Interior: Space, modes and music - A complete package for comfort without compromise

Apr 22, 2009
  • Dimensions: substantially more space
  • Climate control: new THERMOTRONIC with individual climate modes
  • Control concept: Controller and large colour display as standard
  • Infotainment: COMAND APS with even more functions
Aesthetics and ergonomic design - two of the main aims when Mercedes-Benz designs and develops car interiors. And the new E-Class Coupé is proof that the Sindelfingen designers and engineers are also masters of these disciplines. The team of designers has created an attractive, appealing interior by using sophisticated styling, fine materials and pleasant colours, while the engineers implemented new comfort- and enjoyment-enhancing ideas and concepts to perfect this "atmosphere of wellbeing". The end result is a unique symbiosis of aesthetics and technology.
Key factors that enable man and machine to exist in perfect harmony include the dimensions which determine spaciousness for the occupants: seat spacing, headroom, kneeroom, elbow width and shoulder width. In all of these areas, the new Mercedes Coupé is substantially larger than the preceding model: the body is 46 millimetres longer and 46 millimetres wider than previously, while the wheelbase has been increased by 45 millimetres to 2760 millimetres.
These basic dimensions are a major factor behind the enhanced ride comfort and interior spaciousness. This is highlighted, for example, by the seat reference point - effectively the distance between the front and rear seats, which is crucial in determining the space in which the occupants are able to move and now stands at 789 millimetres (outgoing model: 779 millimetres) - as well as the new dimensions for shoulder room and elbow width. Here the new Coupé impresses by offering up to 49 millimetres more (front elbow width) than its predecessor, largely down to the wider body and the wider track (up to 33 millimetres wider at the front and up to 70 millimetres wider at the rear).
The main dimensions* of the new E-Class Coupé compared to those of the
previous model:
New E-Class Coupé
Vehicle length
+ 46
Vehicle width
+ 46
Vehicle height, not incl. aerial
- 16
+ 45
Track, front/rear
+ 33/+ 70
Seat reference point
+ 10
Maximum front headroom
+ 2
Shoulder room, front/rear
+ 28/+ 1
Elbow width, front/rear
+ 49/+ 23
Boot capacity**
450 l
435 l
+ 15 l
Figures in millimetres;
*With 17-inch tyres, 1393 mm if 16-inch tyres fitted;
**Acc. to VDA measuring method
When it came to planning the boot, the Mercedes experts focussed on drivers' everyday needs. Hence the key criteria for the boot design were sufficient space for safely stowing four sets of luggage, practical variability when using the luggage compartment and excellent functionality for stowing large and small items. Compared to the predecessor model, the width of the luggage compartment between the wheel arches has been increased by 94 millimetres to 960 millimetres, while the height has risen by six millimetres to 461 millimetres.
The overall boot capacity of 450 litres (as per the VDA measuring method) has been increased by 15 litres despite the far more extensive basic equipment package for the new E-Class Coupé. There are 25 litres of stowage space available in the compartment beneath the luggage-compartment floor. And the folding rear-seat backrests allow Mercedes customers to increase the load-carrying capacity depending on the transport task in hand as well as producing a practically flat load bay. Standard-fit load-securing rings enable items of luggage to be secured in place.
Seats: sporty design and maximum comfort
Newly developed seats, which reflect the sporty character of the Coupé in terms of both design and technology, offer the driver and front passenger hallmark Mercedes comfort. The standard-fit NECK PRO head restraints are integrated in the raised backrests.
A host of individualisation options allows both very tall and very short drivers to adjust the seats so that the Coupé's functions are within easy reach. The seat cushion height and backrest inclination are electrically adjustable, while the seat cushion fore/aft position and inclination can be adjusted manually.
The seats in the new E-Class Coupé have the largest fore/aft adjustment range in this market segment: 273 millimetres. The individual seat position can be adjusted in very small 4.5-millimetre stages and, therefore, is almost continuously variable, whereas the backrest inclination is fully continuously variable.
Adjustment ranges of the standard-specification front seats:
  • Fore-and-aft adjustment 273 millimetres
  • Seat height 54 millimetres
  • Seat cushion angle 8 degrees
  • Head restraint height 80 millimetres
Standard equipment for the new Coupé includes a mechanical entry and exit aid for the rear passengers, called the Easy-Entry system. It is operated using a lever next to the head restraint, which initially tilts the seat backrest forwards. The seat can then be pushed forwards.
