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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Their are many advantages to more gears: faster shifts, better gas mileage, improved accleration being the main ones. A gear for every almost every situation, only a CVT is more flexible. BMW, Ferrari and even Porsche all have 7 speed boxes on the way, either in manual or SMG/F1/DSG form.

  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    Just imagine you are going 100mph or so and your tech shows the dial at the 3k rpm mark - lots of room to go provided there is enough hp to propel the car. I won't be surprised if the top speed on the E500 sedan will reach 180+.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Where do we use that speed? Why is that relevant to a modern day car discussion?

    Do you think that an E500 is stable on U.S. interstate highways at 180 mph?

    Thats 264 feet per second.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    I doubt that increasing the number of speeds would increase the top speed anyway. My 190e 2.6 was able to reach max speed in 4th not 5th. 5th was an overdrive for low engine speed cruising not max top speed.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I highly doubt it, drag will limit the speed.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I suspect the 7-speed is 90% marketing and 10% performance driven.

    As far as a 7-speed automatic being quicker than a 5 or 6 speed, I seriously doubt it - perhaps just the opposite. Most cars make it 0-60 in 2nd gear requiring only one shift. No matter how quick the shifts are, adding a second shift would likely produce a slower time. And staqndard Mercedes automatics are not quick shifting, in my opinion. After test driving a AMG C32, my friend's E430 seemed quite slow shifting by comparison.

    The 7-speed seems particularly curious for Mercedes, considering they are pumping torque in their high performing cars. In my Honda S2000, all 6 gears are necessry to get maximum performance and the 150 mph top speed out of the 9,000 rpm low torque engine. Linking a 7-speed to a low rpm, high torque engine seems almost counerproductive to performance. If the engine is lugging along at 65 mph in 7th gear on the highway, how many gears will it need to drop to have some punch?

    Kudo's to the marketing guys for making something out of nothing.

    P.S. There is a parallel in wheels and tires. I have yet to drive a car under $70k that handles better than my S2000, equiped with 16" wheels and 50 series tires. Putting 18-19"+ wheels and 35-40 series tires on cars that are less capably designed from the gound up may look impressive on the showroom floor or in sales brochures, but doesn't necessarily translate to better performance where it counts.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'd read up on it before making such uniformed claims. It's hardly just marketing making something out of nothing.

  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    Clearly there is an improvement in BOTH acceleration to 60 (contrary to habitat's claim above) AND gas milage.

    If Lexus hasn't yet 'improved' upon it then they don't want to hear of it.

    Sour grapes.
  • jfz219jfz219 Posts: 63
    I am glad to see this new generation of 7 speed transmission. However, it is surprizing that introduction of the direct-injection gasoline engines has been delayed. The advances in the transmission will produce improvements in acceleration and fuel consumption in the 5% range. The new fuel injection technology should produce increases in the 15-20% range.

    Does anyone have any information on projected introduction dates.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I read the link posted by merc1 and concede that the new 7-speed transmission appears to be a "real" improvement. And, in fact, it did answer my very question of how many gears it will need to drop from 7th to have some punch: 4 gears in total, but done in two 2-gear drops rather than four 1-gear drops.

    The article seems to suggest that the entire redesign - not just 2 more gears - will lead to improved fuel efficiency and performance. I just hope the new "driver adaptive shifting" or whatever it's called works better than on my friends E430. I have gone on record giving AMG credit for perhaps the best automatics I have driven (C32, E55), but I had been unimpressed with the standard Mercedes automatic when pressed beyond casual acceleration / highway cruising.

    So I am willing to stand corrected, notwithstanding that the article looks like it was written by Mercedes for reprint in "GermanCarFans". I will look forward to seeing actual road tests of the new transmission to see how well it delivers on its promises.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    New engines: I wish I knew when, but I'd guess with the debut of the next SLK, the GST and CLE we'll see the first versions of the new direct-injection engines. These new Benzes should all start debuting next winter, and spring 04'.

    However gradually introducing new powertrain advancements are usually the Mercedes norm. They rarely come out with a new car/engine and new
    transmission all in one swoop. This way the new gearboxes will have been proven before the new engines arrive.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636

    I know this might sound Incendiary but it's not 'personal'.

    What does 'proven' mean? How long does it take MB (or other car companies that operate this way) to prove that their 'new' eleventy-nine speed gizmos really work?

    Is that the marketing word that MB uses for 'beta' quality components in their cars.

    What a wild idea it might be for them to 'prove' something through significant testing before selling it to customers or maybe even, what other marques, do which is racing?

    How long does one wait for new MB technology to be 'proven'?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You don't know what "proven" means? It's pretty self-explanatory.

