Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

37023mer.doc - Mercedes-Benz


									The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class
                                                                      9 January,
Contents                                                      Page    2005

Short version

Refined power:
The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class                                     1

At a glance:
Technical highlights of the new M-Class                           7

Model range and appointments:
A trendsetter reasserts its position                             10

Technical data                                                   17

Design:                                                          21
Powerful signals
Body structure and safety:                                       25
Exemplary occupant protection and aerodynamics

Drive train:                                                     39
Significant increase in output and torque

Suspension:                                                      58
New top-class technology for the motorway and

Interior:                                                        65
More spacious with even more comfort

The descriptions and details in this press kit apply to the
international Mercedes-Benz model range. Differences may occur from
country to country.
Refined power: The new Mercedes-                            Press
Benz M-Class                                                Information

The trendsetter among modern off-roaders has stepped up     Contact
                                                            Rob Halloway
another gear: Mercedes-Benz presents the new M-Class.
                                                            01908 245948
With state-of-the-art technology such as three powerful
                                                            Jon Walsh
new engines,   the standard-fitted seven-speed automatic
transmission 7G-TRONIC, the now even more effective         01908 245659

four-wheel drive system 4-ETS, AIRMATIC air suspension      Jane Knibbs
and the anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-        01908 245932
SAFE®, the M-Class is set to reaffirm the off-roader’s      Deborah Gregory
leading position in a fast-growing market segment which     01908 245947
Mercedes-Benz created with the preceding model in 1997.
After its premiere at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show, the
new M-Class will be introduced onto the US market in the
spring of next year and in Europe next summer.

You need look no further than the design of the new M-
Class, with its beguiling blend of heavily contoured
surfaces and taut lines, to admire the majestic character
of the second-generation off-roader. The swept-back
windscreen, striking front wings and rising shoulderline
of the new car set the unashamedly sporting tone, a
theme developed by the proportions of the body: the new
M-Class is 150 mm longer (now 4780 mm), 71 mm wider (now
1911 mm) and 5 mm lower (now 1815 mm with roof rails)
than its predecessor. The wheelbase has grown by 95 mm
2915 mm.

Three of the four engines available for the 2005 model
are new and outstrip the output and torque of the power
units for the outgoing model to the tune of up to 38 per
cent. Cutting-edge drive-system technology and
impressive aerodynamics (the Cd value is down to 0.34
from the previous 0.40) combine to cut fuel consumption
by as much as ten per cent.
A new V6 diesel engine, available with two different
outputs, is celebrating its premiere. It features third-
generation common-rail direct injection and the latest
in piezo injectors. The unit in the ML 320 CDI delivers
224 hp and places a maximum torque of 510 Nm on tap from
1600 rpm. Also on hand to offer the twin benefits of
six-cylinder comfort and dynamism is the new ML 280 CDI,
serving up


190 hp and a peak torque of 440 Nm. The diesel models          Page 2
burn just 30.1 mpg (NEDC combined), making the new M-
Class one of the most economical off-roaders in its
class. Another new arrival is the V6 petrol unit
powering the ML 350, with 272 hp and a maximum torque of
350 Nm. The engine range is headed by the eight-cylinder
in the ML 500, which now has an output of 306 hp.

The globally unique seven-speed automatic transmission
7G-TRONIC is fitted as standard in all variants of the
new M-Class. Intelligent shift management allows the
transmission to make optimum use of the engine’s enviable
reserves of power, while making a major contribution to
fuel economy. 7G-TRONIC can now be operated
electronically using a selector lever positioned close to
the steering wheel, a new technology which Mercedes-Benz
has christened DIRECT SELECT. Additional steering-wheel
gearshift paddles enable the driver to glide manually
through the seven gears.

Ready for rough terrain: the off-road package with
Mercedes-Benz has taken the permanent four-wheel drive and
4ETS traction systems to the next level by incorporating
additional functions such as a Downhill Speed Regulation,
Start-Off Assist and the off-road ABS system. The M-Class
can be ordered with two different variants of the four-
wheel drive system, allowing it to meet the varying
requirements of off-road drivers: in addition to the
basic version, a new off-road package is optionally
available which enables the M-Class to master even the
toughest routes across rough terrain. Its primary
features include a two-speed transfer case with an off-
road ratio, manually or automatically selectable
differential locks (100 per cent) between the front and
rear axle and on the rear axle, and a modified version of
the AIRMATIC air suspension system tailored to off-road
driving, which raises the ground clearance by 110 mm to
as much as 291 mm and the vehicle’s fording depth to a
maximum of 600 mm.

The air suspension also significantly improves ride
comfort, which is why Mercedes-Benz offers a roadgoing
version of this technology as an option. AIRMATIC teams
up as standard with the Adaptive Damping System (ADS),


which adjusts shock absorber response to suit the             Page 3
current driving situation. All this accelerates the M-
Class into a new dimension in driving dynamics and ride

Mercedes engineers have also redeveloped the front and
rear suspension of the M-Class: the double-wishbone
front suspension makes a significant contribution to
reduced road roar and tyre vibration, ensuring impressive
driving dynamics with its raised aluminium wishbones. The
new rear axle has a four-link suspension system.
Standard-fitted light-alloy wheels and wide 235/65 R 17
(V6 models) or 255/55 R 18 (V8 model) tyres emphasise
the sporting pedigree of the new

A new era in safety: PRE-SAFE® makes its debut in this
vehicle class
The Mercedes-Benz M-Class also sets the pace for other
off-roaders in terms of safety. Its occupant protection
system is underpinned by a self-supporting body
structure with large deformation zones in the front and
rear ends, and a wealth of state-of-the-art technology
from the luxury class as standard. This includes
adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front
passenger, front sidebags and windowbags, as well as
belt tensioners and belt force limiters for all seats.
In the event of a rear-end collision, the newly
developed NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints
(optional) provide additional protection for the driver
and front passenger.

With the option of adding the anticipatory occupant
protection system PRE-SAFE® to the mix, the new Mercedes
off-roader raises the bar in its class. This multi-
award-winning technology provides a reflex response to
critical driving situations where an accident threatens
to occur, preparing the car and its occupants for an
impending collision. PRE-SAFE® acts in advance to tighten
the driver and front passenger seat belts, bring the
fore-and-aft setting and the cushion and backrest angle
of the electrically adjustable front passenger seat
(optional) into a more favourable position and close the
sunroof (optional) if a rollover threatens.

It is by forming an unparalleled synergy of active and      Page 4
passive safety that PRE-SAFE® can prepare the car and
its occupants for a possible impact. The system is
linked to the anti-lock braking system (ABS), Brake
Assist and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP),
whose sensors identify dangerous driving manoeuvres.
Mercedes-Benz also uses these data for anticipatory
occupant protection.

The new M-Class also boasts exceptional long-term
quality – another Mercedes hallmark. The fully
galvanised body is given extra protection from
corrosion by means of an organic coating at specific
points. Structural areas subjected to high stresses are
cavity-sealed, and folds are seam-sealed. Large plastic
underbody panels eliminate the necessity for
conventional PVC undersealing.

Part of the standard specification for the off-roader is
a new type of paint finish developed on the back of
nano-technology, which made its series-production debut
in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Offering significantly
improved scratch resistance compared to conventional
non-metallic or metallic paint finishes, nano-particle
clearcoat provides a noticeably enhanced sheen.

Like all Mercedes passenger cars, the M-Class also comes
with the 30-year MobiloLife mobility and value-retention

At the level of the luxury class: greater comfort and
more space
The interior of the new M-Class also exhibits typical
Mercedes quality, thanks to higher-quality materials,
more pleasant touch and feel characteristics and
significantly improved spaciousness for all the vehicle’s
passengers. For example, at 880 mm, the distance between
the front and rear seats is 15 mm greater than that in
the outgoing model, achieving a level more familiar in a
luxury-class saloon. Knee-room for the rear passengers
has been increased by 35 mm and elbow width by 32 mm.


M-Class customers can select the seats for their new off-     Page 5
roader to suit their personal comfort requirements. In
addition to the standard-fitted front seats with
electrically adjustable height, backrest and cushion
angle, sports seats with special backrest contours can
also be specified.

Up to 2050 litres of load capacity offers ample space
for luggage and sports equipment
The cushions and backrests of the rear seats are split
60:40 and can be folded down. Removable cushions can be
ordered as an option, creating a level loading surface
stretching 2.10 metres in length through the rear of the
car. The maximum load capacity is 2050 litres (VDA
measuring method), significantly more than comparable

The proven EASY-PACK system makes the boot area of the
M-Class easier to load and unload. Among other features,
it can be optionally supplied with an electrically
operated tailgate and a package designed to secure items
safely in the load area.

State-of-the-art support systems familiar from the
luxury-class Mercedes models help to relieve driver
stress, enhance comfort and further improve safety. The
M-Class is optionally available with the newly developed
multi-zone THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control
system, the PARKTRONIC parking aid and the control and
display system COMAND APS with Europe-wide DVD
navigation. Bi-xenon headlamps with the Active Light
System and the cornering light function (optional)
enhance driving safety during the hours of darkness.

A success story beginning in 1997: blazing a trail for
modern SUVs
With its unique design concept, the Mercedes-Benz M-
Class led the way for a new generation of off-roaders on
its premiere in 1997, and a whole series of international
prizes and awards have since underlined the qualities of
the M-Class in the fields of design, functionality,
driving pleasure, safety and off-road performance.

A total of over 620,000 drivers around the world have so
far opted for the original “Sports Utility Vehicle”
(SUV), making it one of the most successful models in         Page 6
its class. And the arrival of the second-generation M-
Class in spring 2005 is set to open a new chapter in
this automotive success story.

Fax: 01908 245096
Mercedes-Benz releases and photographs can be found at This release can
also be found on

Journalists who require photographs of our cars, trucks
and vans and/or press releases can call our Hotline
direct on 01293 851790.

                                                         Page 7
At a glance:
Technical highlights of the new M-
Cornering lights: More safety at road       Standard
junctions and on tight bends.               in
                                            n with bi-

Adaptive front airbags: The front-airbags   Standard
are activated in two stages according to
accident severity.

AIRMATIC package: The air suspension       Optional
system improves on-road comfort and is
also available in a special off-road
configuration. The Adaptive Damping System
is also included in the package.

Active Light System: The headlamps follow   Optional
the steering movements of the driver.       in
                                            n with bi-

Start-Off Assist: This technology prevents Standard
M-Class from rolling back when moving off
on gradients.

Bi-xenon headlamps: Gas-discharge lamps     Optional
for high and low beam improve driving
safety at night.

COMAND APS: This system integrates the     Optional
operation of the radio, DVD navigation and

Crash boxes: Impact-absorbing elements in   Standard
the front end can be inexpensively
replaced after a minor collision.

