MercedesBenz Eclass W211

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Mercedes-Benz E 240 177hp W211

Mercedes E-class W211

T he is strange, isn’t it? we all know the E-class was overshadowed by BMW 5-series in important area — build quality to dynamics, but it outsold the 5er and every other from day 1 to the end. That 6 years on the top of sales chart, an average of 200,000 cars satisfying customers every Even more strange is while Mercedes can charge price for the E-class, a large of the cars were sold as cars, fleet cars, cars and even Taxis. effect seems not able to the image of the 3-pointed star.

6 strange years (which is short by the standard of Mercedes-Benz), the is renewed. New generation W211 as if the evolution of W210. The trademark circular headlamps are still as is the big grille. The whole body gets smoother and sleeker, drag coefficient from to 0.26 (for narrow-tyre Dimension is nearly unchanged the old car, just the 22mm wheelbase (now 2854mm, BMW 5-series’ 2830mm) worth Interior room — a of the old car already — is boosted by an 20mm rear passenger Otherwise there is no much

Cabin

Owing to cost the previous E-class was notorious build quality — assembly gap, cheap and switch gears, poor paint etc. Mercedes has the lesson and now you can see the visual quality of new has much improved. Shut the and you will feel the structure is far solid. Panel gaps are dashboard material and assembly are However, you can still feel is not the Mercedes of the good old days. It trails Audi and BMW in build which is disappointing considering the new car has 6 or so ahead to spend its life.

The is spacious, bigger than its rivals, especially rear room. Driver comfort is too, thanks to superb position and full degree of If you want gimmicks, it will you the world’s first active calling Dynamic Multicontour. is it. it has several air bags which during hard cornering to lateral support and otherwise to make it more comfortable. a little bit over the top. welcome is a 4-zone climate which should satisfy requirements for each passengers.

Dynamic

Thanks to the use of more steel, the chassis is 18% stronger before. Better still is weight control. Mercedes has its weight reduction know-how from CL coupe to this production model, using hood, front wings, trunk lid and some inner members to cut weight. Order a E240 and you will find it lighter than before of the advancement of refinement and quality. Get a E320, it is just 25kg than before.


Engine remains to be the 3-valve-per-cylinder family of V6 and V8, plus the new 2.0-litre four-pot and some turbo

To confuse you, E240 runs a 2597c.c. V6 producing It can be coupled to 5-speed automatic or clutchless manual. As before, the in-house-built automatic shift but the clutchless manual is cumbersome.

keeps the long-serving 3199c.c. V6 unchanged. It is still a smooth and unit by today’s standard. not as powerful as BMW’s 3.0 straight-six, it has spread of torque and mates with the 5-speed automatic.

The old has been replaced by E500. As by its name, it runs the 306hp V8 from S500 and SL500 Mercedes’ V8 is renowned for lightweight, so the engine can just lift excitement to new level without any in handling. Pushing just kerb weight, the V8 can do 0-60mph in an 5.8 seconds! remember, Mercedes has an E55 AMG on the pipeline, therefore E500 is sell as a fast saloon than sport saloon.

Handling

This time, determines to beat BMW in the latter’s — handling. Everybody this is not an easy task, but the is 6 years younger than the and has a big development budget. Moreover, it has 3 weapons:

1. All-new 4-link suspensions, replacing the old double-wishbones. It has control of camber, dive and enhancing front-end grip and minimizing understeer. The rear suspensions are now made of aluminum to cut weight, hence better comfort.

Mercedes-Benz E 240 177hp W211

2. Airmatic DC: previously in S-class only, the Airmatic is an air springing which alter rate according to road speed and driving style, lower ride height at speed. Airmatic DC now adds a adaptive damping as well to improve ride comfort and control. Airmatic DC is standard on and E500, and optional to other

3. A new speed-sensitive steering rack quicker ratio (2.8 compare with 3.3 of the old car).

In world, the new E-class really us. Its steering is light, communicative and Body control — on conventional suspension models is very good while quality is smoother than No matter around town or no matter at any speed, the Mercedes with minimum fuss, great comfort and quietness in rivals. High speed and braking (by brake-by-wire SBC) are excellent.

Get a E500 with (stiffer and 15mm lower) and Airmatic DC, it can even overshadow in any area. The adaptive suspensions up in corner, improving stability and As a result, the car changes direction corners in tight bends But best of all, it does all so easily because of the supple smooth engine / transmission light controls and quiet E-class finally beats the 5-series convincingly.

Conclusion

I would prefer the new to have higher quality and a prettier front-end styling, but its comfort and excellent dynamics are enough to place it on the top of executive So, congratulation to Mercedes!

Just out next year’s new 5-series. I be surprised if BMW not to take a big step again.

The above report was updated on 20 May 2002. All Rights

Mercedes-Benz E 240 177hp W211
Mercedes-Benz E 240 177hp W211

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