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Mercedes-Benz: E-Class News

 
Old 04-11-2006, 02:19 PM
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Style and Substance - - Source: Autoweek

You’ll easily spot the redone 2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class with its more aggressively styled bumpers, grille, headlights, front lower air dam and side mirrors. The interior gets a new steering wheel, shift lever, climate-control layout and fresh colors.

It also comes with Pre-Safe, an electronic guardian that automatically tightens seatbelts, optimizes your seating position and closes the sunroof and windows if it senses you’re about to crash. E500 now becomes the E550 with a 5.5-liter V8 cranking out a stout 382 hp and 391 lb-ft.


OFFICIAL RELEASE FROM MERCEDES-BENZ
World Premiere of the New Generation E-Class: Safer, More Dynamic and More Powerful

On April 12, 2006, the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class will celebrate its world premiere at the New York International Automobile Show. Like its predecessors, the new E-Class will feature innovations that are without comparison in its segment worldwide. “Through its role as a technological trendsetter, the new generation of the E-Class is again setting benchmarks,” says Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Mercedes Car Group, responsible for Sales and Marketing. “With its new engines, pioneering safety technology and cutting-edge lighting systems, the vehicle is the safest, cleanest, most powerful and most reliable E-Class of all time.”

When the new-generation E-Class hits showrooms in Europe in early June and in the U.S. a few weeks later, customers will be able to choose from 29 model variants — 16 sedans and 13 station wagons. As a result, Mercedes-Benz offers a larger and more diverse range of models in this market segment than any of its competitors. The dynamism, power and performance of the new-generation E-Class are particularly evident in the car’s new design. New features for the vehicle interior include attractive new color combinations, a new four-spoke steering wheel and a new control unit for the automatic climate control system, which is standard equipment.

E-Class: Safest vehicle in its class

Thanks to its pioneering innovations, the E-Class continues to be the safest vehicle in its segment. “One of the key features of the new-generation E-Class is its outstanding safety level,” says Maier. “It is clearly the safest vehicle in the upper-range segment.”

Standard equipment in the sedan and the station wagon models will now include the anticipatory PRE-SAFE® system, which automatically activates safety measures for the driver and front passenger if an accident becomes imminent. The award-winning system makes the most effective use of the seatbelt and airbag in the event of a collision. No other upper-range car in the world offers a comparable safety system. Also unique are the standard NECK-PRO headrests, which provide sensor-controlled head support for the driver and front passenger during rear-end collisions. Mercedes-Benz has also enhanced occupant safety by equipping the new-generation E-Class with blinking brake lights that activate to prevent rear-end collisions during emergency braking maneuvers.

Intelligent Light System: World premiere of a new headlight system

The new-generation E-Class is the world’s first automobile to be equipped with adaptive headlights that optimally adjust to driving and weather conditions, thus substantially improving driving safety. The new headlight technology — known as the Intelligent Light System — is available as an option for the sedan and station wagon and features five different light functions. The new country mode extends the motorist’s field of vision, ensuring faster recognition of obstacles or other road users. The system’s highway mode creates a uniform cone of light that automatically illuminates the width of the entire road at speeds of 90 km/h and higher. Compared to the previous version, the new system extends the driver’s field of vision by about 50 meters in the center of the cone. An improved fog light system also makes it easer to drive in fog, and the active cornering light function has been enhanced as well. The Intelligent Light System also features a cornering light that improves safety at intersections and when taking curves at low speeds.

New diesel and gasoline engines: A big boost in power and agility

Six of the ten engines available for the new-generation E-Class are either new or have been enhanced. The four-cylinder-diesel engines for the E 200 CDI and E 220 CDI in particular have been optimized down to the last detail in order to further improve output, torque and smooth running characteristics.

Mercedes-Benz has been offering the E 320 CDI in the U.S. since 2004, making it the first diesel-powered car in the upper-range segment of the U.S. market. Beginning in autumn 2006, Mercedes-Benz will also be offering the first BLUETEC series-production vehicle in the U.S. The automobile is equipped with the cleanest diesel engine in the world, which considerably reduces nitrogen oxide emissions in particular. At the same time, the E 320 BLUETEC consumes 20 to 40 percent less fuel than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is also preparing to launch the first BLUETEC-equipped passenger cars in Europe by 2008.

The gasoline engines for the E-Class were also enhanced, and the engineers at Mercedes focused particularly on the four- and eight-cylinder drive systems. At the top of the E-Class’ engine range will be the all-new 5.5-liter V8 from the S Class, with an output of 388 hp. The model lineup will be expanded by the E 63 AMG, whose 514 hp engine makes it the most powerful E-Class ever built. Agility and driving pleasure will be greatly enhanced not only by the new and improved engines, but also by the DIRECT CONTROL package with more responsive steering and a retuned chassis.

