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Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Mercedes-Benz sets records
Mercedes-Benz sets records PDF Print E-mail

This column does not generally make recommendations of autos, but the Mercedes-Benz featured on this page this week, is without doubt the best possible option for Thailand, albeit a little on the pricey side.

On a recent trip back to England, Mercedes-Benz UK kindly loaned your humble scribe an E270 CDI, probably the most frugal luxury model on the market.  Performance is excellent (given the abundance of speed cameras in the UK …) while its sparing use of a liter of diesel is truly remarkable.  It would take quite a while to use a tank of fuel with this in-line five cylinder diesel motor.  Now though, Mercedes-Benz has superseded the five with a magnificent V6, which has been setting the world alight and creating some impressive records.

The latest E320 CDI V6 diesel Mercedes recently set a number of world records.  Three identical E320 models covered 100,000 kilometres and 50,000 and 100,000 miles in world record time.  The successful record attempt was held at a high-speed circuit in Laredo, Texas.  To achieve the records the three cars each had to cover around 20,000 laps of the circuit.  Their average speed for the longest record of 100,000 miles was 224.823 km/h, yet all three cars suffered no unreliability over the 30 days of the endurance tests.

The cars were driven by three teams of six drivers, including current Formula One safety car driver Bernd Mayländer.  With each driver taking the wheel for roughly two hours, and allowing 10 minutes between refueling stops of about two minutes, the drivers had to stop 966 times over the record period. The record cars had been selected at random, and were sealed and shipped to the USA from DaimlerChrysler’s Sindelfingen plant in Germany.

The E270 CDI, which is still available in some markets, including Thailand, produces a credible 177 bhp and an astonishing 425 Nm of torque.  New fuel injection nozzles and revised internal geometry of the engine reduce particulate emissions.  A six-speed manual gearbox is available or the optional five-speed automatic transmission.

Maximum speed of the E270 is a shade under 230 km/h, while the 0-100 km/h benchmark is a leisurely nine seconds.

There is a vast amount of standard equipment on the E-Class models: two-stage front airbags, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, leather trimmed steering wheel and shift lever – these are just some of the features.  On the technical front, the E-Class is the first volume model to feature Mercedes-Benz’ revolutionary ‘brake-by-wire’ system.  Pioneered on the SL-Class range, the system connects the brake pedal to the master cylinder electrically, removing the need for a vacuum-assisted brake booster, while a powerful microprocessor passes the signal to the hydraulically-activated brakes using electrical pulses.  In order to maintain the driver’s ‘feel’ for the brakes, a simulator uses spring pressure and additional hydraulics to give pedal resistance, in much the same way as an Airbus captain is given artificial resistance in his joystick.

Integrated into the electronic braking is the latest anti-lock braking system and brake assist which increases pressure if the computer senses emergency braking.

Six airbags are fitted, including full-length air curtains, while the E-Class is the world’s first sedan to be equipped with a rollover sensor.  If the car should roll, it triggers the side airbags and the seat belt pre-tensioners to protect occupants.

Whether choosing the older E270 or the latest E320 CDI, fuel consumption is its major selling point, as well as the exemplary reliability demonstrated by the accomplished speed and distance records.  While not actually recommending you go out and buy one, you would be well advised to check it out.  Certainly one of the better cars on the market.


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© 2019 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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