Mercedes is going to unveil a completely new E-Class in 2009 code-named W212. The design will be inspired from the new C-Class, S-Class and a few cues from the CLS-Class. It will come as a main competitor for BMW 5-Series and the Audi A6. The car will be unveiled at 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Mercedes unveiled the E-Class for the first time back in the 1977 (W123). Since then the E-Class got several body shapes and different engines and power. The last facelift was unveiled in 2006. Comparing to this one, the 2009 E-Class will be exactly as long as the old one, but the wheelbase will gain 20 mm.
The 2009 E-Class will have a more aggressive look as a result of the design cues taken from the CLS-Class. The glass surfaces will get smaller and the flank of the car will suffers from the usual creeping up of sheet metal. The wheels will be at least 18". An important change will be the shape of the 4 headlights: no more will they be round, they will be shaped like squarish teardrops.
From the S-Class will get the wheel-arch extensions, rising character line below the door handles, massive bumpers, and greenhouse. The 2009 E-Class will have a more sportier look due to a more sculpted wide-frame grille, the more geometric nasal air intakes, and the wedge-shaped profile.
The interior will also get a facelift. The cockpit will be roomier, with the electronics mostly inherited from the new S-Class, except for some "treats" that will be reserved for the bigger model, to preserve its exclusivity.
The basic power plant will consist of four-cylinder engines with the horsepower rating starting at 175 bhp. The V6 and V8 engine will also be available delivering from 136 hp to 514 hp. The W212 will be electronically limited to 155 mph and will make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 6.5 seconds. An E63 AMG model will be also unveiled powered by a normally aspirated, 500-plus-bhp 6.3-litre V8 engine.
All the models will come standard with six-speed manual transmission and the 7-speed automatic will come as an option. Mercedes will abandon SBC in favor of conventional brakes, although they will boast features such as wet-weather disc wiping and wheel-selective cornering brake control. Optional ceramic-composite discs could be introduced top-down, starting with the AMG models.
A major theme for the W212 will be driver assistance. It will feature lane-departure warnings, an eye-movement monitor, traffic-sign identification, road-condition sensors, and stability control that accounts for crosswinds, camber changes, and tire wear.
Mercedes E-Class W123 (1976-1986)
The Mercedes-Benz W123 cars were produced from 1976 through 1986 and is the most successful Mercedes, selling over 2,5 million cars, before being replaced by the W124 after 1985.
The W123 was the first Mercedes to have a factory-offered station wagon version designated as T-model (for Transport), as earlier models were converted to station wagons, and long-wheelbase ambulances and hearses only by private companies. The W123 300 TD (Transport Diesel) was one of the first turbodiesel cars on the European market. The turbodiesel cars were only available with automatic transmission.
The W123 was powered by Inline-4 or Inline-6 engines, and also the Inline-5 Diesel was available. The models were available with 4 or 5-speed manual transmission and a 4-speed automatic.
Mercedes E-Class W124 (1986-1995)
W124 was the internal chassis-designation for the 1986 to 1995 version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The W124 was a substantial, mid-sized luxury vehicle platform, the last in a long line of "money-no-object" Mercedes saloons and was the result of extensive development.
The estate cars came in 5- or 7-seat models, the 7-seater having a rear-facing bench seat that folded flush into the floor. Both models had a split rear seat which folded flat to give almost 2 metres of load space and a retractable luggage compartment cover and retractable cargo net. The W124 estate continued in production alongside the new W210 until the W210 estate launched more than a year later.
It was powered by Inline-4 and Inline-6 engines. A V8 was also available for the M119.
W124 also had a sport version, the 500E, created in cooperation with Porsche. The 500E had a 32-valve V8 engine delivering 322 hp and 354 lbs-ft of torque. It made the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 5.5 seconds and was limited to 155 mph.
Mercedes E-Class W210 (1996-2002)
The Mercedes-Benz W210 is a mid-size luxury car / executive car produced 1996 through 2002. They were sold under the E-Class model names in both sedan and station wagon body types. Underneath the dramatic new aerodynamic skin, the wheelbase grew 1.3 inches over the W124’s and overall length was up 2.2 inches. The engineering itself was rather familiar. There were still double wishbones doing the suspension work up front, and a multilink system holding up the rear.
The W210 E-Class models offered in the U.S. were the E320 with the 3.2-liter, DOHC six from the outgoing W124 making 217 horsepower, and the E300D with the carryover 3.0-liter diesel six. In 1997 the E320 and E300D get new driver-adaptive five-speed automatic. In 1998 the Inline-6 engine was replaced with the 3.2-liter, SOHC, three-valve V6. In 1999 the power from the E55 was raised to 349 hp using a hand-assembled 5.4-liter version of the SOHC, three-valve V8.