The 60-year success story of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 10 million E-Class vehicles delivered to customers worldwide

For more than 60 years, Mercedes-Benz’ upper-range model has epitomized the brand’s signature attributes, including safety, comfort, innovation, fuel economy and quality. Since 1946, about ten million customers from all over the world have opted for Mercedes-Benz’ upper-range model. And the seventh generation of this successful model, the current E Class, has also been a great success: One million sedans and station wagons have been sold worldwide since this model was launched on the market in 2002. As a result, more E-Class vehicles were sold during this time period than any other competing premium-class automobile. In 2005, the E-Class defended its leading market position in both its home market of Germany and in the rest of Western Europe, despite having to contend with substantially younger competitors in the premium segment.










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Old 04-11-2006, 02:21 PM
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The 550 should be super fast.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:30 PM
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I don't like the new, crisper look of this refresh. Still, it's very subtle. Only car nuts like us will be able to distinguish the new from the old.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
The 550 should be super fast.
Definetly. I do think that the BMW 550i will still be a bit quicker though,
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by titan
I don't like the new, crisper look of this refresh. Still, it's very subtle. Only car nuts like us will be able to distinguish the new from the old.
I thought I would like it, but you're right, it's crisper (more like Acura) than smooth Mercedes Benz. Still, this is one of the most beautiful luxury sedan out there.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Maximized
Definetly. I do think that the BMW 550i will still be a bit quicker though,
...as always
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:54 PM
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I wonder what the new motor will do to the price...
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:55 PM
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This is some serious power these cars are getting these days. I mean the only V8 E-class now comes with almost 400HP on tap. Unreal. And the AMG version will make more than 500! This is just crazy. Good crazy...
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
I wonder what the new motor will do to the price...
hehehe, what do you think will happen to the price?
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
This is some serious power these cars are getting these days. I mean the only V8 E-class now comes with almost 400HP on tap. Unreal. And the AMG version will make more than 500! This is just crazy. Good crazy...
Gav, you're almost giddy, lol. Yep, you just gotta love what's going on now.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:29 PM
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The scorching AMG version of the E-Class makes a drastic change by ditching the current supercharged engine for a freer revving 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V8. The engine, built entirely in-house by AMG, features high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy, four valves per cylinder, a variable intake manifold and valve timing. It is rated at 503 hp and 465 lb-ft-which is a gain of 34 hp but a loss of 51 lb-ft compared to the 5.5-liter V8 in the previous AMG E-Class.
Source: autoweek.com
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:40 PM
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those hp/torque numbers surely can't be a coincidence... *cough M5...

sorry merc, but the m5 still appeals to me much, much more
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:11 AM
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Honestly, it's a little underwhelming, overall. That said, kudos to MB for still making a wagon version. That's hawt.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:20 AM
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it's ridiculous. all of it. think about it. 503 hp in a MB wagon. 503 hp in a MB wagon. 503 hp in a MB wagon. and I love it.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:15 AM
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Most powerful E-Class of all time
Zero to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds with a 378 kW/514 hp eight-cylinder engine

Sports seats with a nappa leather/alcantara combination

Mercedes-AMG presented the E 63 AMG for the first time at the New York International Auto Show. Powered by the new, naturally aspirated AMG V8-engine, which develops a maximum output of 378 kW/514 hp and a maximum torque of 630 newton metres from a displacement of 6.3 litres, the E 63 AMG is the most powerful E-Class of all time. Available as a Saloon or Estate, this top-of-the-line E-Class model occupies the leading position in its segment, where no other vehicle has more output, torque and displacement.

The E 63 AMG also benefits from all the model enhancements which make the new-generation E-Class stand out, for example the occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, the new Intelligent Light System or the new adaptive brake lights. Developed completely independently by AMG, this 6-3-litre V8-engine is the world’s only power unit to combine the high-revving concept with a large displacement – the result is around 20 percent more torque than from comparable engines in this output class. In line with Mercedes-AMG tradition, the new powerpack is hand-built in the AMG engine workshops on the "one man, one engine" principle. Thus equipped, the E 63 AMG Saloon accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds (Estate: 4.6 s). The maximum speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC, sports suspension and braking system

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7-speed automatic transmission is the perfect partner to the naturally aspirated AMG 6.3-litre V8-engine: equipped with three individual shift programmes, it enables the driver to choose between more comfort-oriented or extra-sporty gear changes – either in automatic mode or manually, using the new AMG aluminium shift paddles on the steering wheel. Outstanding handling safety is guaranteed by the AMG high-performance braking system with internally ventilated, perforated disc brakes all-round. The particularly highly stressed front brakes feature innovative composite technology.

