STUTTGART, Germany – Mercedes’ E-Class, with more than 14-million units delivered since 1946, is the best-selling model in the automaker’s history – to the extend, the company says, that many regard it as the “heart of the brand”.
The most recent changes were made in 2016 when, Mercedes said, it ”took a major step into the future” with a 10th generation that introduced styling highlights, a new interior and innovations that included driving assistance systems.
”This combination,” the automaker told The Corner in a media release from Germany, ”proved extremely successful. More than a million E-Class sedans or Estates have been delivered. Now intelligence is becoming exciting and dynamic: around the middle of 2020 E-Class face-lifted units will be in showrooms across Europe.”
WHAT’S COMING, WHAT’S CHANGED…
And no doubt soon afterwards in South Africa – by which time coupes and convertible units will be available..
Here are the key items involved in the facelift…
Driving assistance systems
Active Distance Assist – Distronic – with route-based speed adjustment. Wth the help of information from LiveTraffic, the E-Class can recognise and respond to tailbacks and slow-moving traffic even before the driver.
When traffic congestion is detected (and if the driver does not choose a different response), Distronic will reduces speed to around 100km/h as a precaution.
Active Tailback Assist: Should there be, for instance, a motorway tailback where there are lane markings, this can substantially assist the driver with lane-keeping and maintaining a safe distance at speeds up to around 60km/h with a high degree of availability.
Active Steering Assist: Can assist the driver in forming a rescue lane on multi-lane roads.
Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: If there’s danger of a collision with oncoming traffic when making a turn across a carriageway, the E-Class can be braked at the speeds typical of such manoeuvres.
Active Blind Spot Assist with exit warning: This can lower the risk of a collision with other road users, such as cyclists. The tech will also monitor the blind spot when stationary, and can warn the driver of approaching vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles when opening a car door.
Parking Package with 360° camera: Side View gives the Parking package a new function that keeps an eye on the entire side of the vehicle. The extended side view makes it easier to manoeuvre alongside close parallel obstacles such as kerbs and garage walls.
New steering-wheel generation with touch controls (control by swiping a touchscreen surface) and larger display screens – 2 x 26cm).
”Hey Mercedes” voice control and augmented reality (additional information such as house numbers is shown virtually in the video image of the surroundings on the media display), and traffic lights are shown.
Interior Assist allows intuitive, natural, operation of comfort and other functions by movement recognition.
Via Mercedes me: Mercedes-Benz Urban Guard (all-round surveillance of parked vehicles) will give collision damage warning, tow-away protection warning, anti-theft warning, tracking in case of theft, deactivation by cellphone of a lost ignition/entry key, owner’s ability to deactivate the vehicle key by smartphone.
Efficient Technology Initiative: Electrification of the powertrain will introduce seven plug-in hybrids, among them 4Matic variants, and new in-line normal engines will be introduced.