The diesel disappeared again as the 2000 model year started and the "Touch Shift" system (that added a manual-shifting scheme to the five-speed automatic gearbox) debuted. A revised front end and interior appeared in ’02 as well.
Mercedes E-Class W211 (2003-present)
The Mercedes-Benz W211 series entered production in 2002. They are sold under the E-Class model names. The current E-Class arrived in U.S. in 2003.
The E320 received the now familiar 3.2-liter, SOHC V6 making 221 horsepower, while the new E500’s 5.0-liter, SOHC, 24-valve V8 knocks out 302 horsepower. It is also the first E-Class since 1985 to have two windshield wipers. Among the interesting new features on the W210 generation are electronically controlled brakes, an adaptive suspension (standard on the E500, optional on the E320) that continually adjusts spring and damper rates for the benefit of ride quality and handling, four-zone climate control and optional Drive Dynamic seats that alter cushioning in response to cornering forces.
The E63 is a new model for 2007. It features an AMG designed and built 6,208-cc, DOHC, 32-valve V-8. This engine has a high-pressure die-cast alloy cylinder block with twin-wire arc spray coated running surfaces. It develops net horse power of 507 hp @ 6,800 rpm and net torque 465 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm.
BMW i s working on a replacement of the current 5-Series. The sixth generation will come in 2009 as a four-door sedan and also a station wagon it is expected in 2010. The next generation 5-Series will grow in overall length, by extending the wheelbase nearly 3 inches and widening the track, so will be bigger then the actual one.
The 5-Series will be powered by a large choice of 6 petrol engines (ranging from 2.5 litre 218hp to 4.4 litre V8 biturbo 408hp) and four diesels (ranging from 2.0 litre 175hp to 3.0 litre 300hp). The diesel engines should get urea injection – as Mercedes is pioneering – to cut nitrogen oxide emissions. A stop/start system and upshift indicator for six-speed manual versions will help reduce fuel consumption, and the engines should be biofuel- and synfuel-compatible. Brake energy-regeneration, in combination with adaptive alternator control, should also save up to 10 percent more fuel too. Also in the works is a more powerful version of the M5’s 5.0-liter V10. The 5-series will have a top speed electronically limited to 155 mph.
The classic six-speed manual gearbox is joined by a traditional, torque-converter automatic that shifts 50 percent quicker and also can skip gears. BMW ’s unloved SMG sequential manual found in today’s M5 bites the dust, but two new auto/manual hybrids are planned. One is a faster-shifting evolution of the current SMG. The other is a dual-clutch automatic.
Audi set a new benchmark in the luxury performance segment when it introduced the Audi A6 to North America. A scant one year later, the successful V8 and V6 variants are being joined by an A6 3.2 sedan with Audi’s revolutionary multitronic (CVT) transmission and FrontTrak front wheel drive. In all of its forms, the latest generation of the Audi A6 combines superior driving dynamÂics and sophisticated technology with exceptional comfort and equipÂment.
Eight potent and cultivated engines power the A6 – five petrol units and three TDIs, the diesel versions being equipped with particulate filters. The power output of the engines ranges from 103 kW/140 bhp to 257 kW/350 bhp. In addition to front-wheel drive, most versions are available with quattro permanent four-wheel drive incorporating the self-locking centre differential; this is standard on the 4.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI. Three modern technologies transmit power to the wheels – a manual six-speed gearbox, a tiptronic transmission, likewise with six speeds, and the continuously variable multitronic.
A new ultra-modern V6 power unit with a displacement of 2.8 litres will be available for the Audi A6 and A6 Avant from 20 October 2006. The engine has an output of 154 kW (210 bhp) and achieves 280 Nm of torque, available constantly from 3,000 to 5,000 rpm. As well as FSI etrol direct injection, the V6 thus for the first time features a highly efficient but astonishingly simple valve control technology – the innovative Audi valvelift system. What this means for Audi drivers is even more driving fun, on appreciably less fuel.
The all-new, fully redesigned ES marks the fourth Lexus sedan to benefit from the L-finesse design language. Going on sale in late April, the fifth-generation ES improves upon every level of comfort, safety, performance and craftsmanship in the elegant five-passenger sedan.
This is the fifth generation of the company’s popular ES (Elegant Sedan) entry level luxury model. Together with their IS sports sedan, it marks the starting point of this premium brand. At least, that’s what they tell me. Nowadays, every manufacturer seems to be promoting an entry level luxury vehicle.
The young and some of us “not-so-young” people will equally enjoy the performance of the ES 350 which features a 3.5 litre V6, producing 272 hp. This is then coupled to an electronically-controlled six speed automatic transmission. Power is then sent, with the aid of Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control, to the front wheels. 0-100 times are listed at 6.8 seconds, which is not bad for a car that doesn’t claim to be a sports model. The ES 350, however, does handle the road well even when driven hard, and the brakes more than meet the requirements of the car.