The AMG sports suspension based on the semi-active air suspension system AIRMATIC DC includes the Adaptive Damping System ADS II and allows the driver to choose between more comfortable or very sporty handling characteristics. The shock absorbers and springs instantly adapt to the current driving situation, but can also be manually modified in three stages at the touch of a button. The 8.5 and 9.0-inch wide, titanium grey, high-sheen 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a new five-spoke design are fitted with wide-base tyres in size 245/40 and 265/35.

The new AMG wheels are not the only distinguishing feature of the E 63 AMG. A lasting impression is also created by the new, heavily contoured AMG front apron, large air dams and round foglamps with chrome surrounds. Heat from the integral, additional engine oil cooler integrated into the front bumper is able to dissipate via air vents in the sides. This top-of-the-line E-Class model is also immediately identifiable by the "6.3 AMG" lettering on the front wings. Dynamic side skirts, tinted rear light clusters in a new design and a redesigned AMG rear apron for the Saloon impressively round off the visual impact. The new AMG breakaway edge (Saloon only) reduces lift at the rear axle by up to 30 percent. Both visually and acoustically, the AMG sports exhaust system with its two twin chrome tailpipes underlines the dynamic character of the E 63 AMG.

AMG sports seats with alcantara inserts and a new AMG sports steering wheel
These striking and exclusive features are continued in the interior: a sporty touch is provided by the AMG sports seats with nappa leather upholstery and alcantara inserts in the shoulder area, as well as the AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with a perforated leather lining and AMG aluminium shift paddles. Perfect workmanship and a carefully coordinated colour scheme ensure an atmosphere of the highest quality.

The driver is kept well informed by the new AMG instrument cluster with attractive dial instruments, a speedometer graduated to 320 km/h and red needles. The integral AMG main menu display shows the currently selected gear including an upshift prompt, as well as either the engine oil temperature or the battery voltage and the RACETIMER. This new function enables the driver to measure lap times on an enclosed track. The RACETIMER records the time for the fastest lap, the average and maximum speeds and the lap distance.

Outstanding safety with standard PRE-SAFE®
Like all the variants of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the new E 63 AMG benefits from the extensive model enhancements which guarantee optimal handling safety. For example the standard inclusion of PRE-SAFE®, the preventive, award-winning safety system offered exclusively by Mercedes-Benz. PRE-SAFE® already recognises critical situations as they develop: if braking deceleration exceeds a certain level or the vehicle threatens to develop a skid, the system tensions the front seat belts as a precaution, adjusts the position, height and cushion/backrest angle of the front passenger seat, and closes the side windows and sliding sunroof to leave only a small gap.

As a new optional extra the E 63 AMG can be equipped with the Intelligent Light System. This innovative, adaptive lighting system is based on bi-xenon headlamps, and adjusts to suit the relevant driving and weather situation for a significant improvement in safety. New lighting functions such as country and motorway light modes increase the driver’s range of visibility by up to 50 metres. The Intelligent Light System also includes the Active Light System and cornering light function, as well as new, enhanced foglamps which illuminate the road edges and therefore provide even better orientation when visibility is poor. Other safety features now featured as standard in all second-generation E-Class models also include adaptive rear lights and a tyre pressure loss warning system.

http://www.worldcarfans.com/news.cfm...-benz-e-63-amg
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:18 AM
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Wagon, what's a wagon?
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:23 PM
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i love it....
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:27 PM
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I love how 1/3 of the instrument cluster is taken up by an analog clock
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Old 04-13-2006, 02:43 PM
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It rolls up the windows and closes the sunroof if it senses a crash!

I would pay to see how fast that happens!
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by titan
hehehe, what do you think will happen to the price?
I am hoping for it staying the same, but at the same time, I realize this is not a realistic hope
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
I am hoping for it staying the same, but at the same time, I realize this is not a realistic hope
There's too much competiton even at this level for MB to be able to raise price much if at all.

Interesting that the Bluetec will only be available in the US for now - must be too expensive yet for large scale roll out - the majority of these outside of US are the diesel models. MB already said what this entails - adding a urea injection system to the exsiting 320CDI to clean up NOX emissions. The system has to be refilled fairly often.

MB and BMW have this rolling development thing down to a science - fairly major changes all the time.
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:38 AM
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damn, that E63 sedan is hot!! wouldn't throw down that kinda coin for a wagon but if someone gave it to me, i'd drive it
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:31 AM
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First Drive: 2007 Mercedes-Benz E550

Link to article


The essence of Mercedes' star quality
By Greg N. Brown Email
Date posted: 05-10-2006

Thoughts while driving the 2007 Mercedes-Benz E550 sedan through the foothills of the Bavarian Alps: "The perfect car? No such thing…is there? It feels wrong that we can find nothing wrong, but the E550 does everything extremely well…but perfectly? We're not going to park this thing until we find a flaw, even if it's no more irritating than a pea under a hausfrau-high stack of feather beds."

