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The W212 E-Class

by Marcus B. Fitzhugh

In June of 2009, Mercedes-Benz had its U.S. market launch for the new W212 E-Class. The new E-Class was especially important as it replaced two model lines; the W211 E-Class and the W209 CLK. By May of 2010, the W212 E-Class lineup was completed. In that single year, Mercedes-Benz successfully released a new E-Class sedan, coupe, cabriolet, and wagon. On top of that, we were presented with the AMG variant, which has enough specialty parts to qualify it as a separate model.


The E-Class has a significant sales and marketing impact, so a misstep would be disastrous. The safer route would have been to simply roll out a new exterior and interior, then add technical features over time. Mercedes-Benz followed the more daring approach and included a number of technical innovations with the new E-Class. Many of these are innovations that no other car in this class offers. This is especially true of the safety features. The new E offers drowsiness detection, automatic emergency braking when an accident is recognized as imminent, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and Night View Assist Plus. Features such as these allow the E-Class to continue as one the safest vehicles in its segment.

In addition to the four main types of E-Class (sedan, coupe, convertible, & wagon), there are a number of drivetrain options.

  • First, there is the fuel efficient E350 BlueTEC. This is powered by a 3.0-liter diesel V6 with 210 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. The E350 BlueTEC gets about 30 percent better fuel economy than the gasoline powered E350, yet still accelerates from zero to sixty MPH in under seven seconds. The BlueTEC is available is all 50 states and showcases the ability of Mercedes-Benz to combine torque-rich performance and remarkable efficiency.
  • For inclement conditions, Mercedes-Benz offers the all-wheel drive 4MATIC system. Many manufacturers offer all-wheel drive systems. From a customer standpoint, what we don't want is an all-wheel drive option that appears to be a cobbled together 500 pound afterthought. We've seen those before and in many of those cases, fuel economy was horrible, maintenance was a nightmare, and it caused the car to handle like a truck. The W212 E-Class is nothing like that. The new E was initially designed to use the 4MATIC system - a system that adds a mere 154 pounds to the vehicle weight, improves handling, and whose impact on fuel economy is a one MPG decrease in the city with no difference in highway mileage. 4MATIC is a well executed system that is fully integrated into the standard Mercedes-Benz Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) and the 4-Wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS). This is a permanent all wheel drive system that maximizes traction in corners, as well as wet and/or slippery conditions. It does this by intelligently adjusting power delivery. The system continually adjusts power distribution to the wheel or wheels with the best grip. In severe conditions, 4MATIC can keep the vehicle moving even if only one wheel has traction and it does this without any additional input from the driver.
  • For those addicted to power. Those for whom the E550's 382 horsepower just won't do. Those who HAVE to accelerate faster than the E550's five point two second zero to sixty, there is AMG. AMG vehicles are some of the most powerful available. Of the previous generation E55, Autocar magazine stated, "to go much faster than this, you'd need a Murcielago". The new E63 isn't as fast as a 600+ horsepower Mercielago, but it is just as fast as the E55. How fast? The E63 has an ESP switch. For maximum acceleration, it should be left engaged. If not, the torque will overwhelm the 285 series rear tires, resulting in an endless burnout and the obligatory smoke show. Left engaged, torque will be distributed intelligently, matching it to traction. With ESP on, sixty MPH will be reached in less than four and a half seconds, one hundred MPH will be reached in nine and a half seconds, and a very short time later, the electronically limited top speed of one hundred and fifty-five miles per hour will be enforced. Those who opt for the P30 performance option can continue to accelerate until the electronically limited top speed of one hundred and eighty-six miles per hour is reached. There were no compromises. On the E63, brakes and handling were designed to match its titanic powertrain. The interior is even more lavishly appointed than a standard E. It has specialized AMG everything - instruments, seating, sill panels, steering wheel, and drive unit. The exterior has AMG lighting, bodywork, alloy wheels, exhaust, and badges.

These examples demonstrate Mercedes-Benz' desire and ability to go beyond the standard V6 and V8 powertrain offerings. The new E excels in other areas as well.

The W212 E has exemplary aerodynamics across the model range. The sedan is the most aerodynamically efficient four-door car in the world. It has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25. The E-Coupe has the best overall figure for a series-production car with a Cd figure of just 0.24.

The new E-Class cabriolet also boasts new technology with the new AIRCAP® feature, enhanced AIRSCARF®, and the standard sound-dampening soft top. This allows the new E-Class cabriolet to provide year-round comfort, which is unique in the segment of open-top vehicles. "The development of AIRCAP® is an example of the perseverance and tenacity of our engineers and technicians: convinced of the customer benefit of an automatic wind deflector, our specialists have finally found the Mercedes solution - easy to use and always there", says Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member for Corporate Research and Head of Development of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

For its part, in addition to air suspension with self-leveling at the rear as standard, the Wagon also provides unique new load compartment management features.

