI engines, which is precisely what makes them so economical and means that they dissipate considerably less heat to the coolant under partial load conditions than conventional engines.

Mercedes offers 4MATIC in 52 passenger car models
The Mercedes-Benz all-wheel-drive line-up encompasses 52 passenger car models across nine model series and offers an impressively wide choice: besides the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the C-Class, which likewise comes in both a saloon and an estate variant, the 4MATIC portfolio is enriched by models from the S-Class, CL luxury coupé and R-Class touring SUV ranges too. There is also the compact GLK as well as the GL-Class and M-Class off-roaders. Still going strong after 30 years in production, the G-Class truly comes into its own off the beaten track and continues to rank as one of the best cross-country vehicles in the world.

All-wheel drive development expertise since 1903
Ther's a reason why Mercedes engineers are so skilled in the development of groundbreaking all-wheel-drive concepts. The history of all-wheel drive at Mercedes-Benz dates all the way back to 1903. Since then, the accepted maxim has been that all-wheel drive is the best technology for making quicker and safer progress under the most adverse conditions. Over the course of the years it has been successfully employed in a variety of Mercedes-Benz models. Some models, such as the G-Class and the Unimog, have attained legendary status all over the world. But all-wheel drive has its benefits in everyday operation on asphalt roads too, as demonstrated by the 4MATIC saloons from Mercedes-Benz. The innovative drive concept received its saloon premiere in the W 124 Mercedes-Benz E-Class model series back in 1987. The 4ETS system made its debut aboard the M-Class in 1997. Mercedes-Benz has therefore amassed a wealth of experience with these electronic control systems - more in fact than any other car manufacturer.

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