Thoughts, hours later, in a hotel parking lot: "The perfect car. Impossible? Maybe, but there is one thing we know for sure. We can't feel any poke from any pea anywhere in the E550."

Thoughts, days later, at a computer keyboard: "The new and improved E-Class is as close to perfect as any vehicle we've driven."

Impossible? Our fingers admittedly balked at typing such an extravagant statement, but there it now lies, and there it will remain. If we overlooked any evidence to the contrary during our first drive, blame it on the bewitching fairy-tale beauty of Southern Bavaria.

A model for every taste
The model-rich line of E-Class sedans and station wagons is not only crucial to the financial well-being of the firm's passenger car machine, it is the primary conduit for the spread of Mercedes-Benz's core values to the masses. Over the four years of its production life, the current E-Class has attracted a million buyers worldwide, and in 2005 it accounted for fully one-fifth of all Mercedes-Benz cars sold. Such popularity in an increasingly arduous world market also makes it one of those rare cars that seems to be valued as much by those who purchase it as by the company profiting from its sale.

Worldwide, the E-Class family comprises 16 sedans and 13 wagons, and though just eight of them will reach the U.S., even this limited lineup boasts broad appeal. The E350, available as a sedan or wagon with optional 4Matic all-wheel drive, is powered by the 268-horsepower V6 introduced in the 2006 E-Class. The E550, offered just as a sedan but also with a 4Matic option, is fitted with the 382-hp V8 that debuted in the most recent S-Class.

Top performer is the E63 AMG sedan, which is stuffed with a 507-hp, normally aspirated V8. Appropriately, the heavily endowed E63 AMG lays down its big slab of torque through the rear wheels only. The fourth engine is a very innovative and ultra-clean-burning turbodiesel V6 in the E320 Bluetec sedan. Its 210-hp oil burner features special catalysts that allow it to be certified for sale in all 50 states.

Two-thousand new or revised parts
The brief for 2007's model called for a sportier and safer E-Class with no compromise in cruising comfort or cost (price increases over the 2006 models are expected to be minimal), and the corps of big foreheads and sharp pencils at Mercedes engineering responded with several newly introduced systems, some of which were first developed for the S-Class flagship but are now standard on every U.S.-bound E-Class.

To sharpen the car's dynamics, a Direct Control Package adds a 10-percent-quicker steering ratio and improved front suspension geometry for a more direct response to driver inputs and reduced understeer in hard cornering.

For increased driving safety at night, the Intelligent Light System first offered in the 2003 E-Class has been improved and now offers five different patterns of illumination for more effective reaches into the darkness, plus foglights redesigned to reduce back glare.

Handed down from the S-Class is PreSafe, the crash-protection system that prepares the car and its occupants for an impending collision, first by tensioning the front seatbelts and adjusting the front-passenger seat to the most effective location relative to the deployment of the front and side airbags. It will also close any open windows or the sliding sunroof if a particularly severe collision or rollover is anticipated by the numerous sensors monitoring the car's speed and amount of deviation from its straight and true path. A corollary system to PreSafe is Neck-Pro, a new electronically controlled head restraint system that was added to reduce the possibility of whiplash injury.

Further safety features include adaptive rear brake lights, which were developed to flash intermittently and thus reduce brake reaction time in following traffic, and an Adaptive Brake system that primes the electronically controlled hydraulics if sensors detect a situation that might require heavy braking, and also works to keep the components dry in wet conditions.

Equipment for every driving style
All U.S. rear-drive E-Class vehicles, except for the E63, are equipped with a newly introduced seven-speed automatic with Touchshift. The 4Matic models and the E63 come with a five-speed automatic.

"Sport" models ride on 18-inch, 10-twin-spoke wheels and are distinguished by a new rear bumper with dual exhaust pipes, a lowered suspension, blue-tinted glass, black bird's eye maple wood trim, a white-gauge instrument cluster and matte chrome surrounding the gearshift lever.

"Luxury" models have 17-inch running gear, a different rear bumper, a comfort-tuned suspension, green-tinted glass and Burl Walnut interior trim. Bluetec sedans will ride on 16-inch wheels and high-mileage tires. A conventional steel coil spring suspension is standard on the E320 and E350s, while the wonderful Airmatic DC air suspension is fitted to the E550 and the E63 AMG (in which case it's specially tuned to help handle that car's massive performance).

A winning combination of pace and grace
Try as we might, we failed to upset the E550's dignified equilibrium on autobahn blasts up to 150 mph or during aggressive attacks upon Bavaria's twisting mountain roads. Our tester was fitted with Airmatic DC, and it delivered, in concert with the various electronic stability systems, an astounding combination of grip and ride comfort no matter how deeply we dipped into the 5.5-liter's prodigious supply of power.