DIRECT SELECT: The automatic transmission   Standard
can be touch-operated by a stalk on the
steering column.

Downhill Speed Regulation: This system      Standard
supports the driver on steep downhill

EASY-PACK tailgate: A hydraulic system      Optional
enables the tailgate to be even more
conveniently opened and closed at the
touch of a button.


EASY-PACK load-securing kit: Aluminium
                    Page 8                  Optional
rails, a telescopic rod and lashing belts
allow separation of the load compartment
and secure stowage of luggage.

Electronic Traction System 4ETS: Wheels    Standard
with poor traction are automatically
braked to transfer the drive torque to the
wheels with good traction.

ESP®: This system reduces the risk of       Standard
skidding and warns the driver of tyre
pressure loss.

Headlamp Assist: A sensor on the           Standard
windscreen recognises low light conditions
and automatically switches on the vehicle

Belt force limiters: This technology        Standard
reduces the belt forces acting on the
occupants during a crash. The front
passengers have the benefit of adaptive
belt force limiters.

Belt tensioners: Any slack in the seat      Standard
belt is immediately taken up during a       for all
crash.                                      seats

KEYLESS-GO: The doors and tailgate can be   Optional
opened without the use of a key.

Child seat recognition: A transponder       Optional
system automatically detects whether a
reboard child seat is installed, and
deactivates the front passenger airbag in
this case.

THERMATIC automatic climate control: This Standard
system controls the fan speed depending on
the temperature selected, and
automatically varies the proportion of
recirculated air if ambient temperatures
are high to cool the interior more

Paint finish: Nano-technology makes the    Standard
paint more scratch-resistant and ensures a
better sheen.

Multifunction steering wheel: The radio,     Standard
telephone, navigation system and other
systems can be operated from the steering
Multicontour seat: Inflated air cushions     Optional
allow the seat contours to be individually   (standard
adjusted for comfort.                        in the ML

Multi-zone THERMOTRONIC: This newly
                    Page 9                   Optional
developed system individually regulates      (standard
the temperature and airflow for the          in the ML
driver, front passenger and occupants in     500)
the rear.

NECK-PRO: In the event of a rear-end         Optional
collision, the sensor-controlled front
head restraints are moved forward by
approx. 40 mm.

Off-road ABS: This auxiliary function        Standard
allows braking distances to be reduced on
poor road surfaces.
Particulate filter: This system developed    Optional
by Mercedes-Benz operates without            (standard
additives and reduces the already low        in
particulate emissions by a further 99 per    Germany)
PRE-SAFE®: Preventive safety measures are    Optional
taken for the occupants if a collision
appears likely.

Sidebags: These side-mounted airbags       Standard
reduce the risk of injury during a lateral for driver
impact.                                    and front
7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic            Standard
transmission: The world’s first and only
automatic car transmission with seven
speeds works as a team with all the
engines in the new M-Class.

Sound system: A new multi-channel system    Optional
provides surround-sound for every seat.

Tunnel closing: Operating the air          Standard
recirculation switch causes any open
windows and the sunroof to close when
entering a tunnel or underground car park.

Up-front sensors: Crash sensors in the      Standard
front end allow activation of the
restraint systems as the situation

Windowbags: These large air cushions        Standard
extend from the A-pillar to the C-pillar
like a curtain to reduce the risk of head
injuries during a lateral impact.


Model range and appointments:                              Page
A trendsetter reasserts its
   Role-model for a new generation of off-roaders
   Further improvement in on-road comfort and off-road
   Significantly enhanced standard appointments
   Equipment packages with off-road technology and
    comfort/styling extras

The latest Mercedes technology, exemplary safety, car-
like comfort, an attractive design and sheer driving
pleasure – these are the attributes with which the
M-Class set standards on its debut in 1997. The profile
was perfect, for such a car exactly matched the needs of
modern motorists who were looking for a more stylish
off-roader than the classic, heavy vehicles previously
available. The M-Class offered what people wanted: a
successful mix of innovation and emotion.

With this successful recipe the Mercedes-Benz became the
trendsetter for a new market segment, which began to
boom after this initial impulse and will continue to
grow in the future: specialists expect double-digit
growth figures in this segment for the coming decade.

With the new M-Class, Mercedes-Benz is extremely well
positioned to maintain the "pole position" in this
interesting market: more dynamic, innovative, serene and
attractive than ever before, the M-Class remains the
role model among modern Sports Utility Vehicles and
demonstrates its refined power. Mercedes engineers have
painstakingly developed the successful concept of this
off-roader even further, while improving its on-road and
off-road performance. For example, newly developed
axles, smooth-running six and eight-cylinder engines and
the AIRMATIC air suspension system (optional) help to
ensure that the M-Class offers even more long-distance
comfort than before.

The Mercedes off-roader also remains a trendsetter where
safety is concerned: with adaptive airbags and belt
force limiters, crash-responsive NECK-PRO head


restraints (optional) and the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory          Page
occupant protection system developed by Mercedes
(optional), the new M-Class is well ahead of other SUVs.

Even more efficient four-wheel drive
Off-road performance is now improved by a further
development of the traction system 4ETS, which now
features additional functions such as off-road ABS,
Start-Off Assist and Downhill Speed Regulation as
standard. With a combination of two selectable 100-per-
cent differential locks and a two-speed transfer case
with a low-range ratio (optional), the M-Class forges
ahead even on the most difficult terrain. With the
AIRMATIC air suspension system, which is available in a
special off-road configuration, the ground clearance of
the M-Class is increased to 291 mm (preceding model: 204
mm), and the fording depth is now approx. 600 mm instead
of the previous 500 mm.

Advantageous operating and stowage concept thanks to the
Another new feature in this vehicle class is the DIRECT
SELECT gearshift on the steering column. This dispenses
with a conventional automatic shift lever in the centre
console and provides a number of advantages. Not only
can the automatic transmission be operated by nudging
the stalk on the steering column – the DIRECT SELECT
gearshift also opens up completely new design scope for
the tunnel cladding. In place of a shift lever this now
has sufficient room for a spacious stowage compartment
and a cupholder.

Seven-speed automatic and speed-sensitive steering as
The new M-Class is not only more innovative and capable,
but also more valuable than before, as Mercedes-Benz has
significantly enhanced the standard appointments
compared to the preceding series. For example, all
engine variants are equipped with the unique seven-speed
automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC, speed-sensitive
steering, more scratch-resistant paintwork based on
nano-technology, a tyre pressure warning system and
other useful innovations.


Some of the extensive standard appointments in the V6         Page
models ML 280 CDI, ML 320 CDI and ML 350:

   Adaptive airbags for          Heated exterior
    driver and front               mirrors, electrically
    passenger                      adjustable and self-
   Permanent four-wheel           dipping
    drive                         Outside temperature
   Aerial Diversity               display
   Anti-lock braking             Courtesy lights in the
    system                         doors
   Acceleration skid             Radio Audio 20 CD
    control                       235/65 R 17 wide-base
   Armrest with stowage           tyres
    compartment between the       Brake Assist
   Front and rear               Leather-covered
    cupholders                    multifunction steering
   Diesel particulate            wheel
    filter (standard in          Foglamps
    Germany)                     Speed-sensitive
   DIRECT SELECT                 steering
    gearshift                    TIREFIT tyre repair
   Downhill Speed                kit
    Regulation                   Heated windscreen
   Rev counter                   washer nozzles
   ESP® with tyre pressure      Projector-type
    warning function              headlamps
   Headlamp Assist              Sidebags for front
   Power windows                 passengers
   Folding rear seats           Seven-speed automatic
    with 60:40 division           7G-TRONIC
   Heat-insulated glass         Cruise control with
   Belt force limiters           SPEEDTRONIC
    for all seats                Traction system 4ETS
   Belt tensioners for          Ambient lighting in
    all seats                     the
   Mobile phone pre-             exterior mirrors
    installation with roof       Front seats with semi-
    aerial                        electric adjustment
   Rear window wiper            Windowbags
   ISOFIX child seat            Central display in
    anchorage                     instrument cluster
   THERMATIC automatic          Central locking with
    climate control               remote control
   Light-alloy wheels           Aluminium trim
   Steering column
    adjustable for height
    and reach
ML 500 with multi-zone THERMOTRONIC and chrome package
as standard                                                 Page
The top-of-the-line model ML 500, whose V8 power unit
has an output of 306 hp, offers eight-cylinder comfort
and the performance profile of a sports car. The ML 500
also shows its exclusive character with a number of
desirable, additional features such as multi-zone
THERMOTRONIC, multicontour seats and 18-inch wheels.
Some of the extended standard appointments in the new ML

   255/55 R 18 wide-base tyres
   Chrome package
   8 J x 18 ET 60 light-alloy wheels in a five-spoke
    "impeller" design
   Electrically adjustable multicontour seats for driver
    and front passenger
   Multi-zone THERMOTRONIC
   Safety net for luggage compartment
   Self-dipping rear-view and exterior mirrors
   Rain sensor for the windscreen wipers
   TWIN leather upholstery
   Exotic wood trim in "birds-eye finline"

Optional high-tech innovations and comfort extras
Equally desirable and innovative optional extras enable
the off-roader to be fully individualised. Many of these
systems, e.g. the anticipatory occupant protection
system PRE-SAFE®, active headlamps or EASY-PACK, are
available in the M-Class for the first time, while the
crash-responsive head restraint NECK-PRO is celebrating
its world premiere in the Mercedes off-roader. An
extract from the range of optional features:

   COMAND APS operating         Steering column
    and display system            electrically
   Bi-xenon headlamps            adjustable
    with active light            Memory function for
    system, cornering light       front seats, mirrors
    function and headlamp         and steering wheel
    cleaning system              Multifunction               Page
   6 CD-changer                  wood/leather covered
   Black roof rails              steering wheel
   EASY-PACK load-              Multicontour front
    securing kit (incl.           seats (standard in the
    removable rear                ML 500)
    cushions)                    Multi-zone
   EASY-PACK tailgate            THERMOTRONIC (standard
    with hydraulic drive          in the ML 500)
    system                       PRE-SAFE®
   EASY-PACK load               Radio Audio 50 APS
    compartment cover             with navigation
   Anti-theft alarm             Rain sensor (standard
   PARKTRONIC parking aid        in the ML 500)
   Infra-red reflecting         Heated windscreen
    glass all-round               washer system
   Self-dipping rear-view       Headlamp cleaning
    and exterior mirrors          system
    (standard in the ML          Glass tilting/sliding
    500)                          roof
   Leather upholstery           Heavily tinted rear
   Light-alloy wheels 8 J        side windows and rear
    x 18 and wide-base            window
    tyres 255/55 R 18            Sidebags in the rear
   TWIN leather                    "Birdseye finline"
    upholstery (standard in          trim (standard in the
    the ML 500)                      ML 500)
   Sound system with               Access and drive
    eleven loudspeakers and          authorisation system
    surround-sound                   KEYLESS-GO

