AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Like Mariah Carey’s ancestry, modern crossover vehicles have unusual roots. The award-winning American singer’s family tree is more varied than the flora of a rainforest understory. Her unique blend of nationalities includes African, Venezuelan and Irish. That’s more ingredients than Belorussian variety sausage. Who’s hungry for some lean, finely textured opossum?
If you’re a luxury automaker trying to be successful in China, you better have a long wheelbase model or two in your lineup.
This Week’s Five-Point Inspection takes a look at the soon-to-be-overhauled Mercedes-Benz E-Class, what we love about it and what we’d like to see changed.
About to become redundant, there is a mid-cycle refresh coming for the 2014 model year which will put the current E-Class out to pasture. This doesn’t mean the E-Class is necessarily a bad vehicle, but in the ever evolving world of luxury automobiles, it is either constantly improve your brand or get left behind.
With a base price of $51,905 after transportation charges, the E-Class may be the most versatile vehicle in the automotive kingdom. There are no fewer than four distinct body styles, five engine choices, three fuel options and two drivelines.
Mercedes-Benz chose the hallowed ground of the Detroit Auto Show to unveil its redesigned 2014 E-Class, which is the brand’s second-most-popular nameplate in the U.S. The lineup includes sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible models, but that’s not all! The high-powered AMG version also got reworked, and was just revealed in Motown.
Dead on from the front or the back, it looks like just any other new Mercedes-Benz E-class, but take a look at its profile shot and you will no doubt rub your eyes and have a double-take.
It’s an E-class alright, but it doesn’t have two-doors, or even four. No, this one has six-doors and that is what will give you a leg up on all your friends who have E-class Merc’s.
This steel blue limo, which is a 2011 model and has covered just 3105-miles, is based on the E350 model, and retains the factory spec 3.5-liter, V6 engine and its seven-speed automatic gearbox. According to the advert, it can do 149-mph flat-out, so this might just be among the fastest limousines on the planet.
And where will you find this rather special E-class? Dubai of course.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Six Door E-Class
[Source: Alain Class]
Price, looks and size… these are the few factors that used to decide what vehicle you’d park in your driveway. Looking for a cheap and small car? A Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic will do. Need something bigger, perhaps a mid-size Hyundai Sonata or an SUV. Things used to be pretty easy.
With increasingly high gas prices and an overall movement towards green, fuel efficient vehicles, fuel economy has become more important. In fact, for many price, looks and size are now completely trumped by fuel economy.
“Buyers just look at the MPG on the sticker,” says IHS Automotive Analyst Devin Lindsay commenting that car buyers are now completely mesmerized by the EPA sticker label.
Take a look at the Toyota Prius, for example. It’s not terribly big, is fairly expensive, and looks… well… weird. But that didn’t stop three million of them from being sold, all thanks to a hybrid gas-electric engine that provides excellent fuel economy.
The Prius isn’t the only option for someone looking for a fuel efficient car, however; especially those in search of a more engaging driving experience. If you want to cut down on trips to the pump, and still drive a fun, powerful, good looking car, your best bet might just be in a diesel powered vehicle. That does mean you’ll almost certainly have to drive German, although a flood of new diesel-powered vehicles are about to hit our shore.
Today, Mercedes-Benz produced its 500,000th W212 E-Class at its assembly plant in Sindelfingen, Germany.
It took the automaker three years to hit this production milestone on the latest generation of E-Class, first introduced in 2009 at the Geneva Motor Show. The 500,000th car is a white E350 4Matic and is destined for the U.S. market.
The E-Class has found success in the business world, but you may be surprised to know it’s also a popular taxi. The E-Class is one of the most popular taxi’s used worldwide.
With over 10 million units sold since its start, the E-Class has been a successful executive-class vehicle for the Mercedes-Benz brand. It marries comfort, performance and technology.
When it was introduced in 2009, the revised E-Class was actually available for $4,600 less than the previous model. Despite that, it was totally refreshed with a an exterior characterize by its new, sharp lines and in interior that took countless hours of engineering. The result, one of Merc’s best cars to date.