We're also pleased to report that the revised steering effectively erased the numb feel that was a major flaw in previous Mercedes racks, and the tauter front suspension helped the big car's nose turn in more adroitly through the corners. The big V8 may not be the most economical powertrain in the E-Class lineup, but if fuel prices are of no concern, it's the ideal engine for the size and heft of the almost 4,000-pound car.

We look forward to an extended stint in this remarkable new car as soon as possible, for no other reason than to discover where that irritating pea is hidden away, if indeed it exists at all in this nearly perfect automobile.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ludachrisvt
no CLUE what you mean by this. The auto shows car must have sucked or something. The leather in the E350 I considered was TOP KNOTCH.
German cars generally have very tough and firm leather. Personally, I dont like it. The other end of the spectrum is Lexus, feels almost like butter. Acura/Honda for the most part tend to follow a middle ground, soft yet feels durable with padding where needed.

Its just a matter of taste.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ludachrisvt
if you say so. the GS's seatbacks are rubber-like.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by iNteGraz92
if you say so. the GS's seatbacks are rubber-like.
It wasn't that bad. I think the RL and GS both had good, comfortable leather over the Germans as well as the Infiniti. But I give the nod to the RL for being more comfortable overall than the GS.
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:02 AM
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The review above sounds very positive. Good for MB.
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:54 PM
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I'm glad to hear that some of the electric gremlins seemed to have been sorted.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:31 PM
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Mercedes-Benz - E63 AMG - - Source: http://www.topgear.com/

Beware the numbers. Everyone can buy AMG wheels these days, a fair few come with similar body kits and you can't hear yourself think for the non-standard exhaust systems that drone around the county on a Saturday night.

What you don't usually get on the fakers is a small pointer to the fact that you're about to get your automotive arse well and truly kicked. It says E63 on the back of this merc. Three small glyphs that should have you standing well back.

This time, M-B has really upped its game and rammed a 6.3-litre V8 into the nose of the facelifted E-Class. Naturally aspirated, this monster pumps out 506bhp and 464lb ft of torque - just enough to give bragging rights over the BMW M5, at which this biggest, baddest E is squarely aimed. It's not exactly shy when it comes to making those figures count either. The E63 will hit 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and goes on to an electronically-limited 155mph.

So you'd think this big hitter would be shouting about it then? Nope. Discreet is the name of the game here. Nothing too lairy externally: 18in wheels, lip spoiler, small bit of body tweakery, quad exhausts and big composite brakes. Just the muted bellow to give things away, and sometimes that's more of a gentle thrum.

You might notice some other changes too, but that's not just the E63. The E-Class has been 'refreshed' by Merc. There is a new headlight shape as well as new 'adaptive lighting' and extra technology like adaptive braking. There's also been a general improvement in smoothing out the style, and some specific improvements in the range of engines being installed.

Of course, the biggest change is this all-new, normally aspirated six-and-abit V8 mated to Merc's lovely 7G-Tronic auto and adjustable air suspension. Brilliant. But it isn't. Quite.

For me, it's just a little too discreet. I want more drama from an engine so beefy. And there are a few things that knock the gleam off the impressive spec list. The steering, despite having more feeling than ever in a big Merc, is still as tactile as glue. The big, shiny override paddles behind the wheel may be made of alloy, but the box still takes its own time to react, so you end up trusting the auto to do its thing and not bothering to flex your indexes.

Good stuff? In manual mode, the paddles will now keep a gear even at the rev-limiter, so no changing up mid-way round a corner. The traction control can now be switched off and you can roast ludicrous burnouts from 2,500rpm (sorry, Merc).

So the E63 is a mixed bag. A much better car than the E55, but not quite the car that makes people not want an M5 - the final nail in the coffin being a rather hefty £66k price tag.

Tom Ford
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:46 PM
  #150  
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2006 Mercedes-Benz E350 - - AutoWeek | Published 07/24/06, 7:22 am et - - SOurce: Autoweek

AT A GLANCE:

LIKES
Safety and comfort
Strong, smooth V6
Sporty fun

DISLIKES
Expensive
No seven-speed 4Matic
Brakes need more feel

OTHERS CONSIDERED
BMW 530i
Audi A6
Lexus GS 300


The quicker, lighter and upgraded 2006 E350 sedan has replaced the base E320 model in the Mercedes-Benz range. Our staffers and many owners like the change; one reason is its impressive 3.5-liter, four-valve-per-cylinder V6 engine that makes 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s 47 more horses and 26 more lb-ft than the E320’s three-valve 3.2-liter V6.

There’s still an E320, however: the E320 CDI (diesel), blasting 369 lb-ft of torque along with 201 hp. Mercedes says this oil burner’s driving range is about 780 miles on one tank of fuel, and fuel economy is 27 mpg city, 37 highway. When it comes to model choices, however, the E320 CDI comes in sedan only, while Mercedes offers an E350 seven-passenger wagon.