To make it as easy as possible for customers to choose
from the extensive range of attractive optional items,
Mercedes-Benz has ensured the maximum scope for flexi-
bility. When placing their order customers are already
given a confirmed delivery date, however changes can
still be made to the paint finish, upholstery or op-
tional items up to six working days before this delivery

Equipment packages for off-road and motorway, comfort        Page
and design
Further technical and design highlights are optionally
available as part of attractive equipment packages.
These enable Mercedes customers to give their car an
even more individual character or improve the off-road
capabilities even further:

   Off-road Pro technical package: this equipment
    package includes components with whose help the M-
    Class is able to master even the most difficult off-
    road stretches:
        Two-speed transfer case with low-range ratio
        Differential locks (100 per cent) at the transfer
        case and rear axle
        AIRMATIC with extended functions for more ground
   Off-road styling package: This equipment package
    includes an under-ride guard of brushed stainless
    steel at the front and rear, as well as a sterling
    silver painted radiator grille with chrome trim

   Sports package: The exterior and interior of the new
    M-Class are given an even more sporty look by a
    number of features which include:

      19-inch sports wheels
      Chrome trim on the side rubbing strips, door
      handles and rear bumper
      Radiator grille painted sterling silver with
chrome trim strips
      Rectangular chrome exhaust tailpipes
      Stainless steel scratch protection on the rear
      Rear lights in a dark sports look
      Blue-tinted glass
      Sporty instrument cluster
      Sports seats for driver and front passenger
      Alcantara/leather ARTICO seat upholstery with
      contrasting decorative seams
      Aluminium trim
      Sports pedals of brushed stainless steel with
rubber studs
      Interior lighting package

   Chrome package: Mercedes customers are able to             Page
    emphasise the elegant aspects of the off-roader’s
    visual appearance with chrome-inlay door handles and
    side rubbing strips, rectangular chrome exhaust
    tailpipes and a radiator grille with chrome trim
    strips. The chrome package is standard equipment for
    the ML 500.
   AIRMATIC package: Mercedes customers who attach the
    highest importance to on-road ride comfort choose
    this equipment package. It includes the air
    suspension system AIRMATIC in its on-road
    configuration and the Adaptive Damping System ADS.

   Interior equipment package: Electrically adjustable
    front seats, leather upholstery, burr walnut trim
    with chrome inserts and the extended interior
    lighting system are optionally available with this
                  Mercedes-Benz ML 280 CDI                              Page
Engine                                                                  17
No. of                         6/V, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement          cc       2987
Bore x Stroke         mm       83 x 92
Rated output          kW/hp    140/190
Rated torque          Nm       440 at 1400-2800 rpm
Compression ratio              18 : 1
Mixture formation              Common-rail direct injection,
                               turbocharger, EDC
Power transfer
Drive system                   Permanent four-wheel drive, torque
                               distribution 50:50
Transmission                   Seven-speed automatic
Ratios           Final drive   3.45
                 1st gear      4.377
                 2nd gear      2.859
                 3rd gear      1.921
                 4th gear      1.368
                 5th gear      1.0
                 6th gear      0.82
                 7th gear      0.728
                 Reverse       -3.416/-2.231
Running gear
Front axle                     Double-wishbone suspension, anti-dive,
                               coil springs, gas-pressure shock
                               absorbers, stabiliser
Rear axle                      Four-link suspension, anti-squat and
                               coil springs, gas-pressure shock
                               absorbers, stabiliser
Braking system                 Disc brakes all-round, front
                               internally ventilated, drum-type
                               parking brake at rear, ABS, Brake
                               Assist, ESP®, 4ETS
Steering                       Power-assisted speed-sensitive rack-
                               and-pinion steering, steering damper
Wheels                         7.5 J x 17 ET 56
Tyres                          235/65 R 17
Dimensions and weights
Wheelbase              mm      2915
Track front/rear       mm      1627/1629
Overall length         mm      4780
Overall width          mm      1911
Overall height         mm      1815
Turning circle         m       11.6
Boot capacity*         l       551-2050
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg      2110
Payload                kg      720
Gross vehicle weight kg        2830
Tank capacity/reserve l        95/13
Performance and fuel consumption
Acceleration 0-62 mph s        10.4
Maximum speed          mph     124
NEDC comb. fuel        mpg     30.1
*acc. to VDA measuring method
                    Mercedes-Benz ML 320 CDI                            Page
No. of                         6/V, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement          cc       2987
Bore x Stroke         mm       83 x 92
Rated output          kW/hp    165/224
Rated torque          Nm       510 at 1600-2800 rpm
Compression ratio              18 : 1
Mixture formation              Common-rail direct injection,
                               turbocharger, EDC
Power transfer
Drive system                   Permanent four-wheel drive, torque
                               distribution 50:50
Transmission                   Seven-speed automatic
Ratios           Final drive   3.45
                 1st gear      4.377
                 2nd gear      2.859
                 3rd gear      1.921
                 4th gear      1.368
                 5th gear      1.0
                 6th gear      0.82
                 7th gear      0.728
                 Reverse       -3.416/-2.231
Running gear
Front axle                     Double-wishbone suspension, anti-dive,
                               coil springs, gas-pressure shock
                               absorbers, stabiliser
Rear axle                      Four-link suspension, anti-squat and
                               coil springs, gas-pressure shock
                               absorbers, stabiliser
Braking system                 Disc brakes all-round, front
                               internally ventilated, drum-type
                               parking brake at rear, ABS, Brake
                               Assist, ESP®, 4ETS
Steering                       Power-assisted speed-sensitive rack-
                               and-pinion steering, steering damper
Wheels                         7.5 J x 17 ET 56
Tyres                          235/65 R 17
Dimensions and weights
Wheelbase              mm      2915
Track front/rear       mm      1627/1629
Overall length         mm      4780
Overall width          mm      1911
Overall height         mm      1815
Turning circle         m       11.6
Boot capacity*         l       551-2050
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg      2110
Payload                kg      720
Gross vehicle weight kg        2830
Tank capacity/reserve l        95/13
Performance and fuel consumption
Acceleration 0-62 mph s        9.4
Maximum speed          mph     130
NEDC comb. fuel        mpg     30.1
*acc. to VDA measuring method
                      Mercedes-Benz ML 350                             Page
No. of                         6/V, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement          cc       3498
Bore x Stroke         mm       92.9 x 86
Rated output          kW/hp    200/272
Rated torque          Nm       350 at 2400-5000 rpm
Compression ratio              10.7 : 1
Mixture formation              Microprocessor-controlled petrol
                               injection with hot-film airflow
Power transfer
Drive system                   Permanent four-wheel drive, torque
                               distribution 50:50
Transmission                   Seven-speed automatic
Ratios           Final drive   3.9
                 1st gear      4.377
                 2nd gear      2.859
                 3rd gear      1.921
                 4th gear      1.368
                 5th gear      1.0
                 6th gear      0.82
                 7th gear      0.728
                 Reverse       -3.416/-2.231
Running gear
Front axle                     Double-wishbone suspension, McPherson
                               struts, anti-dive, coil springs, gas-
                               pressure shock absorbers, stabiliser
Rear axle                      Four-link suspension, anti-squat and
                               coil springs, gas-pressure shock
                               absorbers, stabiliser
Braking system                 Disc brakes all-round, front
                               internally ventilated, drum-type
                               parking brake at rear, ABS, Brake
                               Assist, ESP®, 4ETS
Steering                       Power-assisted speed-sensitive rack-
                               and-pinion steering, steering damper
Wheels                          7.5 J x 17 ET 56
Tyres                           235/65 R 17
Dimensions and weights
Wheelbase              mm      2915
Track front/rear       mm      1627/1629
Overall length         mm      4780
Overall width          mm      1911
Overall height         mm      1815
Turning circle         m       11.6
Boot capacity*         l         551-2050
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg      2060
Payload                kg      770
Gross vehicle weight   kg      2830
Tank capacity/reserve l        95/13
Performance and fuel consumption
Acceleration 0-62 mph s        8.4
Maximum speed          mph     134
NEDC comb. fuel        mpg     24.6
*acc. to VDA measuring method
                      Mercedes-Benz ML 500                              Page
No. of                         8/V, 3 valves per cylinder
Displacement          cc       4966
Bore x Stroke         mm       97 x 84
Rated output          kW/hp    225/306
Rated torque          Nm       460 at 2700-4750 rpm
Compression ratio              10 : 1
Mixture formation              Microprocessor-controlled petrol
                               injection with hot-film airflow
Power transfer
Drive system                   Permanent four-wheel drive, torque
                               distribution 50:50
Transmission                   Seven-speed automatic
Ratios           Final drive   3.7
                 1st gear      4.377
                 2nd gear      2.859
                 3rd gear      1.921
                 4th gear      1.368
                 5th gear      1.0
                 6th gear      0.82
                 7th gear      0.728
                 Reverse       -3.416/-2.231
Running gear
Front axle                     Double-wishbone suspension, anti-dive,
                               coil springs, gas-pressure shock
                               absorbers, stabiliser
Rear axle                      Four-link suspension, anti-squat and
                               coil springs, gas-pressure shock
                               absorbers, stabiliser
Braking system                 Internally ventilated front and rear
                               disc brakes, drum-type parking brake
                               at rear, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP®, 4ETS
Steering                       Power-assisted speed-sensitive rack-
                               and-pinion steering, steering damper
Wheels                         8 J x 18 ET 60
Tyres                          255/55 R 18
Dimensions and weights
Wheelbase              mm      2915
Track front/rear       mm      1619/1621
Overall length         mm      4780
Overall width          mm      1911
Overall height         mm      1815
Turning circle         m       11,6
Boot capacity*         l       551-2050
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg      2100
Payload                kg      730
Gross vehicle weight   kg      2830
Tank capacity/reserve l        95/13
Performance and fuel consumption
Acceleration 0-62 mph s        6.9
Maximum speed          mph     146
NEDC comb. fuel        mpg     21.6
*acc. to VDA measuring method
Design:                                                    Page
Powerful signals
   Dynamic lines and stylish contours
   Strong character for any situation
   High-quality materials and perfect finish in the

Wider, longer, lower – in brief, this is the formula for
the exciting appearance of the new Mercedes-Benz M-
Class. Although the wheelbase and track of this
successful SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) by Mercedes-Benz
have been enlarged, the new M-Class makes a very compact
and concentrated impression. As a careful evolutionary
process, the designers have given it even more dynamic
but stylish lines. The result is a decidedly sporty and
athletic character with a clear, powerful message.

