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Mercedes-Benz E-Class W211

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New-Generation V6 Engine Provides More Power, Better Fuel Economy

LOS ANGELES – The 2006-model E350 sedan and wagon on display at the Greater L.A. Auto Show, open to the public January 6-15, 2006, feature a new-generation 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower – a 20 percent increase over the 3.2-liter engine. Replacing the previous E320 models, the new E350 sedan and wagon have been upgraded with larger brakes as well as 17-inch wheels and tires. All 2006 E-Class models come with an important new safety feature – active front head restraints. In the event of a rear collision exceeding the system’s deployment threshold, the front head restraints move forward more than 1¾ inches (44 mm) and upward by more than an inch (30 mm), helping to support the head and reduce whiplash injuries. After they’ve been deployed, the head restraints can be re-set to their original position using a special tool that comes with the car.

The New-Generation E350 Engine

The 3.5-liter V6 features four valves per cylinder, double-overhead camshafts and variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust valves. This powerplant represents the first time Mercedes-Benz has used double-overhead camshaft technology on their V6 engines. One of the most powerful engines for its size, the 3.5-liter aluminum head and block V6 produces 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, with max torque available from 2,400 rpm all the way up to 5,000 rpm.

Variable valve timing requires separate camshafts for the intake and exhaust. Valve timing is controlled by electro-hydraulic vane-type actuators on the end of each camshaft that, with the help of integral hydraulic valves, can vary intake and exhaust valve timing through a range of 40 degrees.

At low load or part throttle, the exhaust valves remain open for a short time as the intake valves are already opening, creating internal exhaust gas recirculation by allowing exhaust gas to enter the intake ports to reduce exhaust emissions and boost fuel mileage. To boost mid-range torque, this valve overlap is automatically reduced at higher loads, when the throttle is open further, and at mid-range engine speeds. At high engine speeds, the intake valves open and close even later for optimal air flow and volumetric efficiency.

The Long and the Short of It

While variable valve timing gets much of the credit for the engine’s broad torque curve, a two-stage intake manifold plays a key role as well. Long spiral intake passages are cast into the super-lightweight magnesium intake manifold, and flaps (one for each cylinder) force intake air to take this relatively long route through the manifold and build up pressure waves, which boost the intake process and improve low- and mid-range torque.

Above about 3,500 rpm, the flaps open, allowing intake air to take a shortcut – a more direct route to the cylinders – for maximum high-speed power and efficiency. The electronic engine control unit determines precisely when the flaps are open and closed.
Tumble Flaps Improve Fuel Efficiency

The new-generation engine is also equipped with tumble flaps in the intake passages near the combustion chamber. The tumble flaps open under part load, improving combustion by creating additional turbulence around the intake valves and in each combustion chamber. During higher engine loads such as full throttle, the tumble flaps are completely recessed in the wall of the intake manifold. Better combustion helps improve engine torque, but the primary purpose of the tumble flaps is to further increase fuel economy, and tests show that the tumble flaps indeed boost fuel mileage by about two percent.

The 2006 E-Class Lineup

The current E-Class is one of the world’s most successful luxury car lines and represents about 25 percent of total Mercedes-Benz sales in the U.S. In addition to the new E350 sedan and wagon models, the 2006 E-Class lineup includes the E320 CDI diesel sedan, the V8-powered E500 sedan and wagon, and the limited-production E55 AMG. The E500 features a 5.0-liter 302-hp V8, while the E55 AMG sedan and wagon boast an award-winning supercharged V8 that makes a whopping 469 horsepower!

Better Fuel Mileage – Better Performance

Equipped with the latest innovative diesel technology, the E320 CDI boasts 201 hp and 369 lb-ft. of torque, enough to propel the car to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. With surprisingly good performance, low exhaust emissions, great fuel economy and low noise levels this latest generation of electronically injected CDI engines is changing consumers’ dated perceptions about diesel engines.

Like all diesels, the E320 CDI gets great fuel mileage and has increased cruising range over a comparable gasoline-powered car. What’s more important, the E320 CDI will do all that without sacrificing performance. Compared to the previous E320 gasoline engine with the same displacement, the E320 CDI gets nearly 40 percent better fuel economy. Thanks to its CDI electronic fuel injection, even the usual diesel engine sound is muted. From inside the vehicle at idle, the E320 CDI registers just 44 decibels. For comparison: An average doorbell produces about 75 decibels.

CDI diesel technology will help expand the company’s already broad product portfolio in the U.S. market. In addition, Mercedes-Benz’ pioneering role in modern diesel engine development is likely to play a key role in the company’s future products that could include hybrids, advanced piston engines and fuel cells.

Seven-Speed Automatic Transmission for E350 and E500

The E350 and E500 rear-drive models come equipped with the world’s first seven-speed automatic transmission. The seven-speed transmission improves acceleration from 0 to 60 mph by up to 0.3 seconds and allows significantly quicker acceleration in highway passing situations. At the same time, shifting is even smoother than with the previous five-speed.

