Chassis: A wealth of comfort combined with agility
The E-Class Estate is an ideal touring car as it is spacious, safe and comfortable thanks largely to the chassis. Standard features include rear air suspension with level control system and a selective passive damping system. Optional extras include AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension as well as DYNAMIC SELECT with its choice of several driving modes - from exceptionally comfortable to extremely sporty.
One of the main aims when configuring and tuning the new E-Class was to optimise sensitivity when driving over transverse joints in the road. New features include the four-link front axle which decouples the spring strut from the wheel location. In addition, the four-link principle offers favourable axle kinematics. As many of its components are made of aluminium, it is around two kilograms lighter than a corresponding steel design. This reduction in weight supports a sensitive response and contributes to the efficiency of the new E-Class.
An optimised multi-link independent rear suspension with five links ensures excellent wheel control qualities and supreme straight-line stability. The rear axle carrier and the spring control arms are made of forged aluminium. A large rear axle bearing helps ensure better decoupling of vibrations.
Fitted as standard: AGILITY CONTROL with selective damping system
The selective passive damping system ensures balanced ride comfort by optimising ride characteristics, damping effect and stabilisation in line with the road surface conditions. Models with the AVANTGARDE exterior and AMG Line exterior have the suspension lowered by 15 mm.
DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL will be available from December 2016. With this optional extra, the driver is able to modify the vehicle's damping characteristics using the DYNAMIC SELECT Switch. Three modes are available, offering a wide range of adjustment options: "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport+". Plus the suspension has been lowered by 15 mm. There is a choice of two characteristic curves for the steering: "Comfort" for comfort-oriented, light steering and "Sport" for a sporty steering feel with feedback of the lateral acceleration through progressively increasing torque on the steering wheel. The steering can also be individualised by combining a sporty shock absorber configuration with comfort-oriented and light steering, for example.
No compromises AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension
As standard, the Estate has steel suspension at the front and single-chamber air suspension at the rear. The latter features a very compact design, maintains ride comfort even with a full load on board and ensures that the rear end remains horizontal even when laden.
Alternatively, the E-Class can be equipped with multi-chamber air suspension all round – the only car in its segment to offer this option. Advantages of this system: three chambers of different size in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control, in three stages, how stiffly the suspension reacts. Moreover, as neither the air spring struts on the front axle nor the free-standing air spring on the rear axle need be responsible for wheel control or, therefore, absorb transverse forces, the passengers can enjoy a soft basic springing that irons out transverse joints in the road, asphalt repairs and other bumps. At higher speeds, they have the safe feeling of high driving stability. A harder spring rate, for example when cornering and braking, effectively reduces body roll.
Furthermore, the highly sensitive and fast-responding AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension features all-round self-levelling for excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It controls the ride height automatically depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the motorway, for example, by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads or access roads, the ground clearance can also be increased at the push of a button using the ride height adjustment switch.
What's more, a DYNAMIC SELECT switch in the cockpit enables the driver to select from four AIR BODY CONTROL modes: "Comfort", "ECO", "Sport" and "Sport +". The additional "Individual" option allows drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences.
Steering made easy: electromechanical Direct-Steer system
All models of the E-Class family are equipped as standard with a sporty, electromechanical Direct-Steer system. It combines speed-sensitive power assistance for the speed-sensitive steering with a steering ratio that varies according to the given steering angle. The power assistance for the rack-and-pinion steering gear is controlled on demand.
Advantages of the electromechanical Direct-Steer system:
- Improved agility thanks to more direct steering response
- Comfortable handling and high level of steering comfort at all speeds
- Savings potential, since energy is required only for steering
- Enables the use of assistance systems, such as Active Park Assist
Brakes: internally ventilated discs and ADAPTIVE BRAKE
The braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs meets high standards in terms of stopping distance, response, fade resistance, directional stability and service life of the brake pads. Single or 4-piston sliding callipers on the front and rear axles with brake discs the size of which depend on the engine provide for rapid deceleration.
The E-Class comes as standard with ADAPTIVE BRAKE. It offers among other things
- Hill-Start Assist which prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards on hills and thus facilitates starting off
- a HOLD function which keeps the vehicle immobile without having to continuously press the brake pedal
- a brake-drying function which regularly wipes the moisture from the brake discs to make full braking power available at all times
- the priming function. This function brings the brake pads into light contact with the disc if the driver suddenly releases the accelerator, and can thus shorten the stopping distance during subsequent braking.
An electric parking brake is provided as standard. Pressing the control beneath the rotary light switch engages the electric parking brake; pulling releases it. The driver can also use the automatic release function Comfort Go. It automatically releases the parking brake when driving off.