  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I hope the last two posts don't foretell the direction of MB's quality program. If so it sounds like they will become the GM of Europe. Letting the customers discover the faults with their "new" hardware was precisely what GM-USA did in the late 80's and early 90's. More than one mechanic told me that and I had personal experience with the 94 LeSabre which had 2 or 3 new components, one of which was the rotary AC compressor. Mine started to degrade just 3 years old and if I had kept the car long enough, it would have cost 3 times as much to replace it as the old piston type compressors. So I traded it for my current 96 E320, which at 120K miles just needed a head gasket and a water pump. Am I happy going from GM to MB ?? I'm not sure, mostly because the MB is a far superior car. But I have to wonder about the legendary robustness of a MB car.. Oh, it isn't just the head gasket and water pump; it is now on it's third set of front brake rotors and fifth set of front pads. But maybe I'm too hard on brakes, although this is the first car I've owned with that kind of problem.
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    The top speed of any car may not have a direct relevance on US highways, (I typically drive 70 on freeways), but it has a lot to do with brand image and market leadership/bragging rights - it proves why your make is better than the competitors. This is part of the reason why we have Daytona and Indy racings. Why bother traveling at 200+ while you can drive safely around the circle for 70?

    The top speed has everything to do with gearing, hp, drag, chassis design/aerodynamics, etc. I am curious to know how the E sedan would do when coupled with a 7speed - 180 is merely my guess. Do not take this statement to the bank!
  • boiler1boiler1 Posts: 56
    180 mph might be a stretch for an E320 or E500. My current Road and Track lists only 1 car for under $100K that has a top speed of over 180 - the Dodge Viper SRT-10. In the $100K to $300K range there are a total of 10 cars in their testing universe that top the mark. As a matter of fact, the E320 and E500 are both electronically (should I use the term!?!) limited to 130 MPH in the U.S. and I seriously doubt there is another 50 mph left in either of those two models. The E55, on the other hand, is another matter altogether.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I wouldn't take much of what footie says seriously, he's a MB basher to the core with no real knowledge of anything about Mercedes-Benz, other than what he's read in a survey. What I meant about being proven is that in order to reduce the number of potential problems, Mercedes has always introduced gradual advancements in their cars, it's been the case for over 100 years. They've hardly introduced all new engines/trans in a totally new car all at once, this is nothing new and nothing like GM's practices.

  • anyone know what to pay for the E55?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Westcoast: I would be wary of paying a nickle over MSRP for an E55, preferably less. I have owned AMG cars in the past, and my neighbor recently taded his E55 for an SL55. They (perhaps with the exception of the SL) do not hold their value particularly well. Regardless of what the blue books say, a 2000-2002 E55 will generally sell at a discount compared to a 2000-2002 M5.

    The new E55 with it's significant power increase will capture the "gotta have more" buyer attention for a few months. But, in reality, the former E55 offered more power than 97% of the buyers could handle. The problem with the C32 and E55 in particular are that, after the power infatuation wears off, they are not as dynamically balanced or fun to drive as their BMW M3 and M5 6-speed counterparts. That's my opinion, having owned both, but it also seems to be supported by resale values.

    If you happen to be someone who would buy a 2003 E55 to hold on to for 10 years and 150k miles, then pay whatever you want. But I suspect that MSRP or below will be possible shortly. My neighbor got his SL55 for exactly MSRP.

    px260, et al: 180 mph for an E500?!? Be honest - you skipped physics classes?
    Forgetting lift and stability issues which would make the E-class a suicide car to drive at over 150 mph, just based upon air drag, wheel friction and other forces, 180 mph would require roughly 57% more power to achieve and maintain than 150 mph. The current 302 hp E500 is drag limited (not gearing limited) to about 155 mph. So it would take about 474 horsepower to achieve 180 mph. Factoring in lift which goes up exponentially with speed, you'd likely be airborne after about 175.

    If you have driven the autobahn, you will notice that the E-class is not usually in the faast lane. The S-class has better high speed stability as does the BMW 5 & 7 series, Audi S8 and a few others.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I agree with epn2's analysis.

    I am taking as much advantage of being able to drive on speedlimit-free autobahn in Germany. I have driven the previous gen. E320 up to 125 mph or so, and did not feel much lift at all, same with BMW 530i. I did have a chance to test drive an M5 and gone up to 165 mph indicated (accounting for speedo error, more like 154 or so) and I could feel the front end getting lighter ever so slightly. This is the reason some of the German tuners will recommend aerodynamic and suspension pkg with the Vmax module.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    imho -

    I agree with epn2's analysis too.

    There's an article by John McCormick in today's Detroit News comparing the new Porsche Carrera to the Ferrari Enzo. The effort to get to real high speeds takes a special design.

    The Porsche has a V10 with 612 hp and a 6 speed transmission and is supposed to reach 205 mph. It's an incredible vehicle with a carbon fiber body designed from the ground up for very high speeds and incredible handling. These are areas that both Porsche and BMW have had as forté's for a long time.

    I don't think that an E Class will come anywhere close to 180 mph. That's not what it was designed for, nor will a 7 speed transmission make much a difference in its top speed.
  • The Highest highway speed ever recorded: a Mercedes-Benz at 271.5 mph.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I too don't think a stock E500 would be able to reach 180 mph, the E55 on the other hand would probably top 200 mph. The SL55 was clocked at 208 mph on the autobahn with the limiter completely deactivated, and the E55 carries less weight than the SL55. MT got AMG to tweak the limiter on the CL55 and it reached 187 mph with no sweat.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Don't tell me you also skipped your physics classes??

