A big step has just been taken by Mercedes-Benz in this fast changing and jittery world. This Sunday night in Detroit, on the eve of the 2016 North American International Auto show the company staged the global reveal of the 2017 E-Class, the company’s middle-of-the-road Sedan that slots between the flagship S and the high-volume C.
Being one of the latest cars in Mercedes’ lineup, this 10th generation E-Class is longer than the previous model, with a muscular front end and single-piece taillight. It comes with some great features including Drive Pilot, a semi-autonomous system that is able to handle highway driving up to 130 miles per hour. The car also has a nine-speed automatic transmission and suspension that offers comfort and sport modes and introduces a new air suspension system to control the ride height automatically. That depends on how fast the car will improve ride and fuel economy.
The new E-Class offers the idea of touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel, which you can swipe like a Smartphone and control the infotainment system without having to take hands off the steering wheel. You can also control the infotainment system using the voice commands or a touch pad with a controller that identifies handwriting in the center console. The seats as well as the door armrests, steering wheel and center console can be heated.
“The E-Class is the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand and in the past has repeatedly redefined the standards in the business-class segment. Now it carries this tradition into the future with a wealth of top-class innovations. The new E-Class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving. In addition, it enhances efficiency, safety and comfort, reduces the stress level when driving and intensifies driving pleasure,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, head of Daimler’s Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
There is an optional Driver Assistance Package Plus that will brake, accelerate, steer, and change lanes for you. Just put on the turn signal and see the car change lanes for you if the lane is clear. To avoid any accidents, the automatic braking system can watch for vehicles coming across streets and stop the car. The clever steering assist augments the driver’s steering input in abrupt maneuvers to avoid accidents. It also comes with a smart audio system that even transmits a carefully designed sound when a sound is inevitable to cause occupants’ eardrums to tense, decreasing the odds of ear injury from the noise of a collision.
The new E-Class will be available in the U.S. in mid-2016 with a turbocharged 2-liter, four cylinder gasoline engine that puts out 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes confirms that there will be more engine choices in future including diesel engines for Europe. To test the standard production E-Class as an autonomous vehicle, Daimler has received a license in Nevada. Pricing of the most technically advanced luxury car has yet to be announced.