Among the new features, Mercedes customers could now enjoy Night View Assist Plus, which allowed drivers to see farther into the dark through the navigation screen among other safety features.
As the brand ushers its half-millionth E-Class it’s hard not to look ahead at the promised 2014 revision and anticipate much better it might be. While we already know there isn’t a drastic redesign like the 2009 model got, there’s still plenty to look forward to.
Mercedes is currently developing a super light version of its popular E-Class reports Auto Bild magazine. Through an extensive use of carbon fiber, Mercedes is hoping to shave off an impressive 770-lbs from the current models, targeting a curb weight of under 2,900 lbs. By using a carbon fiber structure, Mercedes will be able to eliminate the B-pillar, possibly creating more radical designs on the popular E-Class chassis.
Naturally with a lighter body, these superlight E-Classes will sport even better performance with a more favorable power-to-weight ratio. This would also benefit in the mpg department if Mercedes opts to use smaller and more fuel efficient engines in order to power the svelte E-Class. Rumor has it that Mercedes has these E-Classes scheduled to release sometime in 2015 and will hopefully produce around 20,000 annually.
Brabus is claiming to have built the world’s most powerful and fastest four-seater cabriolet, outfitting Mercedes-Benz‘s E-Class Cabriolet with an 800-hp V12 Biturbo powerplant. The result is a made-to-order E-Class Cabriolet with a price tag of $681,000 (based on today’s conversion rates).
The 800-hp V12 engine uses the three-valve S600 motor but stroked to 6.3-liters with plenty of headwork. Along with the reworked motor, Brabus bolts on two special exhaust manifolds with larger turbochargers. Four water-to-air intercoolers provide more than adequate cooling while all the gasses are expelled from a quad-tipped exhaust system. Under the custom hood is an integrated carbon fiber ram-air intake manifold. The peak torque of the 6.3L is an astonishing 1,047 lb-ft, but the E-Class Cabriolet is electronically limited to 811 lb-ft.
To enhance the exterior appearance of this 800-hp convertible beast, Brabus outfits it with an aerodynamic kit featuring a front apron with LED daytime lights and front and rear widebody fenders – with the rear in carbon fiber and going 2.4-inches wider. This allows for a front pair of 19×9.5-inch wheels with 265/30/19 tires while the rear gets 19×10-inch wheels with 295/30/19 Yokohama tires.
Of course with all this work being done to provide plenty of power to the vehicle and enhancing its look, suspension modifications were done with Brabus’ coilover suspension with 10-way adjustable Bilstein shocks. Height adjustments can be made up to 1.4-inches. Alongside the coilovers is a set of 12-piston front calipers and 6-piston rear calipers with larger rotors.
And as always interior upgrades can be had catered to the buyer’s preferences, with this first model featuring a red and black leather scheme. Carbon fiber can be seen on the dashboard, center console and side trim.
For such an insane price, we understand why the vehicle is made to order. We’re curious to see how many vehicles Brabus ends up selling with that price tag.
GALLERY: Brabus E-Class 800 V12 Cabriolet
North America will be receiving the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class AMG E63 Wagon, according to a leaked dealer order guide. BenzBoost.com reports the E63 wagon will get the same twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 that debuted in the E63 sedan at last month’s New York Auto Show. The wagon will also get the stop/start technology coupled with a seven speed MCT dual-clutch transmission.
Mercedes has previously offered the E63 wagon in extremely limited numbers, as it occupies such a small niche that only the wealthy and eccentric would ever gravitate towards such a car. On the other hand, a high performance wagon can act as a halo for the brand, a factor that prompted Cadillac to offer a wagon version of the CTS-V.
Federal investigators are looking into faulty airbags on the 2005-06 Mercedes-Benz E-Class luxury sedan. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that it has received four complaints regarding a wiring harness in the steering column, that could lead to the aig bags failing to deploy in a front-impact crash. No injuries have been reported. Roughly 100,000 vehicles could be affected.
According to Robert Moran at Mercedes-Benz USA, the issue stems from a wring harness that could be too short. The problem may arise if a driver puts the telescopic wheel all the way out. Moran says that if this happens to a vehicle, it would signal a warning light telling the owner to bring the vehicle in for service.