Our test car, though, was an E350 sedan. The E350 sits in the middle/upper middle of the six-cylinder luxury-sedan ranks populated by cars from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus and Lincoln. Those who want a cozy and quick sedan that is much cheaper can consider a Chrysler 300C at about half the price of this Mercedes.

“The E350 is a pleasure to drive, with ample oomph from the sweet-sounding V6, smooth shifts from the seven-speed transmission and a comfortable ride in nearly all suspension settings,” said one tester. Another said, “This car will hustle along like a (semi) sports sedan, or will cruise along and cosset you in comfort and silence.”

Those who tested the car at the track immediately liked the interior. “Seats have good support,” one wrote. “I take back what I said about German old-guy seats. These seats have a bit more side support than the Passat seats we tested [Jan. 23]. Those really were old-guy seats.” Also inside is a fine, clear instrument-panel layout. The tachometer redlines at 6400 rpm but goes to 7000 rpm. The speedometer maxes out at 160 mph.

One tester, however, didn’t trust the seven-speed automatic due to it being new and complicated internally. “Every manufacturer has to have things like this to squeeze another three-tenths of a mile per gallon out of every tank,” he argued. Manual downshifts, however, take place quickly. We have no complaints there. Buy the all-wheel-drive 4Matic, the E55 AMG or the E320 CDI if you’d prefer the proven five-speed automatic.

We detected hardly any dive when applying the brakes, which respond quickly. One tester called them the “I-know-better-than-you system,” so he simply tromped on the pedal and let the car do the rest. In the 60-mph-to-0 test, the E350 stops in 114 feet. That bests a 2005 Audi A6 quattro by two feet (Oct. 17, 2005) and a 2006 Lexus GS 430 by 10 feet (Aug. 15, 2005).

The car seems slow and ponderous on the skidpad. Heavy understeer punished the outside front tire. We had to hold the steering wheel steady and steer with the throttle, though throttle changes take a while to show up in the car’s attitude.

The slalom is a different story. The E350 handles well despite its massive curb weight. The 3760 pounds of mass flew through the cones, and we had no complaints about the car’s handling. “I still prefer a BMW to this more comfort-oriented setup,” said a tester, “but Mercedes buyers are different; they like comfort.”

The car turns in quickly, as expected with its sticky Conti-nental Sport Contact 2 tires. Little body roll is apparent from inside, and the car is easily controllable, with no notice of tail-wagging tendencies. Occasionally the stability system will brake individual wheels when the car is thrown about too violently, or when the steering wheel is cranked too hard or too quickly. But even with the stability system activated, it doesn’t slow the car’s times. Not bad.

So when all was done, one of our skeptical testers wrote, “For the usual commuter slog I do daily through L.A., I would be happier in this E350 than anything else I can think of at the moment. Happier than in a Lexus, Infiniti or Audi, straight up.”




OWNERS SAY...

I am a lifetime BMW owner but I can’t warm up to BMW’s new styling and do not like iDrive. The dealer took for granted I would turn my car in for a new one at the end of the lease. With sequential automatics seemingly taking over, it prompted me to give the Mercedes a trial. I was not too impressed with the standard E350, but was knocked out by the appearance and handling of the Sport version in black. My wife test-drove the car with me and noted I drove the Mercedes a little slower—which she thought was a good thing. Philip J. Schneider, Columbus, Ohio

This is much improved over the previous-generation. As a realtor, my clients are impressed with the ride and handling. I decided to stay with the E-Class due to the higher price of the S-Class and the fact I use this car primarily for work. The new V6 is a huge improvement over the 3.2-liter V6. It is smooth and responsive. And the car came with 17-inch wheels standard and I find the handling better with the larger wheels without sacrificing ride quality. We haven’t had any problems with the car. Robert Horbatt, Powell, Ohio

I waited for the E350 wagon, figuring the new engine would better haul around a 4000-pound vehicle. I’m glad I did. The E350 has more than adequate power, and the vehicle has been completely problem-free after six months. The bi-xenon lights are exceptional and the premium package is a great value for the money. I would have happily paid extra for four-zone climate control, but Mercedes no longer offers it on U.S. E350s. Also, I would have selected the panorama roof were it available for the wagon. The ride seems a little harsher than on the 2005 E320, and the quality of some interior materials is poorer than before and does not befit the three-pointed star. The vaunted seven-speed automatic can be caught off-guard sometimes when downshifting and thumps rather harshly. But overall it’s a great car, one I plan on keeping for some time. Herbert K. Tay, Los Angeles

VEHICLE SPECS AND ROAD-TEST DATA

MANUFACTURER INFO
Mercedes-Benz USA
One Mercedes Drive
Montvale NJ 07645
Customer assistance: (800) 367-6372
Internet address: mbusa.com
Country of origin: Germany
Number of dealers: 327