Memory function: comfort-enhancing four-way lumbar support
The fully electrically adjustable seats for the driver and front passenger, which Mercedes-Benz supplies as optional extras, are even easier to use. In this case, the fore/aft position, seat cushion angle, head restraint, steering column and exterior mirrors can be adjusted by electric motors in addition to the seat height and backrest angle. In addition to this, the Easy-Entry system is operated with the assistance of the electric motors.
If the Memory package (optional) is specified, three individual positions can be stored for the fully electrically adjustable front seats as well as for the steering wheel and the exterior mirrors. In this case, a touch of a button on the inner door lining is all it takes to move the seats, steering wheel and exterior mirrors to their programmed positions automatically. When the driver removes the electronic ignition key, the steering wheel can be moved upwards to make it even easier to get out of the car. The steering wheel then remains in this position until the ignition key is re-inserted, providing the driver with more legroom when getting back into the car as well.
If the Memory package is specified, the two front seats are also equipped with
electropneumatically adjustable four-way lumbar supports, including side-to-side adjustment as well as height and shape adjustment so as to provide ergonomic support for the spinal column.
The foam padding used for the front seat cushions is housed in seat squabs with integral springs. Here a frame made partly of high-strength steel provides a firm base. Special tubular sections and impact-absorbing elements in the seat lining ensure that the seats are able to absorb high impact forces in a side-on collision and transfer them to the other side of the vehicle. The front-seat backrests consist of steel frames with springing and foam pads whose contours, like those of the cushions, have also been designed to provide better lateral support.
Seat climate: four ventilators for active ventilation
When developing seats, the Mercedes specialists look not only at the classic comfort features like springing and damping but also at occupant wellbeing as a whole, including what is referred to as seat climate. The materials used in a Mercedes seat, and its internal structure, must be designed to ensure comfort under all weather and temperature conditions. In the case of the new Coupé seats, this is achieved by using breathable composite seat materials and high-quality fabric or leather surface upholstery.
Climate comfort is likewise enhanced by the optionally available climatised seats with leather upholstery and active ventilation: four ventilators in the seat cushion and in the backrest extract cool air from the floor area of the interior and distribute it evenly through a ventilation tissue beneath the seat surface. The mild airflow can prevent the car's occupants from sweating, even when it is extremely hot outside.
Multicontour seats: air chambers in the backrests and seat cushions
The newly developed multicontour seats allow the driver and front passenger to adapt the contours of the seat to suit their anatomy or personal preferences thanks to inflatable air chambers in the side bolsters of the backrest, in the lumbar region and at the front edge of the seat cushion. One special attribute of the new multicontour seat is the function for pneumatically adjusting the seat cushion length. The front air cushion increases the seat cushion length at the push of a button, allowing occupants to relax their legs and ensuring good blood circulation.
Rear: comfortable individual seats with folding backrests
For the rear passengers, there are two comfortable individual seats with integral head restraints whose distinctively contoured foam upholstery ensures a high level of comfort and excellent lateral support. The asymmetrically divided rear-seat backrests can be folded forwards individually or together to increase the boot capacity. Between the individual rear seats is a spacious stowage compartment incorporating two cup holders under a retractable cover – suitable for various cup, can and bottle formats.
Climate control: THERMOTRONIC with three individual climate modes
Comfort is all about highly individual preferences. Which is why it is important for cars to offer their occupants a wide range of personalisation options. The new Coupé meets this requirement, not only in terms of suspension tuning and seat adjustability, but also when it comes to climate comfort.
Like its Saloon counterpart, the new E-Class Coupé can be ordered with a newly developed automatic climate control system which, as well as being able to set individual temperatures in three zones (for the driver, the front passenger and the rear passengers), additionally offers special climate modes. This means that, if the optionally available THERMOTRONIC system is fitted, the car occupants can choose from "Diffuse", "Medium" and "Focus" at the push of a button and thus adjust the air quantity and air distribution to their liking without having to leave the convenient automatic mode.
In "Diffuse"mode, for example, the THERMOTRONIC system operates with a low air speed and distributes the air over a wide area so that there are fewer draughts. This is the purpose of the automatically controlled, upwards inclined diffuse nozzle in the centre of the dashboard. In "Focus" mode, meanwhile, the air outlets in the centre area of the dashboard are used for the most part, meeting the need for a direct flow of a larger quantity of air.
