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Mercedes-Benz Launches Next-Generation E-Class

March 19, 2002

Mercedes-Benz launched its redesigned E-Class on Monday, Feb. 25. The new models will go on sale in the U.S. and Europe this month. The company said it has invested 800 million euros ($697 million) in development and redesign in the new model of the company’s best-selling series in the U.S. According to Dr. Joachim Schmidt, corporate head of marketing, “Investing 2 billion euros is no guarantee of building a good car, but the company developed an innovative E-Class in expectation of becoming the segment’s market leader.” Unlike the new BMW 7-series, Mercedes has chosen to make most of the changes to the E-Class under the skin, leaving the styling evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The revolution underneath includes electrohydraulic brakes, as just introduced on the 2003-model SL, Airmatic dual-control air suspension with “comfort” and “sport” settings, and a new climate-control system that can maintain four separate temperature zones in front and rear seats. Other features include the COMMAND telematics system adopted from the S-Class, and seats that can inflate or deflate their side bolsters to hold driver and passenger in place during driving. Three trim levels, Classic, Avantgarde, and Elegance, are offered, and a high-performance AMG version is promised in the near future.
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