    The new E55 has 17% more horsepower than a M5. All else being equal (aerodynmaics, lift, etc), that would suggest a top speed of perhaps 6-7% higher than the 170+/- mph the M5 is capable of - or roughly 178-182 mph. From my experience and what I have read, however, the E55 - even the new one - is not as aerodynamically stable at high speeds as the M5. My guess is that I would have a greater likelihood of throwing a baseball faster than Randy Johnson as the E55 would be of hitting 200 mph (and the driver living to tell about it).

    As for the "clocking" of the SL55 at 208 mph, that sounds more like an urban legend than reality. Granted the SL55 has a few more horsepower than the E55 and is better designed for high speed, but, based upon my back of the envelope calculations, a 400hp Ferrari 360 with a top speed of 180 would need another 170 to 200 horsepower (i.e. 570 to 600 total) to achieve 208. And it's three quarters of a ton lighter and considerably more aerodynamic than the 493 hp SL55.

    By the way, in it's latest crop of engines, AMG has prioritized low end torque at least as much or more than maximum horsepower. That does produce some pretty impressive acceleration numbers. But 2800 rpm torque has no relationship to top speed at the top of the rev band. Many slightly modified muscle cars of the 60's and 70's could achieve quicker 1/4 mile times (under 11 seconds) than the best of the current AMG, BMW, Ferrari and even Porsche offerings thanks to 500-600+ ft. lbs of torque. But very few of them had a top speed that could match the 153 ft. lb Honda S2000 (150 mph).

    I'm no physics professor, but I attended enough classes to be highly skeptical of the projections or claims of 180, 200, or 208 mph for E and SL class Mercedes.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Has anyone tried using the Auto Sharp Pen for touching up the stone chips in the front end of your MB? It was advertised in the MBCA STAR this past month and they have a website at
  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    Actually, Auto Und Sport (or something like that) magazine did get the SL55 to 208 on special tires. And according to Car and Driver...

    "It seems most European customers (and a small number of Americans) have the restrictor removed. Unrestrained, Mercedes reports the SL55 AMG can run to an intoxicating 208 mph—on the Papenburg proving ground, of course. The problem is tires. No road tires exist for these speeds in a 4400-pound car, so even the "unlimited" SL55 is constrained to 186 mph..."

    Car and Driver took their long-term E320 a few years back to Brabus and tried to break 212 with it but they kept running into a variety of speed limiters on the car, I believe the last one they ran into was around 190. The car had a ground effects kit and they commented that the car never had any problem maintaining 180+ with the aircon on and CD player playing. However, there were significant mods on that car structurally.

    According to either Top Gear or CAR, the current C32 is able to reach 178 unlimited and the previous E320 (with 224 horsepower) was able to reach 147.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The SL55 was clocked at 208 mph by the magazine mentioned in the above post. It was also shown on Auto, Motor und Sport TV, of which I never miss. No urban legend to it. Likewise the S600 has been clocked at 191 mph unrestricted, also by Mercedes-Benz.

    I didn't say the car would be stable at that speed, I just said that the E55 could probably reach that speed since the SL55 has done it with more weight. Mercedes' have always been able to reach relatively high top speeds with less hp than you might think. The W124 300E could do 137 mph with only 177hp, and that was back in 1986. Anyway it really isn't that serious to get into applying all the calculations and what not, as they don't always give you the correct outcome. My comment about the E55 was just speculation, the SL55 was not as it has been proven.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Intel recently announced an in-house test where a Pentium 4 ran at speeds making it the equivalent of a Pentium 8.

    "It's the fastest processor in this class" said Flip Slick, in an article in IntelIntel, their monthly marketing magazine.

    Intel performed the test at their California headquarters in a special laboratory housing which included a debris shield.

    A 100 amp power supply, 1 terahertz NIST clock, and liquid hydrogen cooling bath rounded out the set up.

    No-op de Loop, a reporter from the monthly enthusiast testblog, "Toast and Crash", was on hand to witness the event. "Dis vas grate. You coult see the packedge shaking wilolently yust before it wexploded".

    Mr. Slick pointed out that this package was very, very similar to the ones that you could buy at Compusa. "In fact they are so similar, this package uses the same kind of energy as the commercial P4s, electricity" he said tongue-in-cheekly.
  • fshxprtfshxprt Posts: 8
    Has anyone driven both the 2003 E 500 and the E 55? If so , how does the E 55 " comfort " setting of the suspension compare to the E 500?
    Is the softest setting on the E55 comparable to any setting on the E 500 ? I have an intermittent bad back and would like to have an E 55 if I can get it to sometimes ride more comfortably that the past model did without the adjustable suspension.
  • Can anyone rec. a good shop in South Dade. Not looking for the cheapest - There must be somebody better that the dealer-

    Also - Just replaced the orig. contis on my 2000 E-430 with Turanza's - MAJOR improvement - like a new car- price was excellent- $193 incl. bal. and new valves. (Firestone Co. Store !!!)
This discussion has been closed.