Using seven gears allows the individual gears to be spaced closer together allowing the engine to run in its most favorable rev range more often. The seven-speed automatic transmission is able to select the optimum gear for any given situation and offers a larger overall spread between the lowest and highest gear. Selecting from seven gears also means the transmission’s electronic control has greater flexibility in adjusting shift points for lower average engine speeds – a clear plus in terms of both reducing fuel consumption and minimizing noise.

When the driver shifts down rapidly through the gears (kickdown), the seven-speed transmission does not always select the individual gears in strict order. Instead, the transmission will skip a particular gear if necessary, switching from seventh gear straight down to fifth, for example, and even from sixth to second, skipping three gears at once.

The E320 CDI sedan, E55 AMG sedan and wagon as well as all 4MATIC sedans and wagons retain the 5-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift control.

Sportier Than Ever

An all-new Sport package is now available for the E350 and E500 sedans. The new Sport package includes sculpted side skirts, front and rear aprons, dual polished chrome exhaust tips and staggered width (8/5 x 18 front, 9.0 x 18 rear), ten-spoke alloy wheels with high-performance tires – 245/40 ZR 18 in front and 265/35 ZR 18 at the rear. Complementing these features is a lowered sport suspension, throatier exhaust system, a more direct steering ratio and silver front brake calipers with cross-drilled rotors. Other visual cues include LED brake lights and blue tinted glass. On the inside, the new Sport package receives a premium leather interior, black birds-eye maple trim with matte chrome accents and white gauge faces for the instruments.

Advanced Restraint Systems

All E-Class models come with adaptive dual-stage front air bags, and crash sensors determine the correct inflation rate of the front air bags. In a less severe impact, only the first stage of the adaptive front air bags deploys, while the inflation of both stages is reserved for more serious collisions.

The inflation rate of the front passenger seat air bag is further dependent on the passenger’s weight classification, as determined by sensors in the seat. If a front passenger seat occupant is classified as a small child, the sensors in the Occupant Classification System (OCS) automatically suppress deployment of the front passenger air bag.

New crash sensors also help determine the activation of seat belt tensioners. In more severe collisions that exceed the deployment threshold, the seat belt tensioners can remove belt slack sooner. Later in the collision sequence, belt force limiters can reduce peak forces exerted by the seat belt, to reduce chest loads and shoulder injuries. All E-Class models are equipped with a rollover sensor that can deploy the window bags and belt tensioners if it detects an imminent rollover.

Active Curve Illuminating Headlights

Bi-xenon headlights are optionally available on the E-Class with an active-curve illuminating headlight system jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and Hella.

The heart of the system is a microcomputer integrated into the electronic data network of the vehicle, which is supplied with real-time information from the steering-angle and speed sensors. Each bi-xenon module is equipped with its own electronics unit and an electric motor, which turns the light left to right.

The active-curve illuminating headlights operate in both low and high-beam mode, adjusting their direction in response to the speed of the car and steering angle. While the headlights react quickly to changes in steering wheel angle when the vehicle is moving rapidly, the headlights shift more slowly when the vehicle is moving at lower speeds.

The active-curve illuminating xenon headlights are designed to increase illumination of the road ahead in curves by as much as 90 percent, compared to fixed halogen lights. Active curve illuminating headlamps are available as part of the optional lighting package available on all E-Class models.

S-Class Derived Dual-Control Air Suspension

The E-Class combines cornering abilities that befit a sports sedan with the superb ride comfort of a luxury car. The four-link front suspension is similar to that of the S-Class, and its patented five-link rear suspension provides unparalleled wheel motion control.

A version of the air suspension from the S-Class, called Airmatic DC (for Dual Control), is standard on the E500 and E55 AMG models. Airmatic suspension uses sensors that monitor road conditions, driving style and cornering forces to ensure that the system always chooses the best air spring and shock absorber settings. The system can switch between different damping profiles in a fraction of a second, and the driver can also select from four pre-set suspension response programs.

Even Greater Luxury

The E-Class interior features a sweeping dashboard and center console, soft-touch trim surfaces, elegant wood and chrome trim elements and a full array of power amenities. The E350 comes equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, while the E500 features standard four-zone climate control that allows different temperature settings for the rear outboard passengers as well as the driver and front passenger.

The E-Class comes equipped with a long list of standard equipment including power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows with one-touch up/down operation and auto-dimming mirrors. A motorized wood-trimmed panel in the center console reveals extra storage space or the optional six-disc CD changer.

The standard COMAND display, which can be fitted with an optional DVD-based navigation system, also includes a nine-speaker audio system with surround sound. An optional harman/kardon LOGIC7 system takes high-performance audio to a new level with seven-channel digital surround sound, 420 Watts of total output and 12 high-end speakers.

Source - Mercedes-Benz