The muscular impression is particularly created by the
stylish interplay between the soft contours and angular
elements which structure the vehicle body. Numerous
surfaces are delineated by sharply-drawn, muscular
lines. At the same time these contours are extremely
modern, give an impression of power, precision and
solidity and create an interplay between light and shade
which appeals from any angle. Moreover, many of the
detailed features expressly indicate the off-road
qualities of the new M-Class.

Front end: striking features
The front end of the new M-Class sends out powerful
signals. A striking radiator grille immediately shows
that this is a vehicle with a personality of its own
which will accompany its owner in any of life’s
situations. This impression is conveyed by the robust
appearance of the grille, which is characterised by
three wide louvers with pronounced integral air
apertures and the central Mercedes star. The strong
horizontal lines of the radiator also emphasise the
width of the vehicle.


The grille is emphasised even more by a continuous,           Page
surrounding chamfer, which also delineates the bonnet
and creates a self-contained design feature. Two
ventilation grilles on the bonnet, which feature the
three fins typical of a Mercedes, underline the sporty
qualities of the new M-Class.

A reinterpretation of the headlamps likewise makes the
new M-Class appear wider, as well as adding a new
highlight to their appearance: the clear lenses now
reveal the latest headlamp technology in three shiny,
individual chrome tubes. Their lower edge is defined by
a narrow indicator band, which runs across the entire
width like a shiny glass rod and adds another striking
highlight to the front end.

The impression of robustness is compounded by the
bumpers, whose lower section has a dark colour contrast
and clearly indicates the high ground clearance which is
so typical of an off-roader. As a further interesting
detail, the bumpers feature an aluminium-look underride
guard with large, square apertures. Separate frames on
the right and left accommodate either foglamps or
cornering lights, and once again emphasise the width of
the new M-Class with this positioning.
Side aspect: dynamic elegance
The new M-Class suggests strong, forward-flowing energy
when viewed from the side. This is due to the overall
proportions and the rearward rise of the major body
lines – including the shoulder as a harmonious extension
of the front wing, the waistline, rubbing strip and side
skirt. At the same time the body is visually stretched
and given a dynamic elegance by a pronounced contour
running from the headlamps, along the A-pillar and roof
frame and back to the tailgate.

The shoulder tapers gradually towards the rear and ends
satisfyingly in an aerodynamically formed break-off
edge. The C-pillar is positioned at the highest point of
the shoulder as the visual centre of power. As in the
preceding series, the C-pillar of the new M-Class is
slanted forwards but has an even more flowing line to
establish itself as an autonomous characteristic feature
of the M-Class.


The pronounced edges of the muscular wings grow               Page
powerfully from the bodyshell, indicating not only power
but also precision and sure-footedness, while
effectively emphasising the large wheels. Depending on
the equipment line, the new M-Class is fitted with 17 to
19-inch light-alloy wheels whose unbroken surfaces and
stabilising chamfers suggest solidity and sportiness to
underline the four-wheel drive character of the M-Class.

Rear end: pronounced contours
The rear end is substantially characterised by the
extended, curved rear window, which combines with the
third side windows to form a wide, panoramic surface and
acts together with horizontal edges to suggest powerful
forward motion while visually emphasising the vehicle’s
width while reducing its height. This is reinforced by
the tailgate with its high-quality chrome handle and by
the high rear bumper, which has a colour contrast like
its front equivalent and likewise confirms the off-road
character of the M-Class with its excavator bucket
design and underride guard.

Especially when viewed from the rear, the wide track and
pronounced wheel arches make an extremely sporty
impression and lend stability to the vehicle’s
appearance. A third brake light integrated into the
prominent rear spoiler rounds the rear end off at the
top and provides another highlight.

Interior: comfort with elegance and attention to detail
The interior of the new M-Class is characterised by
self-assured elegance with calm, unbroken surfaces,
meeting the requirements of demanding customers who
expect an SUV to accompany them with serenity, absolute
reliability, comfort and charm in any situation in life.
The unique atmosphere inside the new M-Class is also
heightened by interestingly contoured features and high-
quality materials which are finished with craftsman-like
precision and attention to detail.

Drivers of the new M-Class are seated at a new four-
spoke multifunction steering wheel whose two lower
spokes feature an appealing aluminium finish. Behind it


there is a broad instrument panel which is horizontally       Page
divided into an upper and lower section in both form and
colour. Circular ventilation vents are arranged in the
centre and at the left and right extremities; their
chrome surrounds are reminiscent of the engine pods on
an aircraft wing. The upper section of the instrument
panel arches powerfully over the instrument cluster,
which has two slanted tubular binnacles for good
legibility and a sporty look. A touch of elegance is
provided by their fine chrome surrounds.

The calm, clearly arranged centre console features
easily accessible and thoughtfully positioned, ergonomic
controls and displays. Various infotainment systems are
also located here – from a CD radio to a CD radio with
integral navigation or the latest COMAND system with DVD
navigation and a large colour screen (optional).

The centre console extends into the prominent tunnel
cladding with its stowage compartments and integral
cupholders. This also features two robust, horizontal
grab handles which not only echo the principal lines of
the overall design, but also provide a firm hold when
driving off-road.

The two-tone colour scheme of the interior along the
horizontal dividing line is also continued in the centre
console, tunnel cladding and door panels. These panels
are concave in shape at elbow level, thereby increasing
elbow room and adding a stylish feature to the interior
with their pronounced contours.
Depending on the chosen appointments, the centre console
and doors feature wood, wood/chrome or aluminium trim.
As on the exterior, the trim strips in the door panels
are slanted forwards to echo the dynamic lines.

The interior of the new M-Class is characterised by
perfectly finished, high-quality materials which are
pleasant to the touch, e.g. the soft leather of the
armrests and sophisticated decorative seams. The result
is a consistently luxurious interior design. Three
interior colours – black, alpaca grey and cashmere beige
– are available for the new M-Class. These can be
with two non-metallic and nine metallic paint finishes.


Bodyshell and safety:                                          25
Exemplary occupant protection and
   Self-supporting body instead of structural frame
   PRE-SAFE® and innovative NECK-PRO head restraints as
   More scratch-resistant paint based on nano-technology
   Lowest Cd-value in this vehicle class

The assignment to develop a modern off-roader with a
future-oriented concept was taken very seriously by the
bodyshell developers at the Mercedes-Benz Technology
Center. Nothing remained sacred, and all the body parts
and components were re-examined. Safety, lightweight
construction, operating reliability, handling stability,
aerodynamics and long-term durability were just some of
the many aspects which had to be considered and
reconciled, even though some requirements seem
contradictory at first sight. However, resolving
apparently conflicting aims made the M-Class project all
the more interesting for the engineers in Sindelfingen,
and encouraged them to redouble their efforts.

A self-supporting, rigid bodyshell creates the
conditions for safe handling and a high level of ride
comfort, and forms the basis for even better occupant
protection and modern lightweight construction methods.
This is where the new M-Class differs from the preceding
series with its structural frame. In order to cope with
the high loads occurring in off-road operations, the
highly stressed areas between the vehicle suspension and
the bodyshell were redesigned and – above all -

One indication of the bodyshell’s qualities is the
considerably higher torsional rigidity, which is now
2.18 mm per metre (static) and therefore significantly
betters that of the preceding series. Accordingly the
bodyshell makes an important contribution to the
noticeably improved vibration comfort and excellent
handling stability of the new M-Class. This outstanding


rigidity is in part due to a continuous frame structure       Page
in the roof area, which is used to attach the tailgate
and also forms a robust connection between the side
walls, floor and rear roof frame. This so-called "D-
ring" literally has a firm grip on the entire bodyshell
and increases its torsional rigidity.

The body of the M-Class has been generally
redimensioned: the new off-roader is 150 mm longer, 71
mm wider and five mm lower than its predecessor. The
increased length is mainly due to the 95-mm longer
wheelbase and the 56-mm longer rear overhang. The new
dimensions compared to the preceding series:

                   New M-Class   Preceding
Length             4780 mm       4630 mm

Width              1911 mm       1840 mm

Height*            1815 mm       1820 mm

Overhang           865 mm        866 mm
front              1000 mm       944 mm
Wheelbase          2915 mm      2820 mm

*with roof rails

Two thirds of all body panels made from high-strength
steel alloys
The latest production processes and the intelligent use
of materials have made progress possible with respect to
lightweight construction, tolerances and ease of repair.
While conventional steel continues to predominate in the
material mix for the new M-Class, Mercedes-Benz has made
a five-fold increase in the proportion of high-strength
alloys, which offer maximum strength for the minimum
panel thickness and weight. In terms of total body
weight, 62 per cent of all the body panels are now of
high-strength steel alloys. Some of these, e.g. those of
dual-phase steel, are even in the "very high strength"
category. The special, two-phase microstructure of this
alloy is capable of withstanding very high loads and
therefore contributes significantly to the exemplary
stability of the front end and passenger cell.


Numerous sheet metal components in the bodyshell of the       Page
new M-Class are assembled according to the "stress-
relieved joining" principle, which allows a high level
of precision. For example, the flanges at the edges of
steel panels are designed in such a way that any
tolerances are already compensated when positioning the
sheets together, which permits body components to be
welded together without significant stresses. This
joining technique and the precise design of the body
components also makes a major contribution to corrosion
protection, as it substantially dispenses with
additional brazed connections and MAG-welding seams
which are generally seen as areas particularly
vulnerable to corrosion.

Fully galvanised body panels and more scratch-resistant
paint based on nano-technology
As in all the latest Mercedes passenger cars, the long-
term corrosion protection of the new M-Class is based on
fully galvanised sheet metal which is also organically
coated on both sides, depending on the area of
application. This coating also contains rust-preventing
zinc pigments. Highly stressed structural areas of the
bodyshell are also protected by cavity preservation, and
the welding seams are carefully sealed. The six-section
plastic underbody cladding, which gives protection
against stones, water and soiling, makes it possible to
dispense with a conventional PVC underbody coating. The
wheel arch claddings of three-mm thick plastic likewise
give protection against stone impact.

Mercedes-Benz also makes a major contribution to
exemplary long-term quality and value retention with an
innovative, more scratch-resistant clear paint coat
based on nano-technology. This innovative paint system,
which had its world debut with Mercedes-Benz, is
standard equipment for the new M-Class; it is used for
both metallic and non-metallic paint finishes.

Thanks to remarkable advances in the science of nano-
technology it has been possible to integrate ceramic
particles measuring less than one millionth of a mm into
the molecular structure of the paint binder. These nano-
particles achieve a three-fold increase in the scratch-
resistance of the paint finish, ensuring a visibly
improved and lasting sheen.
Front-end structure with crash-boxes and robust            Page
structural members
Dispensing with the previous structural frame has made
it possible to design the front-end structure of the new
M-Class to passenger car standards. This particularly
benefits occupant safety during a frontal collision.