"Never before have we had such an effective presence with our E-Class model series as we have with today's range. Sedan, Wagon, Coupé and Cabriolet all share the same winning genes, yet appeal to our customers in a very individual way. This mixture has been extremely well received by our customers. With the new Cabriolet we are complementing our successful E-Class family with yet another particularly emotionally appealing model, in which our customers can continue to enjoy the Cabriolet season even longer thanks to the unique automatic draught-stop", said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

As such, the E-Class is the clear leader in its market segment. In Germany, the E-Class Sedan enjoys a market share of around 60 percent in its respective segment, while in the U.S. it shares approximately 20 percent.

Vee Six Technical Data

Model E350 BlueTEC E350 Sedan E350 4MATIC Wagon
Vehicle type Four-door, five-passenger sedan Four-door, seven-passenger wagon
Chassis Steel unibody
 
Engine 72-degree diesel V6 90-degree gasoline V6
Valve arrangement Four valves per cylinder
Valvetrain Duplex chain-driven dual overhead camshaft
Displacement (cu. in./cc) 182.0 / 2,987 213.4 / 3,498
Bore (in./mm) 3.27 / 83.0 3.65 / 92.6
Stroke (in./mm) 3.62 / 92.0 3.39 / 86.0
Compression ratio 16.5:1 10.7:1
Horsepower @ rpm 210 @ 3,800 268 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft.) @ rpm 400 @ 1,600-2,400 258 @ 2,400-5,000
Intake system Turbocharger and intercooler; piezoelectric injectors Magnesium two-stage resonance intake manifold
Max. engine speed (rpm) 4,500 6,500
 
Transmission Seven-speed electronically controlled automatic with driver-adaptive shift logic.
Gear ratios
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
R
R2 comfort mode
4.38:1
2.86:1
1.92:1
1.37:1
1.00:1
0.82:1
0.73:1
-3.42:1
-2.23:1
Final drive 3.07:1
 
Stability control Electronic Stability Programming (ESP) integrating single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control.
Suspension Four-wheel independent; coil springs, stabilizer bars
Front Independent wheel suspension, coiled spring, torsion bar, 3-link wheel control/axle location
Rear Independent wheel suspension, coiled spring, tubular torsion bar, multi-link steering AIRMATIC Airsprings
Steering Rack-and-pinion, speed sensitive hydraulic power steering
Turning radius (feet) 36.2 TBD
Front Wheels 8.0 x 17 (Sport: 8.0 x 17) 8.0 x 17 (Sport: 8.5 x 18) 8.0 x 17
Rear Wheels 8.0 x 17 (Sport: 8.0 x 17) 8.0 x 17 (Sport: 9.0 x 18) 8.0 x 17
Front tires 245/45 R 17 all-season 245/45 R17 (Sport: 245 / 40 R18) 245/45 R17
Rear tires 245/45 R 17 all-season 245/45 R17 (Sport: 265 / 35 R18) 245/45 R17
Brakes Dual-circuit, power assisted four wheel discs with ABS anti-lock and emergency sensing Brake Assist
Front disc diameter (in./mm) 12.7 / 322 (Sport: 13.5 / 344)
Rear disc diameter (in./mm) 11.8 / 300
 
Exterior dimensions (in./mm)
Wheelbase 113.1 / 2,873 113.5 / 2,882
Length 191.7 / 4,869 192.7 / 4,894
Width (without mirrors) 75.9 / 1,928
Height 57.7 / 1,466 (Sport: 57. 2 / 1,453) 58.9 / 1,496
Ground clearance 4.1 / 104
Front track 62.2 / 1,580
Rear track 63.0 / 1,600
Interior dimensions (in./mm)
Front head room 37.9 / 963 38.3 / 973
Rear head room (second row / third row) 38.2 / 969 39.8 / 1011
Front Leg room 41.3 / 1,049
Rear Leg room (second row / third row) 35.8 / 909
Front Shoulder room 57.8 / 1,467
Rear Shoulder room (second row / third row) 56.9 / 1,446
Cargo Length w/back row up 37.8 / 960 47 / 1,194
Cargo Length w/back row down - - 79 / 2,007
Cargo floor width (narrowest) 39.37 / 1000 43 / 1,092
 
Capacities
Cargo volume in cubic feet (w/seats up) 15.9 34.8
Cargo volume in cubic feet (w/back row down) - - 68.9
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,059 3,825 (3,979 w/4MATIC) 4,213 w/4MATIC
Towing (lbs.) 1,654.2 1,654.2 TBD
Fuel tank / reserve (gallons) 21.1 / 2.4
 
