The Three Pointed Star introduces its latest and greatest. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Feb. 2, 2016 10th gen 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class – Pricing and EPA TBA. Mercedes-Benz is focusing on the future with the new E-Class incorporating numerous advanced technical innovations. An optional AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension is said to provide outstanding ride comfort without sacrificing driving dynamics. The new E-Class’ wheelbase has grown by 2.6 inches (115.7 inches vs. 113.1 inches) and its overall length by 1.7 inches (193.8 inches vs. 192.1 inches). 2017 E-Class Interior Inside the new E-Class is a next-generation 12.3” high-resolution navigation display and a traditional gauge cluster behind the wheel, all integrated into one casing. Beneath its integrated glass frame, the display mimics a wide-screen cockpit that seems to hover. Touch-sensitive control buttons ('Touch Controls') on the wheel make their first appearance in a car. Like a smartphone interface, the Touch Controls respond precisely to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the wheel. More controls for the infotainment system are provided by a touchpad with a controller which can recognize handwriting in the center console and a voice control system, accessible at the push of a button. For systems such as A/C or various driver assistance systems, there are direct-access buttons located on the center stack. A new graphic design with high-resolution animations and simplified logic is supposed to enhance this all-new infotainment experience. High-quality materials have always defined the E-Class’ and the all-new 10th gen is no different. Natural Grain Ash wood, and wood with “flowing lines” and all metal, natural woods, leathers, stitching and lighting show off the meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Interior lighting is created by LED technology. With 64 colors to choose from, the ambient lighting system offers a host of possibilities for personalization, adding touches of light to various trim parts, central display, storage on the center console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system). A further highlight of the new E-Class are its seats. A Mercedes-Benz's hallmark for long journeys, a new feature is a Warmth and Comfort package, which includes heated door armrests and center console, heated steering wheel and rapidly-heating front seats. The 40/20/40 split rear seat’s center armrest include a storage box and two pop-out drinks holders. There is also the option of a holder for a tablet device for the rear passengers. 2017 E-Class Drivetrain In the US at launch, the new E-Class will arrive with a turbocharged 241 hp and 273 lb-ft. of torque 2.0L I4 gas engine. No word on a new I4 turbo diesel but I am still hopeful given the excellent drivability and efficiency results the 2.1L in the outgoing 9th gen offered. All E-Class models available at launch will be equipped with the new 9-speed AT. This advanced transmission enables both fast gearshifts and low engine revs while cruising, which provides improvements in both efficiency and interior noise levels. 2017 E-Class Chassis An outstandingly stiff body forms the basis for exceptional handling, low NVH and a high level of crash safety. The bodyshell uses a high proportion of aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel components. The front fenders, hood, trunk lid and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminum. This lightweight design reduces fuel consumption while making for perceptibly sporty and agile vehicle handling. The suspension on the new E-Class comes with a steel-spring suspension. Two DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems with selective damping are available. The new E-Class can be equipped with a multi-chamber air suspension in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle. With three separate chambers, occupants enjoy a soft base suspension and a great handling as speed increases. The AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension features all-round self-leveling for excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It automatically controls the ride height depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the freeway by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads, ground clearance can be increased at the push of a button. The multi-chamber air suspension is supplemented by a continuously operating, electronically controlled damping adjustment system, which automatically adapts the damping on each individual wheel to the current driving situation and road conditions. The system therefore delivers good road roar and tire vibration characteristics, excellent ride comfort and outstanding driving dynamics. 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. 2017 E-Class next-generation driver assistance systems Standard on the new E-Class is PRE-SAFE Sound based on a protective human reflex in the inner ear. PRE-SAFE Sound emits a short interference signal through the vehicle's sound system if the risk of a collision is detected. This signal can trigger a natural reflex preparing the occupants' ears for the expected sound of the accident. Active Brake Assist is able to warn the driver of impending crash, provide just the right level of support during emergency braking and, if necessary, also apply the brakes automatically. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing within the area ahead of the vehicle. ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist can assist the driver by substantially mitigating the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track. DRIVE PILOT represents Mercedes-Benz's next step along the road to autonomous driving. While on both freeways and country roads, Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically maintain the selected distance from the vehicle in front, but, for the first time, it can also follow the traffic in front at speeds of up to 130 mph. This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving and also receives plenty of steering assistance from Steering Pilot – even on moderate bends. Another unique feature of Steering Pilot is that the system can continue to actively intervene by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or nonexistent, as they can be during road construction, even at speeds up to 81 mph. Additional DRIVE PILOT innovations include Active Lane-change Assist. This radar-and-camera-based system assists the driver when changing lanes on multi-lane roads and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver when overtaking. Once the driver has indicated a turn for at least two seconds, Active Lane-change Assist assists with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied. Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function has extended speed thresholds with respect to vehicles and pedestrians. It can detect crossing traffic at junctions and, if the driver fails to respond, apply the brakes autonomously. For the first time, it can also detect hazardous situations at the tail end of a traffic jam where there is no room to maneuver and initiate autonomous braking well in advance. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 43 mph or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at speeds above this level. Evasive Steering Assist complements the pedestrian detection function of Active Brake Assist. When the driver deliberately or instinctively performs an evasive maneuver in a dangerous situation, this function can assist by adding precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid a pedestrian in a controlled manner while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the vehicle to allow the situation to be negotiated safely. The intelligent assistance systems in the new Driver Assistance Package Plus also includes Active Lane Keeping Assist to help stop the driver from unintentionally changing lanes, this being done by corrective one-sided application of the brakes, including in the case of broken lines and risk of collision with oncoming traffic or fast overtaking vehicles. Active Blind Spot Assist can now also warn of the risk of a lateral collision in typical urban traffic at low speeds. PRE-SAFE PLUS can also protect against collisions with traffic following behind, reducing whiplash and other adverse effects on the occupants. 2017 E-Class Safety Features Remote Parking Pilot allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app, enabling the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even if space is tight. Car-to-X communication is going into series production. The mobile phone-supported exchange of information with other vehicles further ahead on the road can effectively allow the driver to "see around corners" or "through obstacles" well in advance. This means that the driver receives an earlier warning than previously in the event of imminent danger, such as a broken-down vehicle at the edge of the road or also in the event of heavy rain or black ice on the road ahead. An Active Waze system maybe? The new E-Class simultaneously acts as a receiver and a transmitter, since warning messages are conveyed automatically by evaluating vehicle status or manually by the driver to the backend. PRE-SAFE impulse side is part of the Driving Assistance package PLUS. If a lateral collision has been detected and is imminent, it preventively moves the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone to the side. To do this, the system inflates an air chamber in the side bolster of the front seat backrest nearest the side of the imminent impact in a fraction of a second, thus increasing the distance between occupant and door while, at the same time, reducing the forces acting on the occupants. 2017 E-Class Infotainment The Frontbass system in the new E-Class utilizes space in the cross-member and side member of the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers. The E-Class can be equipped with two Burmester sound systems, including the top-of-the-line Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system. If the vehicle is equipped with the high-end 3D surround sound system with 23 speakers, the occupants are treated to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall, as it includes a third dimension of sound courtesy of roof speakers. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will be available at US dealers in the summer of 2016. Mercedes-Benz January 2016 Sales Overview The Mercedes-Benz Group reported record January sales of 26,962 vehicles, up 1.3 percent over the 26,616 sold in January of 2015. With two ewer selling days in January of 2016 vs. January of 2015, the daily selling rate (DSR) was actually up 9.7 percent. Mercedes-Benz January 2016 Sales Highlights Sprinter accounted for 1,899 vehicles, up 26.2 percent over the 1,505 sold in January 2015. The C-Class lead the brand with 5,079 vehicle sold, down 18.6 percent from the 6,236 sold in January of 2015. The new GLE experienced sales of 3,515 vs 0 as there was no GLE available in January of 2015. BlueTEC turbo diesels accounted for just 334 vehicles in January. Notice the Nissan, Toyota and Ford declines while GM and especially Chrysler picked up significant market share. U.S. January 2016 Sales vs. January 2015 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 14 Automobile Manufacturers GM January 2016 Sales Up 0.5% with 203,745 Vehicles Sold Ford January 2016 Sales Down 2.6% with 173,723 Vehicles Sold Toyota January 2016 Sales Down 4.7% with 161,283 Vehicles Sold FCA January 2016 Sales Up 6.9% with 155,037 Vehicles Sold Nissan January 2016 Sales Up 1.6% with 105,734 Vehicles Sold Honda January 2016 Sales Down 1.7% with 100,497 Vehicles Sold Hyundai January 2016 Sales Down 1.1% with 45,011 Vehicles Sold Subaru January 20165 Sales Up 0.7% with 41,101 Vehicles Sold Kia January 2016 Sales Flat with 38,305 Vehicles Sold Mercedes-Benz January 2016 Sales Up 1.3% with 26,962 Vehicles Sold BMW January 2016 Sales Down 4.0% with 21,320 Vehicles Sold VW January 2016 Sales Down 14.6% with 20,079 Vehicles Sold Mazda January 2016 Sales Down 2.8% with 19,703 Vehicles Sold Audi January 2016 Sales Up 2.7% with 11,850 Vehicles Sold Anyone notice that Nissan sales outpaced Honda in January? The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in January was approximately 17.5 million vehicles.