Two straight side members of high-strength steel
reinforced with two interior sheet steel liners, a front
element and two outside members above the wheel arches
are the most important energy-absorbing features of the
front end. Energy is absorbed in stages, depending on
impact severity. The front end is equipped with two
crash boxes of high-strength steel which absorb most of
the impact energy in the event of a frontal collision at
low speeds (up to 10 mph).

The crash boxes are bolted to the side members and can
therefore be inexpensively replaced without welding in
the event of damage. All the other components in the
front end are also bolted together for ease of repair.

Only at higher impact speeds (above 10 mph) are the
robust side members in the front end activated to form a
deformation zone. If the body structure is subjected to
one-sided loads, i.e. during an offset frontal impact,
an aluminium section and other transverse connections in
the front end ensure that the impact forces are also
dissipated to the unaffected side of the vehicle. During
an offset crash the second level of side members above
the wheel arches also serves to dissipate impact energy.

The high-strength steel subframe which carries the front
axle, steering gear, engine and transmission is also
specifically deformed during an impact, and thereby
makes a major contribution to energy absorption. The
front wheels are also integrated into the safety
concept; during a collision they are supported by the
robust side walls and direct impact forces away from the
passenger cell.

Effective all-round occupant protection
While the front-end structure is designed and
constructed to deform and absorb energy during an
accident, the passenger cell of the new M-Class forms a

protective area with a high deformation resistance. The        Page
floor assembly, roof pillars, side members and side
walls are the most important components of this rigid
safety zone:

   The main floor consists of three assemblies. The
    centre section -- the transmission tunnel – has a
    higher steel thickness and therefore acts as the
    backbone of the floor structure. The areas on both
    sides of the tunnel are reinforced with cross-members
    which provide a solid mounting base for the seats and
    ensure a high level of lateral stability, which
    particularly benefits occupant protection in the
    event of a lateral collision. In addition a diagonal
    member extending from the firewall to the B-pillars
    strengthens the floor assembly.

   The external side panels and multi-piece interior
    side wall components form the multi-layered cross-
    sections of the roof pillars, roof frame and side

   The reinforced outer shells of the side walls are
    one-piece units; the inner shells consist of several
    steel sheets which are particularly robust at the
    nodal points where the roof pillars join the roof
    frame and the side members.
In addition to aero-acoustics, sound-absorbing foam
components contribute to the excellent noise comfort on
board the new M-Class. These are concealed at various
points of the bodyshell – 34 such foam elements are
integrated into the two side walls alone.

Easily repaired rear-end design
The rear side members of the new M-Class are designed a
continuous, closed box sections with gradually reducing
material thickness. These make a major contribution to
occupant safety during a rear-end collision. The fuel
tank is located in an impact-protected position in front
of the rear axle.


In the interests of repair-friendly design the rear end       Page
also features steel crash boxes and a deformable
aluminium cross-member. These absorb impact forces
during minor collisions (up to a maximum of 10 mph) so
that the downstream body structure remains undamaged.
Bolted connections allow damaged crash boxes and the
cross-member to be replaced inexpensively.

The world’s first off-roader with PRE-SAFE® anticipatory
occupant protection
With adaptive front airbags and belt force limiters,
belt tensioners, sidebags and windowbags, as well as
newly developed crash-responsive head restraints
(optional), the M-Class is well-prepared for all types
of accident where occupant protection is concerned. But
the developers of the off-roader were not satisfied to
leave it at that. They are offering customers an even
more intelligent system which can already become active
in the few seconds preceding an impending accident: PRE-

With this anticipatory occupant protection system, which
Mercedes-Benz first realised in the S-Class in 2002, the
M-Class underlines its role as a trendsetter and
example. No other off-roader offers this unique,
trailblazing technology.
PRE-SAFE® creates the link between active and passive
safety. It is networked with Brake Assist and the
Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and recognises
critical handling situations which might lead to an
accident. PRE-SAFE® intervenes in such dangerous
situations within milliseconds, preparing both the
occupants and the vehicle for the possible collision:

   The seat belts of the driver and front passenger are
    tensioned as a precaution.

   If the electrically adjustable front passenger seat
    with memory function (optional) is in an unfavourable
    position in terms of longitudinal adjustment and
    cushion/backrest angle, it is moved to a better

   The sunroof is closed if a rollover threatens.


Thanks to these precautionary PRE-SAFE measures the            Page
vehicle occupants are in a better seating position even
before the accident occurs, enabling the seat belts and
airbags to work more efficiently. If the accident is
avoided, the preventive tensioning of the seat belt is
automatically relaxed and the passengers are able to
return the seat and sunroof to their previous positions.
Adaptive airbags and belt force limiters
The restraint systems also respond according to need on
the basis of an efficient sensor system. In addition to
the central crash sensor in the centre console,
Mercedes-Benz employs so-called up-front sensors for
this purpose; these are located on the radiator cross-
member in the front end structure, and their remote
positioning in the front end of the body enables them to
detect the severity of a collision even earlier and with
greater accuracy. This makes it possible to shorten the
time that elapses between the moment of impact and the
deployment of the airbags and belt tensioners even
further. In other words, the seat belts are tensioned at
a very early stage so that the occupants are optimally
linked to the passenger cell and take part in the
vehicle deceleration process during an impact.

The electronic control unit also uses the up-front
information to deploy the driver and front passenger
airbags sooner as the situation demands. This takes
place in two stages, depending on the severity of the
impact: during a minor frontal impact the electronic
control unit only ignites one stage of the two-stage
airbag gas generators, and the airbag inflates more
gently. Should the control unit detect a severe frontal
collision, however, it deploys the second stage of the
gas generator after a slight delay. As a result, the
airbags inflate at a higher pressure to provide the
occupants with the level of protection required in a
collision of this severity. By virtue of a newly
developed, absorbent and telescopic steering column
which compresses by up to 100 mm during a collision, the
driver is given far more space for forward motion.

The belt force limiters are also adaptive, i.e. they
operate according to the accident situation: if the
sensors send information that a frontal collision is


severe, the seat belts are tensioned and reach their        Page
maximum retaining power. Briefly afterwards the force
limiters switch to a lower level of force, which
slackens the belts slightly and allows the front
occupants to sink more deeply into the airbags. This
reduces the loads acting on the chest area.

Newly developed, crash-responsive NECK-PRO head
Mercedes-Benz has perfected occupant protection during a
rear-end collision with newly developed, crash-
responsive NECK-PRO head restraints for the driver and
front passenger (optional), which celebrate their
premiere in the M-Class. These are likewise linked to
the control unit: if the sensor system detects a rear-
end collision with a defined impact severity, it
releases pre-tensioned springs inside the head
restraints which immediately cause these to move forward
by approx. 40 mm and upwards by 30 mm. This means that
the heads of the front occupants are supported at an
early stage, reducing the risk of whiplash injuries.
After NECK-PRO activation the head restraints can be
unlocked and returned to their original position using a
tool supplied as an accessory.

Sidebags and windowbags as standard
With standard sidebags for the driver and front
passenger, as well as windowbags, the restraint system
of the new M-Class provides two further, highly-
effective systems whose protective effect is
complementary: while the sidebags primarily reduce the
loads acting on the chest area, the windowbags provide
extended head protection for both front and rear
occupants. During a lateral impact the windowbag
inflates and extends from the front to the rear roof
pillar like a large curtain. Accordingly it also gives
protection against objects which might penetrate into
the vehicle interior during a crash. Sidebags are also
optionally available for the rear.

A special sensor system is responsible for deployment of
the sidebags within milliseconds: in addition to the
central sensor in the interior, satellite sensors
located in the side members provide information about
the severity of a lateral collision.


The sophisticated crash sensor system in the new M-Class       Page
is rounded off by a rollover sensor which activates the
belt tensioners and windowbags during certain types of
lateral impact. A special, laminated coating on the
weave ensures that the windowbags remain inflated for
some time after a rollover.

The occupant restraint system of the new M-Class at a

                           Front seats         Rear seats

 Inertia-reel seat              o                  o
 belts                  height-adjustable

 Belt tensioners                o                  o

 Belt force limiters            o                    o
                            adaptive         also for centre

 Head restraints                 o                 o
                          adjustable for
                        height and angle,
                         optional crash-
                       responsive NECK-PRO
                        head restraints

PRE-SAFE®                  optional               --

Front airbags                   o                 --
                         with adaptive
                       control according
                          to accident

Sidebags                       o               Optional

Windowbags                                 o

Automatic child seat   optional in front          --
recognition              passenger seat

ISOFIX child seat             --                  o

Front passenger                o                  --

o = standard

Cd-value reduced by 15 per cent                             Page
A low fuel consumption, a high level of handling safety,
good noise comfort – the excellent results the new M-
Class can boast in these disciplines is also the result
of painstaking, detailed work in the wind tunnel.
Designers, aerodynamics specialists and engineers from
other areas worked together closely to ensure that the
off-roader was at its best in every respect, and with
convincing results:

   The coefficient of air resistance (Cd) is 0.34, which
    is 15 per cent below the figure for the preceding
    series. This means that the new M-Class has the
    lowest air resistance of any off-roader.

   Mercedes engineers have reduced the lift at the rear
    axle (cAH) to 0.033 – 70 per cent less than for the
    previous M-Class – making an important contribution
    to exemplary handling stability, safe braking and
    good directional stability.

                            New M-Class*   Preceding
    Cd-value                0.34–0.36      0.40–0.42

    Frontal area (A)        2.81           2.78

    Air resistance cW x A 0.96             1.11

    Rear axle lift cAH      0.033          0.110

      *measured with road simulation

These results are the culmination of various aerodynamic
measures in almost every area of the bodyshell, but
these advances are also based on the latest test
procedures, which allow a particularly realistic
analysis of the airflow characteristics. The wind tunnel
tests on the new M-Class were carried out at the
University of Stuttgart, with the wheels turning: two
steel belts powered the wheels to simulate the
aerodynamic interaction between the road surface, the
tyres and the bodywork, for example to examine the
influence of turning wheels on the air resistance and
lift forces – particularly at high speeds.


Major details which contribute to the exemplary Cd-value      Page
include the following:

   The aerodynamically efficient shape of the front
    apron directs the airstream to the sides for an
    optimal flow around the front wheels. This component
    was extended to the rear so as to cover part of the
    engine compartment and prevent turbulence from
    developing around the engine itself. In the diesel
    models the engine compartment is fully encapsulated.

   Effective sealing around the radiator grille. This
    improves the airflow while making more efficient use
    of the cooling air.

   The exterior mirror housings, whose shape was
    optimised in the wind tunnel.

   The wheel spoilers reduce lift forces.