Sophisticated sensors also help the three-zone luxury automatic climate control system do full justice to its name. These ensure that the desired temperatures set by the occupants remain constant: even the standard-fit THERMATIC system
features two sensors for the interior temperature, four sensors for measuring the temperature of the air flowing out of the air outlets and one sensor for recording the intensity and direction of the sun's rays, while the THERMOTRONIC system additionally includes a dewpoint/moisture sensor and a pollutant sensor.
Thanks to the dewpoint sensor, the inflowing air can be cooled and warmed up again if required, depending on its moisture content. This makes the air conditioning system all the more economical. The pollutant sensor detects excessively high levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in the outside air, automatically switching to air recirculation mode if concentrations of these pollutants suddenly increase.
Finally, the THERMOTRONIC system is equipped with a separate control panel at the rear of the tunnel console, allowing the rear passengers to select their ideal temperature. Another highlight of the THERMOTRONIC system is the residual heat function: pressing the "Rest" button heats or ventilates the interior for around 30 minutes when the engine is switched off.
The standard equipment package for the new E-Class Coupé includes THERMATIC two-zone automatic climate control. With this system on board, the driver and front passenger can set the desired temperature using the rocker switches on the elegant control panel in the lower section of the centre console. The OLED (organic light emitting diode) display indicates the programmed levels. If automatic mode is deactivated, the blower speed and air distribution can also be adjusted by rocker switch. The "ZONE" function is new: at the push of a button, the temperature settings are synchronised, and the level selected by the driver is transferred to the front-passenger side. Two separately controllable air outlets are provided for climate control in the rear.
Heating and cooling output increased by five percent
The THERMATIC and THERMOTRONIC systems have received a boost in both heating and cooling output. The heating output has been increased by around five percent to eleven kilowatts, equivalent to the capacity of the central heating system in a modern family home. In the diesel models, a heat exchanger with six integral PTC heating elements (PTC = Positive Temperature Coefficient) is also activated when the outside temperature falls below a certain level in order to boost the effect of the main heat exchanger with an electrical output of around 1200 watts. The assistance from the PTC heater is necessary due to the high thermal efficiency of today's CDI engines, which is precisely what makes them so economical and means that they release considerably less heat to the coolant under partial load conditions than conventional engines.
The interior is cooled rapidly by an air-conditioning unit with an output of around 8.4 kilowatts - some five percent more than the unit used in the predecessor model. Its compressor is variable in operation, allowing on-demand, i.e. economical, operation of the air conditioning. The compressor is controlled by a solenoid valve which varies the swept volume.
The climate control systems are not only more efficient, but also operate more quietly than before. Revised flow areas for the air intake, air ducts and air conditioning unit have enabled the noise level at maximum cooling output to be reduced by around three decibels (dB (A)), for example. In addition, the air ducting has been lined with acoustic absorption elements and/or sound-insulating foam.
Air cleaning: fine-dust particulate filter fitted as standard
A large, hermetically sealed fine-dust combination filter, fitted as standard,
ensures that the air entering the interior is clean. It is 96 to 98 percent efficient at filtering out particles between five and ten micrometres in size and 100-percent efficient when it comes to removing ten-micrometre particles. Thanks to the activated-charcoal lining, gaseous substances, which are the cause of unpleasant odours, can also be filtered out. This filter is active on a permanent basis - even in air recirculation mode.
Dashboard: form and function in perfect harmony
As an option, the horizontally divided dashboard specially designed for the E‑Class Coupé can be ordered with a two-tone design: while the upper section and the centre console are finished in a darker shade, the lighter contrasting colour used for the knee bolster, glove compartment lid and tunnel console makes these areas really stand out. The surface of the dashboard is made from a polyurethane skin with additional padding. This sophisticated production process allows both small radii and precise edges, plus it ensures a pleasant feel.
The dashboard incorporates an illuminated glove compartment which can be cooled by the automatic climate control system. A twelve-volt outlet and a socket for connecting an external audio device are also integrated. This is likewise the location of the optional AUX-IN socket for connecting an external audio device. In addition to this, Mercedes customers can specify a Media Interface, allowing an external MP3 player to be connected.
The interior door linings also reflect the aim of the Mercedes engineers to combine elegant design with pleasing tactile qualities. This is achieved by a combination of high-quality materials such as leather, wood or aluminium with scratch-resistant plastic boasting a new grain-effect finish. The wide armrests on the interior door linings are pleasingly soft to the touch and, therefore, exceptionally comfortable. This is where the designers have elegantly and conveniently integrated the control panel for the power windows and the exterior mirrors.
