E-Class 4MATIC: stability pact for the winter: Gripping drive system for Saloon and Estate

Nov 29, 2011
The 4MATIC powertrain in the E-Class is one of the best-performing permanent all-wheel drive systems on the market. The basic design concept, with the engine installed longitudinally and the integral transmission and transfer case unit, produces a compact, lightweight arrangement that minimises frictional losses, heralding a number of benefits compared to other passenger car systems with a transverse power unit and selectable 4x4. As with the 4MATIC system’s set-up on a dry or wet road, handling stability and, therefore, active safety are paramount at all times when wintry conditions prevail, too.
The mechanical principle of the 4MATIC system, featuring a 45:55 torque split between the front and rear axles and a multi-disc limited-slip centre differential with a basic locking torque of 50 Nm, offers all the right ingredients. This basic design enables high levels of traction, as the dynamic shift in axle load toward the rear axle that occurs during acceleration is harnessed to deliver more drive torque to the rear wheels. However, the multi-disc differential lock is also able to shift the drive torque between the front and rear axles, varying the split between 30:70 and 70:30 as the road conditions dictate. Consequently, intervention by the ESP®, 4ETS or ASR electronic control systems can be delayed for as long as possible and the bulk of the drive torque converted into tractive power, even on slippery roads. All control system interventions go virtually unnoticed, yet drivers still know straight away if they are driving near the limit, as a yellow warning symbol will flash in the instrument cluster. This serves as a clear prompt to adapt the driving style to the road conditions.
The drive mechanism’s permanently engaged design offers key advantages over other systems that first need to diagnose a lack of grip before activating the 4x4 drive. The 4MATIC on the E-Class will have already made use of this valuable time to start transmitting drive torque via the wheels to the road. When pulling away in wintry conditions, the E-Class 4MATIC models are designed to develop maximum traction. To this end, certain road conditions are automatically detected and the interventions of the 4ETS electronic traction control system adjusted so as to achieve the greatest possible acceleration while minimising wheel slip, thereby ensuring optimum handling stability.
New petrol engines and an optimised powertrain make the 2011 Mercedes-Benz
E-Class the standard for efficiency in its segment. All of the petrol and diesel engines in the E-Class range now employ direct injection technology, with combined fuel consumptions of 6.8 - 7.0 litres and 8.9 litres per 100 km respectively for the new BlueDIRECT V6 and V8 units. The reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20 percent is also due to the standard ECO start/stop function and the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission, which is now also available for the four-cylinder model variants.
First ever all-wheel drive E-Class with a four-cylinder diesel engine
The ECO start/stop function and 7G-TRONIC PLUS ensure a particularly high level of energy efficiency in the E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC. The first E-Class with 4MATIC and a four-cylinder diesel engine has an output of 150 kW (204 hp) and stands out for its smooth drive characteristics coupled with impressive performance: it completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 238 km/h. In the process, the engine burns just 5.6 l/100 km on the NEDC driving cycle, making the E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC the most efficient all-wheel drive diesel model in its power category in the executive class.