   The smooth underfloor cladding extending from the
    engine compartment to the rear axle. This ensures
    that the airstream is able to flow beneath the body
    without turbulences. The areas beneath the fuel tank
    and between the exhaust silencers are also covered
    with plastic cladding.
   The rear apron is equipped with a special diffuser
    between the exhaust tailpipes.

   The optimised spoiler edge on the tailgate, the air
    flow break-away edges on the rear side windows and
    the rear lights specifically influence the airstream.

Aero-acoustic analysis according to a noise index
Aerodynamics is a discipline with many aspects. Research
in the wind tunnel not only affects fuel consumption and
handling safety, but also the level of comfort
experienced by the vehicle occupants – the noise
comfort. The airstream flowing around the car at speed
can make itself felt in many ways, and impair travelling


comfort with loud hissing, high-frequency whistling or       Page
sonorous booming. It is the task of aero-acoustic
specialists to analyse and assess this background noise
and eliminate the sources of intrusive sounds. The
progress they have made is audible in the new M-Class.

The doors were a particular focal point for the aero-
acoustic technicians.
Care was already taken during the design stage to ensure
that the outer and inner skins for a rigid, vibration-
resistant structure by virtue of various reinforcing
sections, and that the window frames in particular are
extremely robust. In this way airstream-induced movement
of the window frames at high speed was reduced by more
than half. In addition the door edges feature a
continuous double seal – and in some areas even a triple
seal – to ensure that no wind noises are audible. The
side windows also make a major contribution to noise
insulation: the glass thickness has been increased by
0.3 mm to 4.1 mm versus the preceding series.
The roof pillars, roof trim strips and exterior mirror
housings were also subjected to aero-acoustic
examination using special microphones, then contoured so
that no disturbing wind noises are generated.

Mercedes engineers summarise the individual results of
these aero-acoustic measures in the form of a noise
index. This not only takes measured values such as
volume and frequency into account, but also the
subjective perception of noises which may not be loud
but can certainly be irritating. The noise index for the
new M-Class has been lowered to 50, which is an approx.
50-per-cent reduction versus the preceding series and
matches the exemplary level for the E-Class. The new M-
Class therefore occupies a peak position among off-
roaders in terms of noise comfort as well.

Unimpaired visibility in the rain
Aerodynamics also make an important contribution to
driving safety with measures which allow the driver a
unrestricted visibility through the front side windows
in the rain. Mercedes engineers achieved this by
directing the


rainwater to the rear, downwards or to the sides. In the      Page
new M-Class the side windows in the driver’s main field
of vision remain clear because the rainwater hitting the
windscreen is collected in drainage channels on the A-
pillars, then conducted to the rear across the roof with
the help of the slipstream and drained away downwards by
a channel at the rear edge of the roof. This even works
well during a heavy downpour. The housings of the
exterior mirrors are designed in such a way that
rainwater flows to the outside in an unobtrusive,
continuous channel and drains away.

Windscreen wipers from the wind tunnel
The windscreen wipers of the new M-Class were also
developed in the wind tunnel: they are known as aero-
wipers. Instead of the articulated retention system used
for conventional wiper blades, in which the rubber
blades are claw-mounted, the aero wiper consists of a
one-piece rubber section with an integral spoiler and
externally mounted spring rails; these precisely follow
the curve of the windscreen. The spring rails ensure an
even distribution of wiper pressure along the entire
length of the wiper blade, so that it always operates
with the greatest possible contact pressure. The result
is significantly better wiping quality, even in heavy
snow. Dispensing with the conventional claw-mounted
system, which is prone to icing in winter conditions,
reduces the installed height of the wiper by almost
half. This produces a noticeable reduction in windscreen
wiper noise.

The new M-Class is equipped with an efficient two-arm
wiper system with special kinematics: while the left
wiper arm moves around a fixed axis, its counterpart on
the right executes and additional lifting movement to
wipe an even larger area of the windscreen. This
provides the driver with optimal visibility. A rain
sensor is standard equipment in the off-roader.

Bi-xenon headlamps with Active Light System and
cornering light function
Good visibility means a high level of safety. In view of
this, Mercedes engineers have also improved the
headlamps of the M-Class. In addition to the standard
halogen projection headlamps for high and low beam,
which are automatically


switched on or off by a sensor on the windscreen,              Page
foglamps in the bumper cladding and ambient lighting in
the mirror housings, other high-tech lighting systems
are optionally available for the new off-roader. The bi-
xenon headlamp package offers two additional functions
which make driving even safer in the dark:

   Active Light System: The headlamps follow the
    steering movements of the driver and rapidly pivot to
    the relevant side when the car enters a bend. This
    improves road illumination by up to 90 per cent:
    whereas the normal illumination range when entering a
    bend with a radius of 190 metres is approx. 30
    metres, this increases by a further 25 metres with
    the new headlamp technology. Because the light
    distribution corresponds to the current steering
    angle, the driver recognises the course of a bend
    sooner than with conventional low-beam headlamps.
    Active headlamps work both on high and low beam.

   Cornering light function: This function is activated
    when the driver uses the indicators or turns the
    steering wheel, and illuminates the side area ahead
    of the vehicle to an angle of up to 60 degrees with a
    range of approx. 30 metres. In this way the cornering
    light function make areas of the road visible which
    would remain dark with conventional headlamp
    technology when turning a corner. This means that
    pedestrians and cyclists can be seen clearly even in
    the dark. The driver also has better orientation when
    negotiating bends at slow speeds (up to 40 km/h). The
    oval lamps of the cornering lights are accommodated
  in the bumper cladding; they also function as

The equipment package containing bi-xenon headlamps,
Active Light System and the cornering light function
also includes dynamic beam control and a headlamp washer
system using high-pressure water jets.

Drive train:                                               39
Significant increase in output and
   Three newly developed V6-engines
   Fuel consumption reduced by more than ten per cent
   All engines with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic
    transmission as standard
   4ETS traction system with new, additional functions
   Optional two-speed transfer case and differential

The new M-Class also shows its strengths with three
newly developed six-cylinder engines. The V6 power units
considerably better the engines of the preceding series
in both output and torque. The well-proven eight-
cylinder in the top-of-the-line ML 500 also generates 14
hp more in the new M-Class, while the maximum torque of
the V8 has been increased by a further 20 to 460 Nm.

Despite the higher output, fuel consumption remains at
the same level as the preceding series. In the new V6-
model ML 350 it is even 10.4 per cent lower than for the
previous ML 350. All the engines in the new M-Class meet
the EU-4 limits, and by virtue of their ultra-modern
technology the diesels even manage this stringent
standard without a particulate filter.

More output and even better torque also stand for
greater driving pleasure. In the case of the new M-
Class, the measured performance data already show what
Mercedes customers can expect from the off-roader in
future. Two examples:

   The ML 280 CDI (190 hp) accelerates from zero to 62
    mph in 10.8 seconds, and is therefore 1.8 seconds
    faster than the previous ML 270 CDI.      The maximum
    speed has increased from 115 to 124 mph.

   The ML 350 (272 hp) takes just 8.4 seconds to
    accelerate from zero to
    62 mph – 0.7 seconds less than the previous ML 350.
    The maximum speed of this six-cylinder model is 134
    mph (predecessor: 127 mph).

All the engines for the new M-Class are combined with                 Page
7G-TRONIC as standard, the world’s only seven-speed
automatic car transmission. This is able to take full
advantage of the high output and torque potential of the
six and eight-cylinder power units in any driving

The key engine and performance data for the M-Class at a

                    ML 280 CDI   ML 320 CDI   ML 350      ML 500

Output              190 hp       224 hp       272 hp      306 hp

Max. torque at      440 Nm       510 Nm       350 Nm      460 Nm
rpm                 1400-2800    1600-2800    2400-5000   2700-4750
                    rpm          rpm          rpm         rpm

0–62 mph            10.4 s       9.4 s        8.4 s       6.9 s

Max. speed          124 mph      130 mph      134 mph     146 mph
Fuel                30.1 mpg     30.1 mpg     24.6 mpg    21.6 mpg

*NEDC combined consumption

A new dimension of diesel driving pleasure
In 2005 Mercedes-Benz will open a new chapter in its
tradition-laden diesel engine history and underline its
leadership in this field with a newly developed V6 power
unit. The six-cylinder combines all the current and
trailblazing technologies in diesel engine development -
- from the mechanics and thermal/flow dynamics to the
electronic engine management and emissions control. This
guarantees outstanding results in terms of output and
torque characteristics, economy, exhaust emissions and
smooth running. The new
V6-engine replaces the previous in-line five-cylinder
unit of the ML 270 CDI. In the new M-Class the new CDI
engine is available in two output classes: with
190 hp and 224 hp.

The key features of the new Mercedes diesel engine in
brief:                                                      Page

   Six cylinders in a V-arrangement
   Aluminium crankcase with cast-in grey iron cylinder
   Third-generation common-rail injection with piezo
   Four-valve technology with two camshafts per cylinder
   Turbocharger with electrically adjustable turbine
   Peak combustion pressure of up to 180 bar
   Exhaust gas recirculation (AGR) with electrically
    controlled valve
   Electrically controlled intake air throttling
   Swirl control by electrically controlled intake port
   Quick-start glow system

ML 320 CDI

Cylinder               V6

Valves per cylinder 4

Displacement           2987 cc

Bore/Stroke            83/92 mm

Compression ratio      18 : 1

Output                 224 hp
                       at 3800 rpm

Max. torque            510 Nm at
                       1600-2800 rpm

The world’s first aluminium V6 diesel engine
More output, more torque and lower exhaust emissions –
the engineers at Mercedes approached the main
objectives of their development work in various ways.
For example with lightweight construction: owing to an
intelligent choice of materials and innovative
production methods, the weight of the unit acc. to


DIN has been reduced to approx. 208 kilograms or             Page
roughly the level of the in-line five-cylinder. The
power-to-weight ratio of the V6-engine is a remarkable
0.79 kW/kg.

As a world first, Mercedes-Benz has developed this
diesel engine with an aluminium crankcase and cast-in
grey iron cylinder liners. It tips the scales at only
41 kg and is therefore a prime example of lightweight
construction. Aluminium is also used for the cylinder
heads, cylinder head covers, water pump pistons, sump
and charge pressure distributor. Plastics are also used
to save weight. Components in the fresh and charge air
ducting systems, silencer and engine shrouding are of

A likewise newly developed valve control system reduces
both friction and moving masses: the 24 intake and
exhaust valves are controlled by an overhead camshaft
for each cylinder bank, via roller-type rocker arms
with hydraulic valve clearance compensation. The
camshafts are driven by a tried-and-tested double-bush
timing chain system into which the balancer shaft and
the high-pressure pump for the fuel injection system
are integrated.