Performance
0-60 (seconds) 6.6 6.5 TBD
Top speed (MPH) 130 130 130
Fuel mileage, city/hwy 22 / 33 17 / 24 (4MATIC: 16 / 24) 16 / 23

Vee Eight Technical Data

Model E550 Sedan E63 AMG
Vehicle type Four-door, five-passenger sedan
Chassis Steel unibody
 
Engine 90-degree V8
Valve arrangement Four valves per cylinder
Valvetrain Duplex chain-driven dual overhead camshaft, variable valve timing
Displacement (cu. in./cc) 333.25 / 5,461 378.8 / 6,208
Bore (in./mm) 3.86 / 98.0 4.02 / 102.2
Stroke (in./mm) 3.56 / 90.5 3.72 / 94.6
Compression ratio 10.7:1 11.3:1
Horsepower @ rpm 382 @ 6,000 518 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft.) @ rpm 391 @ 2,800 - 4,800 465 @ 5,200
Intake system Magnesium two-stage resonance intake manifold
Max. engine speed (rpm) 6,500 7,200
 
Transmission Seven-speed electronically controlled automatic with driver-adaptive shift logic. Seven-speed electronically controlled, with AMG multi-clutch and driver-adaptive shift logic.
Gear ratios
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
R
R2 comfort mode
4.38:1
2.86:1
1.92:1
1.37:1
1.00:1
0.82:1
0.73:1
-3.42:1
-2.23:1
4.38:1
2.86:1
1.92:1
1.37:1
1.00:1
0.82:1
0.73:1
-3.42:1
-
Final drive 2.47:1 3.06:1 (LSD with P30 package)
 
Stability control Electronic Stability Programming (ESP) integrating single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control. AMG 3-stage electronic Stability Programming (ESP) integrating single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control.
Suspension Four-wheel independent with AIRMATIC AMG Ride Control with electronic damping
Front Independent wheel suspension, 3- link, damper with damping valve shock absorber, torsion bar, air spring Independent wheel suspension, coiled spring, torsion bar, 3-link wheel control/axle location
Rear Independent wheel suspension, multilink steering, air spring, damper with damping valve, torsion bar AMG Airsprings
Steering Rack-and-pinion, speed sensitive hydraulic power steering
Turning radius (feet) 36.2 37.2
Front Wheels 8.0 x 17 (Sport: 8.5 x 18) 9 x 18 (9 x 19 w/P30 package)
Rear Wheels 8.0 x 17 (Sport: 9.0 x 18) 9.5 x 18 (9.5 x 19 w/P30 package)
Front tires 245/45 R17 (Sport: 245 / 40 R18) 255 / 40 R 18 (255/35 R19 w/ P30 package)
Rear tires 245/45 R17 (Sport: 265 / 35 R18) 285 / 35 R 18 (285/30 R19 w/ P30 package)
Brakes Dual-circuit, power assisted four wheel discs with ABS anti-lock and emergency sensing Brake Assist
Front disc diameter (in./mm) 13.5 / 344 14.2 / 360 (perforated, ventilated)
Rear disc diameter (in./mm) 12.6 / 320 14.2 / 360 (perforated, ventilated)
 
Exterior dimensions (in./mm)
Wheelbase 113.1 / 2,873
Length 191.7 / 4,869 192.6 / 4,891
Width (without mirrors) 75.9 / 1,928
Height 57.7 / 1,466 (Sport: 57. 2 / 1,453) 56.8 / 1,443
Ground clearance 4.1 / 104 4.5 / 114
Front track 62.2 / 1,580 64.4 / 1,636
Rear track 63.0 / 1,600 62.8 / 1,594
Interior dimensions (in./mm)
Front head room 37.9 / 963
Rear head room 38.2 / 969
Front Leg room 41.3 / 1,049
Rear Leg room 35.8 / 909
Front Shoulder room 57.8 / 1,467
Rear Shoulder room 56.9 / 1,446
Cargo Length 37.8 / 960
Cargo floor width (narrowest) 39.37 / 1000
 
Capacities
Cargo volume in cubic feet 15.9
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,034 (4,145 w/4MATIC) 4,048
Towing (lbs.) 1,654.2 TBD
Fuel tank / reserve (gallons) 21.1 / 2.4 21.1 / 3.7
 
Performance
0-60 (seconds) 5.2 4.4
Top speed (MPH) 130 155 (186 w/P30 package)
Fuel mileage, city/hwy 15 / 23 (4MATIC: 15 / 23) 13 / 20
All specifications supplied by Mercedes-Benz USA


 

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