Suspension: Sporty comfort

Mar 9, 2016
The suspension on the new E-Class offers agile driving pleasure on twisting roads as well as an extremely high level of ride comfort. Unique in its segment is the optionally available AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension.
The saloon comes with steel suspension as standard. Three suspensions are available in conjunction with this:
  • comfort suspension with DIRECT CONTROL and selective damping system
  • comfortable Avantgarde suspension likewise with DIRECT CONTROL and selective damping system as well as a sportier character, lowered by 15 millimetres
  • sporty suspension with continuous, electronically controlled Dynamic Body Control damping adjustment, lowered by 15 millimetres, which replaces the classic sports suspension. The driver can select the damping character between Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.
No compromises AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension
Alternatively, the new E-Class can be equipped with multi-chamber air suspension all round – the only car in its segment to offer this option. Advantages of this system: three chambers of different size in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control, in three stages, how stiffly the suspension reacts. As, moreover, neither the air spring struts on the front axle nor the free-standing air spring on the rear axle need be responsible for wheel control or, therefore, absorb transverse forces, the passengers can enjoy a soft basic springing that irons out transverse joints in the road, asphalt repairs and other bumps. At higher speeds, they have the safe feeling of high driving stability. A harder spring rate, for example when cornering and braking, effectively reduces rolling movements.
Furthermore, the highly sensitive and fast-responding AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension features all-round self-levelling for excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It controls the ride height automatically depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the motorway, for example, by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads or access roads, the ground clearance can also be increased at the push of a button using the ride height adjustment switch.
The multi-chamber air suspension is supplemented by continuous, electronically controlled Dynamic Body Control adaptive damping on the front and rear axles. The damping at each individual wheel is adjusted fully automatically to suit the current driving situation and the condition of the road – such as in the case of evasive manoeuvres or on rough tracks. The system therefore delivers good road roar and tyre vibration characteristics, excellent ride comfort, and outstanding driving dynamics.
What's more, a DYNAMIC SELECT switch in the cockpit enables the driver to select from four AIR BODY CONTROL modes: "Comfort", "ECO", "Sport" and "Sport +". The additional "Individual" option allows drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences.
Independent multilink suspension at front and rear
The agile handling is due in large part to the 4-link front axle, which releases the spring strut from wheel control duties. In addition, the four-link principle offers favourable axle kinematics. For example, it allows an improved camber change for higher cornering forces. As a result, the suspension responds more sensitively to steering movements and allows a sporty, agile driving style. Since the kingpin inclination axis is also close to the wheel centre, this provides for large longitudinal force leverage and keeps the scrub radius small, thus minimising sensitivity to vibrations caused by tyre unbalance and fluctuations in braking force.
As components of the new front axle are made of aluminium, they weigh about two kilograms less than a corresponding steel design. This reduction in weight supports a sensitive response and contributes to the efficiency of the new E-Class.
An optimised multi-link independent rear suspension with 5 links ensures excellent wheel control qualities and supreme straight-line stability. The rear axle carrier and the spring control arms are made of forged aluminium. A large rear axle bearing contributes to improved isolation of vibrations and thus to the good NVH characteristics and ride quality.
Sporty steering feel
All models of the E-Class family are equipped as standard with a sporty, electromechanical Direct-Steer system. It combines speed-sensitive power assistance for the speed-sensitive steering with a steering ratio that varies according to the given steering angle. The power assistance for the rack-and-pinion steering gear is controlled on demand.
Advantages of the electromechanical Direct-Steer system:
  • improved agility thanks to more direct steering response
  • comfortable handling and high level of steering comfort at all speeds
  • savings potential, since energy is required only for steering
  • enables the use of assistance systems, such as Active Park Assist
STEER CONTROL provides steering prompts in dangerous situations
The E-Class comes standard-equipped with the STEER CONTROL steering assistance function. It can help the driver to stabilise the vehicle in difficult handling situations. To this end, the electronics determine in which direction the driver has to steer to defuse a critical situation, and introduces a corresponding steering torque into the steering that the driver feels clearly. In this way STEER CONTROL provides the driver with prompts in which direction to steer in order to stabilise the vehicle. If the vehicle oversteers, the steering wheel provides the driver with the prompt for correct countersteering until the vehicle is safely back on course.
Fade-resistant brakes for short stopping distances
The braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs meets high standards in terms of stopping distance, response, fade resistance, directional stability and service life of the brake pads. Single or 4-piston sliding callipers on the front and rear axles with brake discs whose size is dependent on the engine provide for rapid deceleration. The E-Class comes as standard with ADAPTIVE BRAKE. It offers among other things
  • Hill-Start Assist which prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards on hills and thus facilitates starting off
  • a HOLD function which keeps the vehicle immobile without having to continuously press the brake pedal
  • a brake-drying function which regularly wipes the moisture from the brake discs to make full braking power available at all times
  • the priming function, which brings the brake pads into light contact with the disc if the driver suddenly releases the accelerator, and can thus shorten the stopping distance during subsequent braking.
Electric parking brake with Comfort Go
An electric parking brake is provided as standard. Pressing the control beneath the rotary light switch engages the electric parking brake; pulling releases it. The driver can also use the automatic release function Comfort Go. It automatically releases the parking brake when driving off.
Additional functions of the brakes on the new E-Class:
  • ESP® Dynamic Cornering Assist offers improved safety in critical cornering conditions. If the ESP® sensors detect an understeering tendency, the system performs specific braking intervention on the side of the vehicle which is on the inside of the bend. This gives rise to gentle rotary movement of the vehicle around the vertical axis.
  • The adaptive brake lights can warn vehicles following behind of heavy braking and shorten their reaction time.