Compact dimensions thanks to a new "one-box concept"
Thanks to a newly developed "one-box concept", the V6-
engine is among the most compact diesel power units in
its displacement class worldwide. "One-box concept"
means that the engine forms a single, compact entity
with its components and ancillary units. The complete
air filter system is directly attached to the engine
and therefore occupies no additional installation
space. This makes the new V6 even more compact than the
previous 5-cylinder in-line unit.

In addition to lightweight construction, compact
dimensions and low-friction valve gear, the new CDI
six-cylinder would not be a Mercedes engine if it did
not also meet the strict standards of the brand in
terms of rigidity, vibration characteristics and long-
term durability. Calculations and computer simulations
provided the engineers in Stuttgart with valuable data
and helped them achieve the demanding specifications. A
look at the interior of the V6-engine:

   The forged crankshaft rotates in four bearings which      Page
    have been enlarged by five mm versus the in-line six-
    cylinder in the interests of vibration comfort. The
    radii of the crank pins have been rolled to achieve
    high strength. The flexural and torsional rigidity of
    the crankshaft is more than twice that of the
    preceding engines.

   The connecting rods are also of forged steel.
    Mercedes engineers have further optimised their
    weight by using a new alloy and making geometrical

   Careful design of the combustion chamber geometry,
    which includes the precisely calculated recesses in
    the piston crowns, optimises the combustion process
    and helps to achieve a lasting reduction in untreated
   The free vibrations which are inherent to a V6-engine
    are compensated by a balancer shaft between the
    cylinder banks. This counter-rotates at the same
    speed as the crankshaft.

Heat exchangers for oil cooling, heating and exhaust
gas recirculation
A separate roller chain is used to drive the oil pump.
Via a large full-flow oil filter, the efficient and
quiet external-gear pump delivers the oil to the oil-
water heat exchanger located between the cylinder
banks. The high 15 kW output of the heat exchanger
ensures that even under extreme engine loads, the oil
temperature does not rise above 130 degrees Celsius.
The tunnel of the balancer shaft also serves as the
main oil duct from which the oil flows to the main
bearings, into the cylinder heads and to the piston-
cooling spray units, which automatically open at a
certain oil pressure and cool the pistons.

The mainstay of the water cooling system is a belt-
driven pump on the crankcase. This is a double-helix
pump which forces the coolant into the cylinder banks
within the crankcase from the front, where it mainly
flows to the exhaust side via special holes bored in
the cylinder head gasket. Cooling is thermostat-
controlled on the cross-flow principle.


The flow of coolant for the oil-water heat exchanger           Page
comes from the crankcase on the right, while the
exhaust gas recirculation (AGR) cooler and the heat
exchanger for the heating system are supplied with
coolant from the left cylinder head. The coolant
circuit is therefore designed to ensure adequate heat
dissipation under any load and engine speed conditions.
Particularly high rates of flow are achieved at the
valve lands, around the injector ducts in the cylinder
heads, in the oil-water heat exchanger and in the
exhaust gas recirculation cooler, enabling an efficient
heat transfer to take place.

Turbocharger with variable turbine geometry
The new V6 diesel engine is aspirated by a VNT
turbocharger (Variable Nozzle Turbine). This technology
already enables high levels of output and torque to be
achieved at low engine speeds. Thanks to electric
control, VNT turbochargers are able to vary the angle of
their turbine blades rapidly and precisely to suit the
operating status of the engine, and can therefore use
the largest possible volume of exhaust gas to compress
the intake air and build up charge pressure. At low
engine speeds the turbine blades reduce the flow cross-
section to increase the charge pressure, while the
cross-section is enlarged at high engine speeds to
reduce the speed of the turbocharger. More efficient
cylinder charging and therefore higher torque are the
results of variable, demand-related turbocharger
control. Moreover, electric VNT technology allows a
precise interaction with other units which are
responsible for reducing untreated emissions and exhaust
gas aftertreatment.

The turbocharger is combined with a downstream
intercooler which reduces the temperature of the
compressed, heated air by up to 95 degrees Celsius,
allowing a larger volume of air to reach the combustion
chambers. Behind the intercooler there is an
electrically controlled flap which enables the V6-engine
to be throttled back precisely when the exhaust gas
recirculation is in operation. This electrically
regulated control flap allows the volume and mix of the
exhaust gases added to the combustion air to be very
precisely metered. To optimise the volume of
recirculated exhaust gas, it is abruptly cooled in a
high-performance heat


exchanger. Acting in conjunction with the hot-film air        Page
flow sensors integrated into the intake air ducts, which
provide the engine control unit with precise information
about the current volume of intake air, this
significantly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions.

The combustion air then flows into the charge air
distribution module, which supplies each cylinder in
equal measure. The distribution module features an
integral, electrically controlled intake port shut-off
function with which the intake post cross-section for
each cylinder can be variably reduced. This modifies the
swirl of the combustion air, ensuring that the charge
flow to the cylinders is adjusted for the best possible
combustion and exhaust emissions in any load and engine
speed conditions.

Piezo-ceramics for precisely metered injection within
The third generation of the well-proven common-rail
direct injection system is entering series production at
Mercedes-Benz with the new V6 diesel engine. This means
that the injectors, high-pressure pump and electronic
engine management system will operate even more
efficiently, with a further reduction in fuel
consumption, exhaust emissions and combustion noise.

Instead of the previous solenoid valves, the injectors
are equipped with piezo-ceramics whose crystalline
structure changes within milliseconds under an electric
voltage. The engine developers used this effect, which
was discovered in 1880 by the brothers Pierre and
Jacques Curie, to lift the needle jet at the tip of the
injector with a precision of mere thousandths of a mm
and thereby achieve an extremely fine jet of fuel.
Moreover, piezo injectors are considerably lighter and
operate at twice the speed of conventional solenoid
valves. With a response time of only 0.1 milliseconds,
the fuel injection process can be even more precisely
suited to the current load and engine speed situation,
with favourable effects on emissions, fuel consumption
and combustion noise. The number of fuel injections per
power stroke is increased from three to five thanks to
this piezo technology.


Mercedes engineers have also made improvements to other       Page
components of the common-rail system and the injection

   The hydraulically optimised injector nozzles have
    eight holes (previously seven), which ensures even
    finer distribution of the fuel within the combustion
    chamber and more efficient mixture formation.

   The inlet-metered high-pressure pump operates with a
    maximum injection pressure of 1600 bar.

   The pilot injection process developed by Mercedes-
    Benz, which ensures a smoother combustion process and
    thereby audibly reduces the operating noise of the
    engine, takes place twice in succession in the new
    V6-engine. Small pilot quantities of fuel are
    injected within less than a millisecond and preheat
    the combustion chambers even more efficiently.

   To burn off the soot particles in the particulate
    filter, there is a double post-injection of fuel when

Emission control with two catalytic converters and a
particulate filter
Two oxidising catalytic converters clean the exhaust
gases of the new Mercedes diesel engine. One acts as a
so-called starting catalytic converter, and is ready for
action very soon after a cold start thanks to its
position close to the engine. This unit is accompanied
by a downstream main catalytic converter. The purpose of
the oxidation-type catalytic converters is to convert
carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons by combining
them with oxygen (oxidation).

This efficient exhaust gas aftertreatment combined with
the complex in-engine measures already enables the V6
diesel engine to meet the stringent EU4 exhaust limits.

To lower exhaust emissions even further, Mercedes-Benz
combines the new six-cylinder with a maintenance-free
particulate filter system as standard for the

German market, producing a further significant reduction      Page
in particulate emissions. The particulate filter
regenerates itself without the use of additives and
remains effective over a very high operating mileage.

ML 350 with a new 272 hp six-cylinder engine
Output, torque, fuel consumption, comfort and exhaust
emissions – these were also task areas of equal
importance when developing the new V6 petrol engine.
This up-to-date six-cylinder makes its mark in each of
these disciplines. It offers technical innovations which
do not represent stand-alone solutions, but rather make
themselves felt in a number of areas.

The Mercedes engineers had already created important
conditions for an exemplary performance curve with four-
valve technology and four overhead camshafts, but this
was not yet enough for them. In addition they developed
a system by which the interaction of the 24 valves can
be controlled as required – depending on the engine load
– while ensuring an extremely rapid gas cycle in the
cylinders: continuously variable camshaft adjustment.
This means that the angles of both the intake and
exhaust camshafts can be continuously varied by 40
degrees, ensuring that the valves open or close at the
best possible moment in any driving situation.

Under low engine loads the engineers have used this
technology to allow the exhaust gases to flow directly
from the combustion chamber and back to the intake duct:
during the process the camshafts are adjusted so that
the exhaust valves remain open for a short time while
the intake valves are opening. During this split second,
some of the exhaust gases are able to flow from the
exhaust duct to the intake duct. The vacuum pressure in
the intake manifold assists this process.

This valve overlap when venting the exhaust gases and
taking in the fresh mixture makes an efficient internal
exhaust gas recirculation possible. This reduces the
energy losses during load changes in the cylinders,
leading to a significantly lower fuel consumption.

Under higher engine loads the camshaft adjustment          Page
feature is also used to optimise the valve overlap in
line with the engine speed so that the combustion
chambers are efficiently supplied with fresh mixture –
which makes for a high output and torque.

ML 350

Cylinder            V6

Valves per cylinder 4

Displacement        3498 cc

Bore/Stroke         92.9/86.0 mm

Compression ratio   10.7 : 1

Output              272 hp
                    at 6000 rpm

Max. torque         350 Nm at
                    2400-5000 rpm

The V6 developers devoted a great deal of attention to
anything that would contribute to optimal aspiration.
Sophisticated computer programmes were used to calculate
airflows, e.g. helping to optimise the flow of air from
the twin-chamber air filter. This is where the ducts
interface with the hot-film airflow sensor (HFM). The
housing of this unit is oval in shape for optimal flow
characteristics and accommodates an electrically heated
sensor element which measures the flow of intake air,
providing the engine management system with important
basic information for the composition of the combustion

The air intake is variable according to the engine load
and engine speed by virtue of an intake module in well-
proven magnesium technology. The length of the intake
pipes leading to the cylinders is varied by means of
flaps. At high engine speeds – from approx. 3500 rpm –
the flaps are open and the air takes the


shortest distance to reach the combustion chambers,           Page
producing a high engine output. At low engine speeds the
flaps are closed, increasing the length of the intake
duct. This creates pressure waves which assist the
intake process and fundamentally improve the torque
generated in the lower engine speed range. No less than
305 Nm are already available from 1500 rpm, which
corresponds to approx. 87 per cent of the maximum

Tumble flaps in the intake ducts
Electro-pneumatically driven flaps at the end of each
intake duct are the special feature of the intake module
in the Mercedes six-cylinder engine. These make a
significant contribution to fuel economy. Mercedes
engineers refer to these as tumble flaps, which in some
measure indicates their purpose: they literally cause
the fuel/air mix to tumble, increasing the turbulence of
the airflow and causing it to enter the combustion
chambers at higher speed, with a more uniform
distribution. The result is better, more complete

Under partial load the tumble flaps pivot to the open
position, optimising the airflow and increasing the
speed of combustion – an advantage that makes itself
particularly noticeable in terms of fuel economy where
the mixture is lean as a result of exhaust gas
recirculation. Under higher engine loads the tumble
flaps are not required, and can be completely recessed
into the intake manifold so as not to impede the intake
process. Situation-related control of the tumble flaps
is based on stored characteristic maps.

