Mercedes-Benz 2017 E-Class Drives Us Into the Future – By Mike Spry

Our automobiles are, perhaps, the most important singular item in our lives, besides our families. They take us from every point A to any point B. They transport our loved ones, our aspirations, and our dreams. They are our literal vehicle to the future. But they are not simple conveniences, not rudimentary elements of a complicated life. They are an extension of who we are, who we want to be. They aren’t just where we’re going, they’re the manner, the aesthetic, and the way we get there. And in an ever-changing world, as our hopes evolve and our dreams achieve fruition, we need our vehicles—literally and figuratively—to evolve along with us. To match our evolution. To seek out perfection as we do. To not just aspire to luxury, but to define it. To not just transport us, but to drive us. To not just be an accessory, but an extension. To not just be a car, but to be a
Mercedes-Benz.

In 1926, when Gottlieb Daimler’s and Karl Benz’s companies merged to become Daimler-Benz, they branded their automobiles with the name Mercedes-Benz, and for ninety years that name has come to symbolize the very definition of luxury driving. But what is luxury if not a leader, a trend setter, that which sets the bar. Luxury is not built, but rather crafted. And the best in automotive technology is not adapted, but rather invented. The 2017 E-Class, the tenth generation of the iconic ride, is the next step in automotive excellence, a tribute to Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to its design philosophy—“sensual purity”—and the new industry standard in luxury automobile technology. The idiom that tomorrow never comes is put to bed with the 2017 E-Class. Tomorrow is here as Mercedes-Benz takes the luxury automobile beyond our dreams.

The Mercedes-Benz isn’t a car, it’s a lifestyle. And in order to exist within that maxim, the E-Class must be a step above—a lap beyond—the competition. The exterior is everything you’d expect from an E-Class twenty-three years into its incarnation as the ultimate in elite driving. With an expanded wheelbase complementing its design traditions, the 2017 model is as sleek as it is stylish, classic as it is nouveau. The interior elegance is completely customizable, using the revolutionary designo feature. designo allows Mercedes-Benz owners to further define their vehicle as not just an asset but an extension of the self. In individualizing each car’s colours in paint, leather and interior trim, no two vehicles will ever be the same, just as no two owners are the same. designo is not simple customization. It’s expression.

But that’s what you’ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz. What you demand from the
E-Class is the advances in technology that separate it from the field. Their engineers are constantly striving to redefine every notion, every belief, every assumption about the
possibilities of the automobile. And the latest in the E-Class line is a tribute to their innovation and ambition.

Safety is every driver’s biggest concern. What value are luxury and performance if they aren’t accompanied by assurance from harm, fostered by technology? When you choose to be a Mercedes-Benz driver you expect more, and as it has for ninety years the automotive icon delivers on expectations.

The revolutionary Pre-Safe Impulse Side function doesn’t just prepare drivers and passengers for side impact. It employs radar sensors and network information to literally move those in peril to safety, reducing risk of injury and providing further confidence and comfort in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The patented Pre-Safe Sound technology can sense an impending collision, further defining Mercedes-Benz as the industry leader in automotive safety technology. The vehicle emits a “pink noise” alert through the audio system to warn the driver that danger is near. Rodolfo Schöneburg, Head of Vehicle Safety, Durability and Corrosion Protection at Mercedes-Benz celebrates the technology in noting that Pre-Safe Sound, “works by triggering a protective physical reflex in the milli-seconds prior to a collision. And so for the first time the vehicle occupants themselves become an integral part of safety technology.”

Complementing the Pre-Safe functions is the Car-to-X Communication technology, or what Mercedes-Benz calls “dialogue on the road”. Car-to-X Communications allows the impossible: to see what’s coming next, to peer into the future to maximize the efficiency and safety of the E-Class. It uses network technology to create a link between vehicles and existing traffic infrastructure. Mercedes-Benz Head of Car-to-X development, Dr. Christian Weiss, explains the world’s first technology of its kind: “When the vehicle receives a hazard warning, the technology compares the vehicle’s position with the location of the hazard…As soon as the vehicle approaches the danger spot, the driver is audibly and visually warned.” It also warns other Mercedes-Benz motorists of impending dangers, and in keeping with Mercedes-Benz vision for a safer future for all drivers, Weiss adds, “the aim is to have the entire automotive industry jointly pursue Car-to-X communication.”

But advanced and revolutionary technology does not just inform the E-Class’ safety features, it also reiterates Mercedes-Benz commitment to the finest drive in the luxury automobile industry. The E-Class is semi-autonomous, taking us into the tomorrow we promised earlier. Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot is a semi-automated driver assistance program
that takes every moment of every ride one step closer to perfection. Three elements power this technology: Distance Pilot, which allows for automated safe following of the vehicle ahead; Steering Pilot maintains a steady drive in Distance Pilot’s wake; and Active Lane Change Assist uses radar sensors and cameras to shift lanes for the driver when requested. This is as close to an autonomous luxury car that the world has seen.

These advanced technologies are the template for the new standard in luxury automobiles, and Mercedes-Benz is setting that standard. The aforementioned features are augmented by a flurry of other progressive feats of engineering. The standard COMAND navigation uses 3D maps, live traffic feeds, Yelp searches, and lane advice before suggesting directions. Two smartphone-like pads automate almost every feature in the E-Class, allowing both hands to remain safely on the steering wheel. A panoramic 12.3-inch screen with industry-leading sharpness and clarity serves as the platform to engage with every aspect of the automobile. Air Body Control manages the car’s handling. Self-levelling and adaptive, the feature makes any trip—from here to there, from A to B, around the corner, or around the world—comfort redefined.

The customizable Dynamic Select adjusts and monitors the throttle, shifting, and chassis. The turbo engine is more efficient, and yet more powerful, than any model in ten generations of the E-Class, a luxury ride for a world that demands conservation and economy, tailored to a new 9-speed transmission that is equal parts responsive and adaptive. Airmatic softens every ride, on every surface, from back roads to highways, from downtown to out-of-town. And whether in the light of day or the absence of night, every detail, every feature, complements each other.

Each iteration of the E-Class builds upon the successes of its predecessor. With each generation, for each generation, the automobile strives to use every advancement at its disposal to design manufacture the best version of the moment. It’s nearly impossible to list every marvel of technology that defines the luxury status of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz
E-Class. We’ve yet to mention dynamic features like the active lane keeping assist, the blind spot assist and active blind spot assist, the active brake assist with evasive steering assist, or the parking pilot and remote parking pilot.

Or the engine.

To get this far into a feature on the E-Class and to barely have described its peerless machinery is a tribute to the engineers at Mercedes-Benz who know that a luxury automobile is more than four wheels and an engine. It’s the entire package—the complete vision. And this vision comes complete with Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC technology, two twin-scroll turbochargers, an all-wheel drive system, top-of-its-class acceleration taking you from 0 to 100kph quickly and in style. The specifications are everything you’d expect from the world’s leading manufacturer of luxury automobiles, and the advanced features of the modern age are a perfect complement to nine decades of engineering perfection.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been the premiere elite automobile of its class since it first rolled off the lines some fourteen years ago. With each new model, each iteration, each addition to the E-Class family is a new part of its mythology, another chapter in a never ending narrative that confronts the possibilities of automotive engineering, manufacturing, and dreaming. With each year, evolution seems complete—and yet Mercedes-Benz finds new, exciting, and innovative ways to challenge our preconceived notions of what defines automotive excellence. Now, at this moment, at this place in our history, the E-Class is the realization of our dreams, a machine that is an extension of self, a momentary end to an endless journey that seeks to answer the question: What’s next?

For now, the answer is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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