STICKER
Base (includes $775 delivery): $50,825
As tested: $57,215
Owners paid; average: $50,267 to $57,886; $54,187

OPTIONS AS TESTED
Premium package, with sunroof, Harman/Kardon audio system, CD changer, DVD navigation, power rear sunshade, heated
seats ($2,950); sport package, with 18-inch wheels, sport suspension, front apron, sculpted side skirts, sport rear bumper, dual
exhaust, perforated brake discs, blue-tinted glass, maple trim, matte chrome, white gauges, premium leather ($2,250); platinum
blue paint ($690); Sirius satellite radio ($500)

OTHER MAJOR OPTIONS
Hands-free communication system ($1,450); parktronic ($1,100); keyless go ($1,080); bi-xenon headlights ($690); wood/leather
steering wheel ($530); electronic trunk closer ($510); split folding rear seats ($300)

CHASSIS
Unibody four-door sedan
DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase (in): 112.4
Track (in): 61.4 front, 61.2 rear
Length/width/height (in): 189.7/71.7/57.0
Curb weight/GVWR (lbs): 3760/4840
CAPACITIES
Fuel (gal): 21.1
Cargo (cu-ft): 15.9

ENGINE
Front-longitudinal 3.5-liter/213.5-cid dohc V6
Horsepower: 268 @ 6000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 258 @ 2400-5000 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.7:1
Fuel requirement: 91 octane
DRIVETRAIN
Rear-wheel drive
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Final drive ratio: 3.07:1
SUSPENSION
Front: Four-link with coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers, antiroll bar
Rear: Five-link with coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers, antiroll bar
BRAKES/WHEELS/TIRES
Discs front and rear, ABS; aluminum 265/35R-18 Continental Sport Contact 2
STANDING-START ACCELERATION
0-60 mph: 6.72 sec
0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 7.11 sec
0-quarter-mile: 15.03 sec @ 93 mph
ROLLING ACCELERATION
20-40 mph (second gear): 2.7 sec
40-60 mph (third gear): 4.0 sec
60-80 mph (third gear): 4.3 sec
BRAKING
60 mph-0: 114 ft
HANDLING
490-foot slalom: 43.6 mph
Lateral acceleration (200-foot skidpad): 0.82 g
INTERIOR NOISE (DBA)
Idle: 40
Full throttle: 72
Steady 60 mph: 65
FUEL MILEAGE
EPA combined: 21.92 mpg
AW overall: 21.02 mpg
TRUE COST TO OWNSM
Total: $70,897
Average cost per mile: $0.95
DEPRECIATION
After one year: $7,714
Five-year total: $28,288


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Old 07-25-2006, 04:53 PM
  #151  
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kinda late review considering the refreshed 07's are out now
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:03 PM
  #152  
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Post Clarkson: E63 "better bet" than BMW M5...

His thoughts...

http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/art...390016,00.html

There’s a tiger in the middle manager’s tank

In the beginning, listening to an iPod was a solitary pursuit. No one knew what you had on there, so you could load it up with all your favourite tunes, no matter how embarrassing and sugary they might be.
But now you can plug your personal music library into all manner of systems and lay out the contents for the edification of your friends and family.

This is a terrifying development. We all have guilty secrets, things that we’d rather leave buried in the deep, dark, cobwebby corners of our heads. I, for instance, have always rather fancied Esther Rantzen and, worse, in restaurants I’m often tempted to ask for black forest gateau.

I’ll admit to these things. In fact I just have. But I would never have admitted, even to my closest friend, that I recently paid 79p to a man in America to download a rendition of Journey singing a tune called Don’t Stop Believin’.

I know it’s a terrible song. I know there’s a horrible segue in the middle. And I know too that the lead singer has a voice that makes you want to split his head in two with an axe. But secretly I like it, so one day, when the family was out and the house was quiet and empty, I downloaded it to my iPod and since then have spent many happy, albeit slightly guilty, hours on planes and trains listening to it.

But then one day at a party I foolishly plugged my iPod into a pair of loudspeakers. To begin with all was well. There was a bit of the Clash, some Clapton and a smattering of Joe Jackson. People tapped their feet approvingly.

But then on came Journey and one by one everyone stopped talking. Slowly their heads turned to me. “Did you download this?” “Yes.” “On purpose?” “Yes.”
You could have cooked pudding on my face. And I knew that pretty soon we’d reach Kansas singing Carry On, My Wayward Son, which is even worse.

Since that terrible night, my wife has been giving me funny looks. It’s almost as though she’s suddenly found out that I’m that silly Lib Dem bloke who went to a male prostitute. She thought she knew me. But since she found I have Kansas and Journey on my iPod she realises that actually she doesn’t know me at all.

Nor I her. Because recently we were listening to hers, and in among the Dylan and the Yardbirds and the Cream I was assaulted — and that is the right word — by something called Basement Jaxx.