Centre console: command centre for the infotainment and automatic climate control systems
The centre console blends in harmoniously with the dashboard form and colour concept. This is where the controls for the infotainment system and the optionally available car phone are located, just below the air outlets. Beneath these, the buttons for the seat heating, seat ventilation, rear window blind and other optional extras are demarcated by a discreet chrome strip. The lower section of the centre console houses the controls for the standard-fit automatic climate control system.
The visible surfaces of the switches and controls have been coated with a special lacquer which provides a silky sheen and a surface which is soft to the touch. In conjunction with the sophisticated push-push buttons, which are easy to press and have very little travel, the lacquer finish makes the selection of vehicle functions both precise and pleasant to the touch. Pressing once is enough to activate or deactivate the function concerned. The buttons always engage with a soft "click", also providing the car occupants with audible confirmation that the desired function has been activated.
Controls: proven concept from the S-Class
Fewer switches but more functions. A simple way of expressing the credo of sophisticated automotive controls at Mercedes-Benz, which are based on four
basic principles:
1. Easy identification of the most important control functions
2. Rapid access to the most important spontaneous functions
3. Easy, intuitive operation of the most important functions
4. All controls located in the right place
Key features of the control concept include special hotkey-type buttons which provide fast access to frequently used functions. This is why all the control and display elements that are necessary or important during a journey are located in the cockpit, i.e. in immediate proximity to the driver. These include the switches and stalks for the lights, windscreen wipers, indicators and cruise control. Furthermore, in keeping with the "everything in the right place" logic, the switches and buttons for the power windows, central locking and exterior mirrors are where one would intuitively look for them: on the inside of the doors.
In other words, the driver does not need to learn anything new and, when it comes to the controls too, feels at home immediately in the new E-Class Coupé.
Multifunction steering wheel: twelve buttons for key functions
The buttons on the multicontour steering wheel are linked to the central display in the instrument cluster and merely need to be tapped with the thumbs to gain fast access to a wide range of information displayed right in front of the driver's eyes. The driver uses the buttons on the left-hand side to mark one of the main menus on the central display (in horizontal direction) and to activate the desired submenu (in vertical direction). Each selection or setting is accepted by pressing the "OK" button, while the "Return" button is used to return quickly to the next-highest menu level.
The buttons on the right-hand side of the multifunction steering wheel are used to adjust the volume setting (vertical), switch to mute (centre) and operate the car phone (horizontal). Below this there is an additional button for activating the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system.
Cockpit: circular instruments based on a high-quality chronometer-style
The cockpit's round dials - including chrome bezels, white backlighting, a black or silver background and deep, slanting cylinders - emphasise the sporty, elegant character of the new Mercedes Coupé. There are five instruments in the cockpit, which provide drivers with all the information they need: speedometer (centre), rev counter (right), clock (left), coolant temperature gauge (far right) and fuel gauge (far left). The use of black-panel technology means that the indicator and warning lamps assigned to the various round dials are not visible during normal driving - they can only ever be seen when the ignition is switched on or in the event of a fault.
In the centre of the speedometer, there is a two-section central display (4.5-inch) with white backlighting, whose upper section can be used to show a variety of information such as mileage, range, oil level, route distance, driving time, current fuel consumption, average fuel consumption and average car speed. If a navigation system is installed (optional), this area of the display also provides information about the current route. This display can also be used in conjunction with the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel to select radio stations, phone numbers and around 50 individual settings.
The lower section of the central display is used for displaying icons that provide information about the status of the driver assistance systems as well as digital readouts of the outside temperature, transmission gear and transmission mode (if an automatic transmission is fitted).
Other new features include the fuel consumption and gearshift indicators, which inform the driver of the current fuel consumption and at what point the next-highest gear should be selected in order to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.
Colour display: view of all the infotainment functions
In the centre of the dashboard - where it can be easily seen by the driver and
the front passenger - a large colour display in 16:9 format provides information about all the infotainment system functions. There are two versions of this sophisticated AM-TFT(Active Matrix Thin Film Transistor) display available, depending on the equipment specified: a 5.8-inch version for the Audio 20 and Audio 50 APS devices or a high-resolution 7.0-inch version for COMAND APS.