Following a spate of recalls by Toyota, NHTSA itself has also been under close scrutiny and so has been stepping up its number of recall investigations.
Mercedes-Benz is expanding its E-Class family of vehicles with a new wagon. Called the Estate in European markets, the wagon will be available with ten different engine options.
The new wagon will launch in November with two gas options and three diesel options:
- E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 3498 cm³, 215 kW/292 hp, 8.6–8.9 l/100 km, 200–208 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission
- E 500: V8, 5461 cm³, 285 kW/388 hp, 11.1–11.2 l/100 km, 258–260 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission
- E 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cm³, 125 kW/170 hp,5.8 l/100 km, 150 g/km, 6-speed manual transmission
- E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cm³, 150 kW/204 hp, 5.8 l/100 km, 150 g/km, 6-speed manual transmission
- E 350 CDI Blue-EFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cm³, 170 kW/231 hp, 7.0–7.3 l/100 km, 185–192 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission
An additional three gas options and two diesels will be introduced in early 2010:
- E 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 1796 cc, 135 kW/183 hp,7.7-n/a l/100 km, CO2 179-n/a g/km, 6-speed manual transmission,
- E 250 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 1796 cc, 150 kW/204 hp,8.0-8.2 l/100 km, CO2 185-191 g/km, 5-speed automatic transmission
- E 350 4MATIC: V6, 3498 cc, 200 kW/272 hp, 10.2-10.3 l/100 km,CO2 238-241 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission
- E 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cm³, 100 kW/136 hp,5.7–n/a l/100 km, 150-n/a g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission
- E 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cc, 170 kW/231 hp, 7.6–7.7 l/100 km, CO2 200-203 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission
The new wagon will have air suspension with rear self-leveling. The E-Class wagon has a load capacity to 68.8 cubic feet.
In addition to the standard models, AMG will, as expected, offer its own version of the E-Class Wagon: the E63 AMG Estate. With a 6.2-liter V8 making 518hp and 465 ft-lbs of torque, the E63 Wagon will get you (and all of your stuff) where you have to go… fast. In fact, the E63 Estate takes just 4.6 seconds to hit 60 mph! And because if you bought a wagon you might actually care somewhat about practicality, Mercedes is pleased to announce that the new 2010 model is now 12 percent more fuel-efficient.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
More on the E63 AMG Estate after the jump:
Despite rumors of its delay, Mercedes has confirmed that the E-Class station wagon (or Estate as they call it in Europe) will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September.
Sales of the new E-Class are already off to a strong start says Mercedes with 40,000 units already delivered and U.S. and Chinese deliveries still yet to happen.
“The fact that the E-Class sedan already became the global market leader in May demonstrates how well it is being received by our customers,” said Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz. “The new coupe is also extremely popular, thanks to its dynamic design and the new generation of efficient engines. We are very delighted with this positive response because the E-Class has always been of great importance for Mercedes-Benz. It’s an exemplary embodiment of the brand’s basic attributes of safety, comfort, and quality. The new E-Class also sets the standards when it comes to economy in the upper-range segment.”
The E-Class wagon will debut as a 2010 model and like past versions we expect the North American market to receive the E350 4MATIC and 6.2-liter V8-powered E63 AMG model.
Official release after the jump:
Those patiently waiting for a new E-Class Convertible or Wagon will have to wait a little longer. According to a report in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport both versions of the E-Class have been put on hold as Mercedes-Benz searches for ways to balance its books.
In order to limit expenditures (in both development costs and marketing) the company is delaying both versions of the E-Class. The new E-Class Convertible was expected to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September but instead it will be pushed back to the Geneva Auto Show, which will be held in March of 2010.
An extra six month wait isn’t too long, and puts the car’s release in perfect timing with the changing seasons, however, the E-Class Wagon (or Estate as it’s called in Europe) won’t appear until 2012.
The article also says that Mercedes is planning to release the second-generation CLS in 2010.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via Autoblog]