I can only assume that Mr Jaxx won a competition at some point to see who could make the worst noise on earth. It’s an extraordinary sound: like chewing on a mouthful of those polystyrene packaging balls while Flo-Jo runs her fingernails down a blackboard the size of Lincolnshire, and Ireland wins the Glaswegian round of the world pile-driving competition.

I thought Mary J Bilge was bad but Basement Jaxx takes the art of annoying your parents to new and uncharted heights.

As a result I cannot have my wife’s iPod on in the house any more than she can have mine. She thinks I’m Mark Oaten. I think she’s mad.

And funnily enough this brings me on to the new Audi All Road. In essence it’s a slightly raised, slightly more rough-and-tumble version of the standard A6. It’s therefore a quiet 4x4, a subtle SUV and, it must be said, a handsome and inexpensive alternative to that gargoyle of a car, the new Q7.

I liked almost all of it a lot but, like my wife’s iPod, there was a landmine in the mix. As you drive along a small patch of condensation forms on the outside of the windscreen, right in your line of sight. This is the All Road’s Basement Jaxx moment, and it’s so annoying I’m simply going to dismiss the whole car as useless and move on to the AMG Mercedes E-class.

In recent years AMG, which is a sort of tuning division within DaimlerChrysler, has been fitting most of the cars in the range with its supercharged 5.5 litre V8.

It was an absolute animal of an engine. And the animal I have in mind is the hippopotamus. Most of the time it was benign and rather lazy but when poked with a stick it would become searingly violent, very powerful and extremely noisy. Even though it was, perhaps, slightly American in character I liked it a lot.

So I was a bit worried when I heard that it was being dropped from all cars except the SL, and replaced with a non-supercharged 6.3.

This is the engine that was fitted to the E-class I’ve been driving and you know what? I think it’s even better.

Some of the machinegun exhaust clatter has gone but so too has the feeling of heavyweight power. Despite its enormous size it feels light and agile and desperate to rev. And my God there’s some power: huge drums of it, creamy and delicious and easy to pour into any given situation.

The result is a car that’s preposterously fast.

It doesn’t matter whether you use the paddle shift or leave it in D, or even if you’re going backwards. It takes off in a manner that leaves you, your passengers and everyone within earshot genuinely staggered.

Staggered because it really doesn’t look like anything special. E-class Mercs are mostly bought by companies and chauffeur services that can’t quite run to an S-class. They’re middle management cars. You don’t notice them. And you won’t notice the 6.3 either, because apart from some slightly fancy wheels and rather more exhaust pipes than is normal it looks just like the E-classes that line up outside every media haunt at two in the morning.

Nor does it feel particularly exciting to drive.

It’s quiet, it’s remarkably comfortable, and it comes of course with the usual array of Mercedes gadgetry.

So how, you might be wondering, does it stack up to the BMW M5? Well, they both cost about the same, they both have four doors, they are both limited to 155mph they could both top 200 if they weren’t, and they both offer roughly the same sort of space.

I’d say that even though the Mercedes has more power, the M5 is a more thrilling ride. It really does feel very special when you’re in Exit mode, being suicidal. But I hear horror stories about the BMW’s electrics, and to live with every day the more refined, more grown-up Mercedes — I can’t believe I’m saying this — is the better bet.

You struggle with this E-class to find anything that jars or annoys, but don’t worry. I’ve come up with something.

The fuel gauge is a series of digital bars, and I’m sorry but that’s rubbish. Fuel gauges should always be analogue so, by moving your head, you can convince yourself that there’s more in the tank than the needle would have you believe.

When you’re down to one digital bar you don’t know when it’ll go out. And that means I’d spend my life spluttering to a halt at the side of the road.

In fact I did. But it’s okay. I had my iPod with me. So I just sat waiting for fresh supplies of fuel while listening, on my own, to Jackson Browne singing Running on Empty.

I think that one’s a bit embarrassing too.
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:19 PM
  #153  
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I have always liked bmw's, but the E class is probably the best all around car I have driven. It has the perfect balance of sport/lux/utility for the segment for a mid size sedan and can be loved by soccer moms and auto enthusiasts. It's an unbelivable ride up to 8/10ths of its capabilities and beyond that and you are clearly looking for a sports car.

Last edited by Python2121; 10-09-2006 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:08 PM
  #154  
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Source: Autobild.de



Source: http://www.automotorsport.se
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:16 PM
  #155  
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God I hope not...those headlights suck
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:56 PM
  #156  
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Wtf?
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:25 PM
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I think that might possibly look good in person... well, I hope so.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:31 PM
  #158  
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thats just nasty.
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:48 AM
  #159  
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I really hope not either. I don't like those C-class style taillights
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:50 AM
  #160  
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looks like the gs, which used to look the the e-class...
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