Electric Introduction for Updated Mercedes-Benz E-Class
E-Class Gets New Look and Engines for 2007MY
Using the theme “Feel the Energy,” the new E-Class radiated energy at the 2006 New York auto show, and VehicleVoice and AutoPacific correspondents were on hand to witness the display. The new Mercedes-Benz E looks lovely, offers more safety, and the updated E 63 AMG should be very entertaining drive, but we didn’t quite feel the energy. This is a facelift for the E-class, with new looks and a revised interior to go along with the longer standard safety list, updated V8 engines, and Bluetec for the diesel.
The sedan and wagon launch at the same time, with pretty much the same changes. The E-class offers an updated nose and tail, with a new front bumper and lower air dam, new grille and headlights, revised side mirrors (promised to be more aerodynamic), and a revised rear bumper and taillights. Inside, there is a new steering wheel and automatic climate controls are revised. Standard equipment now includes a sunroof, six-CD changer, and Harmon/Kardon premium stereo. The wagon also makes the power tailgate standard.
S 550 V8 Joins E-Class Range, Plus 503HP AMG Model
As is true of the 2007MY S-Class, the E 500 is replaced by the E 550. (International markets get the new engine, but continue the E 500 designation.) The E 550 uses Mercedes’ latest 382HP 5.5L 32v V8. The E-Class is not left behind by AMG, either, as the E 55 is replaced by the E 63 AMG, using the same 503HP 6.3L normally aspirated V8 as the S-, R-, and M-Class for 2007MY. The E 63 AMG will be offered in sedan and wagon bodystyles. The E350 continues with its 268HP 3.5L DOHC 24v V6.
PRE-SAFE Comes to E-Class as Standard Equipment
The Mercedes PRE-SAFE system was first introduced on the S-Class a few years back, and with the 2007MY change it is standard on the E-Class. If PRE-SAFE senses an impending accident, it goes through several steps to reduce injury. First it pre-tensions the seatbelts to keep passengers in place. If the front passenger is reclined too far backward or forward, PRE-SAFE moves the seat to a safer angle. If the vehicle skids, sunroof and side windows are closed in case of rollover. PRE-SAFE can be triggered through the ESP stability control system if oversteer and understeer are detected, or by emergency braking through the Brake Assist program. There is also a new adaptive braking system that flashes brake lights under emergency braking, to more quickly catch the attention of drivers behind you.
Mercedes has developed a new Intelligent Light System for improving lighting in a variety of situations, using variable high- and low-beams as well as foglamps. At the moment, the system is not compatible with U.S. regulations; for 2007MY at least, the system is only available in Europe.
It was timely when DaimlerChrysler introduced its new clean diesel system at the North American International Auto Show, called Bluetec, which we discussed in a blog at that time. The U.S. version of this technology is applied to the 3.2L V6 diesel first, increasing power to 221HP, and replaces the current 201HP 3.2L E320 CDI in fall 2006. With areas around the country seeing $2.90 for regular fuel in April 2006, the reveal of the E320 Bluetec (as well as ML 320 CDI and R 320 CDI diesel offerings) was also timely. All three diesel models will be available for the 2007 model year.