The Controlleron the tunnel console incorporates the main controls for the infotainment systems and allows fast and easy access to the devices' clearly structured menus. This turn/push control can be moved in eight directions: turning the controller selects the main menu and submenus on the display, while pushing it activates or accepts the displayed function or setting. The buttons marked with symbols in front of the controller are used to quit submenus quickly or delete entries.
As the infotainment control system has a duplicate design, the radio, CD/DVDchanger, telephone and navigation system can be operated either using the Controller or by pressing control buttons. This is the purpose of the function buttons on the centre console, whose ideal ergonomic positioning allows drivers to operate them easily without diverting their eyes from the road.
Car radio: CD player and Bluetooth interface as standard
Mercedes-Benz equips the E-Class Coupé with sophisticated infotainment
that deliver outstanding performance and, above all, are easy to use. These are called Audio 20 CD (standard equipment), Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS (optional extras). All of the devices include speed-sensitive volume control, a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies, a colour display in the centre of the dashboard and a Bluetooth interface to connect a mobile phone to the hands-free system wirelessly. Eight loudspeakers fitted as standard in the doors provide superlative sound.
Features of the Audio 20 CDsystem, fitted as standard, include a CD player (with MP3 capability), a dual tuner for FM/MW/LW/SW, automatic station search, RDS function (FM reception) and a 4 x 20-watt amplifier.
The AUDIO 50 APS infotainment system, available as an option, is an all-in-one device featuring a combination of car radio, DVD player and Europe-wide navigation system. The radio functions and the options for linking with other systems are the same as for the Audio 20 system. Mercedes customers who opt for the version with integral six-disc DVDchanger also receive the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system.
COMAND APS: multimedia system with even more functions
The COMAND APS multimedia system includes a DVDplayer for audio and video as well as a Europe-wide navigation system whose data are stored on a 40‑gigabyte hard drive, allowing extremely fast access to the navigation data and, compared to DVD-based navigation, even faster route calculations. The high-resolution map appears on the 7.0-inch colour display in the centre of the dashboard and provides useful additional information. By way of example, the map shows the outlines of prominent buildings along the route to aid orientation.
In addition, COMAND APS includes a Music Register for around 1000 compressed music tracks in MP3, WMA or AAC format, which can be downloaded from PC memory cards. The system has a saved database, enabling it to recognise music tracks played from a CD, DVD or the Music Register and then display the title of the track and the artist on the display. Mercedes-Benz combines COMAND APS with LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control and a text-to-speech function as standard, allowing the driver to listen to route-specific traffic reports, SMS messages, address book entries or station names. New traffic reports relevant to the current route are read out automatically by the system.
Voice-operated control: whole-word voice input for navigation, telephone and radio
Mercedes-Benz is acknowledged as one of the inventors of modern voice-operated control systems. And the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system has
benefitted from continuous further development in recent years. The navigation system in the E-Class Coupé can be operated by entering whole words, for example: the driver no longer needs to spell out the names of countries, towns or roads, but is able to speak them as whole words. The voice control system is just as convenient when selecting radio stations or entries in the telephone directory: all the stored names can be called up without any prior voice input training.
Additional systems: technology for the ultimate in listening pleasure and entertainment
As an option, Mercedes customers can combine the infotainment devices that
feature in the E-Class with further systems offering even more information and entertainment:
  • The "Logic7" surround sound system, developed by Mercedes-Benz together with the audio specialists harman/kardon®, delivers three-dimensional sound as a natural 360-degree musical experience for all passengers, from both DVD and CD and regardless of whether the source was recorded in 5.1 surround or normal stereo. The audio signals are distributed via a 500-watt amplifier connected to twelve high-performance loudspeakers.
  • A media interface in the glove compartment can be used to connect an iPod, USBstick or other external audio devices to the infotainment system. All that is required for this is a suitable cable from the Mercedes accessories range. The interface includes a control unit that links the external music memory to the E-Class Coupé's on-board electronic and control systems. The advantage of this is that the titles of the tracks stored on the iPod can be shown on the colour display in the dashboard and in the instrument cluster, allowing them to be selected almost effortlessly using the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel. The battery in the audio device is charged for as long as the portable music memory is connected to the car via the media interface.
  • A separate DAB tuner (DAB= Digital Audio Broadcasting) and additional aerials (optional) allow passengers on board the new E-Class Coupé to receive digital radio stations in CD quality. The system switches to analogue reception automatically when the DAB signal is too weak.
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