More Indian than you think!
This tag-line is already taken by another German company, the German air carrier Lufthansa. Another German company, Mercedes-Benz also started thinking in that line and the result is their Long Wheel Base (LWB) version of their most popular car in their line-up, the E-Class. Considering the popularity of E-Class among the chauffeur-driven owners, it is a smart move by the German automaker to manufacture the right-hand drive LWB E-Class in India. The LWB E-Class was first launched in China. However, Chinese drives exactly opposite side of the road and they prefer petrol models over the diesel. This makes India the first country to get the right-hand drive version of the E-Class LWB.
Let’s jump into the interiors before ogling the long span design and elegant design lines. The major change and the highlight of the LWB are obviously the extra legroom and added luxury at the rear. The rear seats are the ones where you enjoy spending time in the car. The electric rear seats ensure paramount ride comfort. The rear seats can be tilted up to 37-degrees allowing the passengers to have a relaxed angle. The seats have memory and can store up to three separate positions for each seat. The car also gets an impressive 970 mm headroom. The electric sun blinds, the panoramic sunroof and interior materials reeking with quality makes it the ultimate when it comes to the automotive luxury and comfort. E-Class also gets the soft pillow-like headrest as the S-Class. To add, Mercedes has vastly improved the sound deadening compared to the outgoing model.
The front leather seats get multiple adjustments to ensure you travel at peak comfort and convenience. The ‘Exclusive’ trim gets arctic leather and white carpets. The car gets three-zone climate control with total 10 vents (six at the front and four at the rear) to ensure quick and individualistic cooling preferences. The interior can be illuminated with 64-palette ambient lighting with separate controls for the front and the rear. The in-car entertainment duties are taken care by the impressive 590W Burmester surround sound system with 13 speakers.
Yes, the length shows, but all that is perfectly packed to perfection. It is sophisticated, stylish with an air of sportiness. The car gets an elegantly elongated bonnet with a coupe-sesque roof which smoothly blends with the broad tail. The long wheelbase is smartly camouflaged with the short overhangs, large wheels and the beautifully crafted side flanks complete the elegant design.
The headlamps are LED high-performance with a striking look which sets the design tone along with the large and prestigious 3-pointed star Merc emblem. The high beam uses LED reflection technology whereas the low beam uses the new LED projection tech. At the rear, the stand-alone taillights equipped with LED technology not only serves the purpose of visibility but also tremendously improve the aesthetics at the rear. The car gets auto-dimming rearview mirrors which improve safety and driving experience. Depending on the degree of blur and ambient light, the driver’s ORVMs and IRVMs are capable of multistage automatic dimming adjustments. The windscreen wipers come with rain sensor, which detects rain water on the windscreen and, with intermittent wiping is active, automatically ensures a wiping frequency to suit the rainfall. Also, automatic heating on the windscreen ensures no condensation which affects the visibility.
Mercedes-Benz is the forerunner when it comes to ensuring safety for its occupants. The car comes with whole host of equipment and features to ensure the passengers are cocooned in safety. The E-Class LWB gets:
- Adaptive brake lights
- Airbags: The cars get front dual airbags, side bags, pelvisbags for the front seats and windowbags. There is an optional kneebag for the driver.
- ATTENTION ASSIST
The occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® is able to identify critical driving situations in advance and to initiate precautionary measures to protect the car’s occupants if an accident appears imminent. Such measures include reversible belt tensioning or automatic closing of open side windows.
Engine and Performance
The Mercedes has a diesel as well as a petrol engine to power the LWB E-Class
E 350 d Diesel
The big car gets a big V6 diesel engine to power it under the hood. The engine dishes out an impressive peak power of 258hp and a turning torque of 620Nm at as low as 1500 rpm. As mentioned earlier, the sound insulation and inherent refinement make the engine so silent that it is hard to hear the engine when this luxobarge glides at 100 kmph. The car breaches the triple digits at just 6.6 seconds and the timings are in the performance car territory. The transmission duties are carried out by the 9G-TRONIC auto gearbox. Top speed is 250 kmph.
E 200 Petrol
The petrol is a 4-cylinder inline engine that dispenses a decent 184hp and a peak torque of 300Nm when the engine is churning at a 1200-4000 rpm range. The petrol Merc can go past the 100 kmph mark in 8.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 240 kmph. The transmission uses the same 9G-TRONIC technology spotted on the diesel.
Ride Comfort and Handling
No doubt, occupant comfort has been given the paramount importance by the German manufacturer while designing the underpinnings and suspension set up of the new E-Class. To put it simple and straight, the car makes you believe that you are floating on the air. The new E-Class with full air suspension offers the best in class ride comfort. The car gets three ride modes: Comfort, Sport and the Sport+. The Sport and Sport+ tautens the suspension and gives a good balance between ride and handling.
About the AIR BODY CONTROL. Air-bound comfort.
The AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension features for the first time on the new E-Class LWB. The multi-chamber air suspension system works in unison with continuously variable damper control to ensure a very high standard of ride comfort and driving dynamics. The damping system adjusts to the given driving and road conditions at each wheel. This is done rapidly and precisely using separate valves for the compression and rebound of the dampers. The benefits are a soft basic suspension and, as the speed increases, the secure feeling that comes from the high level of driving stability. The tauter spring rate effectively reduces pitching and rolling when cornering or braking, for example. Thanks to the pneumatic all-round self-levelling suspension, the vehicle maintains a constant level irrespective of the load. The suspension can be raised by up to 25 mm to increase ground clearance. At high speeds, the suspension is automatically lowered, helping to reduce aerodynamic drag and further improve handling stability.