Detroit. Mercedes-Benz starts the New Year with the wind in its sales. In 2015, the brand delivered over 13 percent more vehicles worldwide than in the previous year – achieving its fifth record result in a row. The new E-Class, which celebrates its premiere at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, marks a major step into the future. The tenth generation of the business saloon sets accents with its clear yet emotional design, its exclusive interior and a host of technical innovations enabling comfortable, safe and efficient driving of the very highest order. Groundbreaking assistance systems and a first-class operating concept make the new E-Class the most intelligent business saloon. Mercedes-Benz is also expanding its collection of dream cars with the new SLC Roadster and the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet.
“2015 was the outstanding year in our very long history. It was the most successful year for Mercedes since we invented the automobile. And we are determined to build on this success by expanding and rejuvenating our line-up. I think we owe it to Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler to mark the 130th anniversary,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, speaking at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. He continued: “Our new E-Class is an especially intelligent example of this.”
The new E-Class marks the next step on the road to autonomous driving with the DRIVE PILOT driver assistance system. It can autonomously follow a vehicle travelling in front at speeds of up to 210 km/h, and at up to 130 km/h even without clear lane markings. If the indicator is activated for at least two seconds, the system can also steer the car into the neighbouring lane, having first identified the lane is clear. Further intelligent assistance systems are Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist and Remote Parking Pilot, which, for the first time, enables remote parking using a smartphone app.
The E-Class is even safer thanks to car-to-x communication. It is the first production model to exchange information with other vehicles and accordingly equipped infrastructure. Threats such as broken-down vehicles or surface ice can therefore be identified even earlier. Overall, the new assistance systems lower stress and the risk of accidents, while raising driving fun.
Autonomous driving licence
The exceptionality of the E-Class is underscored by a very special kind of distinction – at the beginning of January, the new E-Class received the necessary approval; it became the first production car licensed for autonomous test driving in the U.S. state of Nevada.
“The E-Class is the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand and, over the years, has consistently redefined the benchmark in the business-class segment. It is now carrying this tradition forward with a host of first-rate innovations. The new E-Class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving. It also raises efficiency, safety and comfort, lowers the stress of driving and intensifies driving fun,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The interior of the E-Class is likewise groundbreaking. One distinctive feature is the two high-definition 12.3-inch displays, which visually merge to create a widescreen cockpit. The design can be adapted to personal preferences with three different styles – just one example of the many individualisation options offered by the new E-Class. It is also the first car equipped with touch-sensitive Touch Controls in the steering wheel, enabling control of the infotainment system via finger-swipe movements and ensuring the driver’s hands stay on the wheel.
Providing a supreme driving experience at market launch are one four-cylinder petrol engine with 135 kW (184 hp) and an all-new four-cylinder diesel engine with 143 kW (195 hp). In the E 220 d, the new diesel engine achieves a NEDC combined consumption of just 3.9 litres per 100 kilometres, which equates to CO2 emissions of 102 grams per kilometre. Further models will include the E 350 e with Plug-in hybrid technology. With a system output of 210 kW (286 hp), it combines sports-car performance with compact-car fuel consumption.
Dream Car Offensive under the Three-Pointed Star
Besides the E-Class, 2016 belongs to the Mercedes-Benz dream cars – particularly the convertibles and roadsters. Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales: “Dream cars have been part of the mystique of our brand from its very beginnings. And this year will see us expand our collection of dream cars with a whole host of fascinating new products.”
One highlight is the new SLC. 20 years after the launch of the first SLK, the cult roadster is being succeeded by a model that clearly states its close connection to the C-Class, starting with its name. The model facelift is identifiable by its sharpened design and the production-standard diamond grille. The new entry version is the SLC 180 with 115 kW (156 hp) and NEDC consumption of 5.6 l/100 km. At the top end of the model range is the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43. It combines a 270 kW (367 hp) 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with the re-engineered AMG sports suspension. DYNAMIC SELECT delivers bespoke performance by adapting the characteristics of the engine, transmission, steering and suspension at the touch of a button. The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.
Superlative Convertible – the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet
A clear view all the way to the sky, four passengers, twelve cylinders – this combination is offered by the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet. With 463 kW (630 hp) and torque of up to 1,000 Nm, the 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine catapults the convertible from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, while returning consumption figures considerably below those of comparable vehicles. Further factors contributing to its unique driving feel are the AIRMATIC-based sports suspension with stepless damper control, as well as a plethora of exclusive appointments and the three-layer soft top.
smart cabrio – Individual Open-Air Pleasure
Also celebrating its U.S. premiere in Detroit is the world’s most inexpensive cabriolet. At the same time, the smart cabrio is also the most exclusive way of driving a smart. At the touch of a button, the urban quick-change artist transforms from a closed two-seater into a car with a large folding roof and, ultimately, a cabriolet.