By virtue of the tumble flaps in the intake ducts, the
fuel consumption of the
V6-engine can be reduced by up to 0.2 litres per 100 km
depending on engine speed – while improving smoothness
at the same time.

Aluminium crankcase and cylinder head
The cylinder head and crankcase of the new V6-engine are
of aluminium.
The pistons, connecting rods and cylinder liners are
produced according to the latest design principles,
which not only contribute to weight reduction but also

have a positive effect on engine responsiveness and            Page
smooth running. For the lower the moving masses in the
crankcase, the lower the vibrations and the more
responsive the engine becomes to movements of the
accelerator pedal:

   The pistons are of iron-coated aluminium. Taking into
    account the valve angle (28.5 degrees), the piston
    crowns are designed to ensure a favourable combustion
    chamber shape.

   Mercedes engineers have been able to reduce the
    weight of the forged steel connecting rods by approx.
    20 per cent compared to other V6-engines, thereby
    making a significant contribution to the extreme
    smoothness of the new six-cylinder power unit.

   The cylinder liners benefit from low-friction
    surfaces using aluminium-silicon technology which has
    also proved its worth in other Mercedes-Benz car
    engines. Other advantages include minimal distortion,
    exemplary thermal flows and low weight. The weight
    saving compared to conventional cast-iron liners is
    approx. 500 grams per cylinder.

   The forged crankshaft is equipped with four
    counterweights. Four wide crankshaft bearings
    attached to the crankcase by transverse reinforcing
    struts also contribute to reduced vibrations.

   A balancer shaft between the two banks of cylinders
    compensates the free vibrations inherent to a V6-
    engine and ensures exemplary smoothness. It counter-
    rotates at the same speed as the crankshaft.

Emission control by in-engine measures and catalytic
The emission control system follows a two-stage concept:
it is based both on sophisticated engine-specific
measures for a reduction in untreated emissions and on
highly effective emission control using two underhood
catalytic converters with a volume of 1.3 litres each.
Each of these is equipped with two


lambda sensors – a control sensor and a diagnostic             Page
sensor – with linear control. This means that the lambda
sensors are already active immediately after a cold
start, supplying information about the exhaust gas
constituents for the electronic engine management system
to process when controlling the warm-up phase.

The engine-specific measures include e.g. variable
camshaft adjustment, which makes efficient internal
exhaust gas recirculation possible under partial load.
In the same way the adjustable tumble flaps in the
intake ducts, which improve the combustion process, make
an important contribution to minimising the untreated
engine emissions. A secondary air injection system is
also used. This has an afterburning action on the
exhaust gases, increasing the temperature in the exhaust
ducts and enabling the catalytic converter to start
converting the pollutants at an earlier stage. During
this afterburning process the carbon monoxide and
hydrocarbon content in the untreated exhaust gases is
also reduced.

Eight-cylinder with 14 hp more output
The V8-engine of the new ML 500 generates 306 hp from a
displacement of
4966 cubic cm -- 14 hp more than before. A
electronically controlled intake module increases the
torque available at low engine speeds and ensures that
whether in town or on country roads, the engine is
always able to respond immediately to the driver’s power
requirements. More than 400 Nm are already available
from 2000 rpm, corresponding to almost 90 per cent of
the maximum torque of 460 Nm which the eight-cylinder
produces from 2700 rpm and maintains up to 4750 rpm.

ML 500                                                     Page
Cylinder            V8

Valves per cylinder 3

Displacement        4966 cc

Bore/Stroke         97.0/84.0 mm

Compression ratio   10.0 : 1

Output              306 hp
                    at 5600 rpm

Max. torque         460 Nm at
                    2700-4750 rpm

Seven-speed automatic with DIRECT SELECT as standard
On board the M-Class, the powerful six and eight-
cylinder engines and the seven-speed automatic
transmission 7G-TRONIC form a strong team. With a number
of special technical features, this transmission fully
exploits the characteristics of the engines and
therefore makes a major contribution to brisk
acceleration, rapid intermediate sprints, a favourable
fuel consumption and a high level of gearshift comfort.

The 7G-TRONIC transmission has a further special feature
on board the new Mercedes off-roader: DIRECT SELECT.
This means that the conventional automatic shift lever
in the centre console is replaced by a selector stalk on
the steering column, which the driver nudges to select
the transmission settings "P", "N", "R" and "D".
Operating commands are transmitted electronically by
wire, which is why the system is referred to as "shift-
by-wire". For drivers with sporty inclinations who wish
to operate the transmission manually in certain driving
situations, the new M-Class is equipped with steering
wheel gearshift paddles as standard.
When the new M-Class is equipped with the Offroad Pro         Page
technical package, 7G-TRONIC features a manual "M" mode
which likewise enables the gears to be selected using
steering wheel paddles.

The special qualities of the world’s first seven-speed
automatic transmission for passenger cars are due to a
number of design features. The most important is the
increase in forward gears from the previous five to
seven. This allows a wider spread of ratios, as well as
further reducing the differences in engine speed between
the individual gears achieved by a five-speed
transmission. As a result, the driver can rely on having
the optimum ratio at his or her disposal for virtually
any driving situation. In addition, the electronic
control unit has even more scope with which to optimise
the shift processes to achieve lower fuel consumption
and greater comfort. For example, at 62 mph the engine
speed will be on average – depending on the driving
situation -- around 12 per cent lower than with a five-
speed automatic. This impressive engine speed adjustment
system opens the door to lower noise, as well as
improved fuel economy.

Mercedes engineers have achieved further important
advances where shift control is concerned: if the driver
needs to accelerate quickly and therefore change down
rapidly through several gears - i.e. kick-down - 7G-
TRONIC avoids having to move through the gears in strict
order. Instead, the transmission uses its direct
downshift capability, shifting down by as many as four
gears – as the situation requires – rather than just one
at a time.
Shift times have been reduced significantly below the
levels of the previous five-speed automatic

The seven-speed automatic transmission also features a
torque converter lockup clutch. This is located in the
hydrodynamic torque converter and largely eliminates
slip between the pumps and the turbine wheel in many It
manages this by establishing – where possible – a
virtually rigid connection between the engine and
transmission shafts, thus preventing power losses. In
contrast to


conventional automatic transmissions, where the             Page
converter can only be locked up in higher gears, the
lock-up clutch in the seven-speed automatic transmission
by Mercedes-Benz is already active in first gear. In
addition, in the interests of comfort, the torque
converter lock-up clutch features slip control, which
allows it to run extremely smoothly. This is another way
in which Mercedes engineers have achieved optimal shift

4ETS with Offroad ABS, Start-Off Assist and Downhill
Speed Regulation
The transfer case for the permanent four-wheel drive
system is directly flanged to the 7G-TRONIC
transmission. Torque distribution between the axles is
50 : 50. Propeller shafts transfer power to the front
and rear axles, while a bevel differential compensates
the speed of rotation between the axles.

Traction control is provided by the well-proven
Electronic Traction System 4ETS, which now has
additional functions and is even more capable than
before. 4ETS controls the distribution of torque to the
wheels by means of brief braking impulses, using signals
from the ABS wheel sensors: if these sensors report that
one or more wheels have lost their traction, they are
automatically braked. At the same time the distribution
of drive torque is changed: the torque fed to the wheels
with good traction is increased in line with the braking
effect on the spinning wheels, allowing progress to
continue on loose or slippery ground.

In the new M-Class the driver is able to adapt the
traction control to the specific conditions of an off-
road journey by pressing the Offroad key in the centre

   The shift points of the automatic transmission are
    modified so that the
    M-Class remains in the relevant gear for longer.

   The engine’s throttle flap opens more slowly when the
    accelerator is depressed, allowing the vehicle’s
    speed to be metered more precisely.


   Offroad ABS is activated and provides significant          Page
    advantages on poor surfaces or on steep downhill
    gradients: at regular intervals, the front wheels are
    automatically braked so heavily that they lock up.
    This causes the vehicle to dig into the loose surface
    and come to a halt more easily. Braking distances can
    be considerably shortened by this cyclical blocking
    of the front wheels, and on extreme downhill
    gradients it is only this ABS function that makes
    stopping possible at all. Offroad ABS is active at
    speeds below 19 mph.

   Acceleration skid control (ASR) adapts to the new
    off-road driving conditions and improves traction on
    rubble and gravel.

On steep downhill gradients the driver is assisted by
Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), which is activated by
pushing a button in the centre console. The system keeps
the vehicle speed constant by engine and transmission
control, as well as automatic braking. In DSR mode, the
driver is able to use the cruise control stalk to set
the desired downhill speed of the M-Class. The system
initially sets a basic speed of six km/h, however this
can be reduced down to four km/h or increased to a
maximum of 11 mph.

Start-Off Assist helps the vehicle to move off on steep
uphill gradients for more safety. This new technology
prevents the M-Class from rolling backwards when the
driver switches from the brake pedal to the accelerator
on moving off. The necessary brake pressure is provided
by an actively controllable brake servo unit. This
support function is permanently active and switches on
automatically thanks to a special inclination sensor,
also assisting the driver on severe downhill gradients
by keeping the off-roader in position until the driver

The new standard off-road functions of the M-Class at a         Page

Off-road            Offroad ABS: Shorter braking distance on
functions            steep downhill gradients with loose or
                     very rough surfaces.
                    Offroad ASR: Better traction when moving
                     off on rubble or fine gravel.
                    Automatic transmission: Modified shift
                     points, therefore fewer gear changes.
                    Accelerator pedal: More sensitive
                     metering as the throttle flap opens more

Start-Off           Prevents the vehicle from rolling on
Assist               uphill and downhill gradients.

Downhill Speed      Maintains a constant speed on steep
Regulation           downhill stretches.

Offroad Pro technical package with two-speed transfer
case and locks
The M-Class has an even better off-road performance when
equipped with the Offroad Pro technical package
(optional), which includes a steel underride guard,
AIRMATIC air suspension and special drive train

   The transfer case operates in two stages: pressing
    the "Low Range" key causes the transfer case to shift
    from the on-road ratio (1 : 1) to the off-road ratio
    (2.93 : 1), enabling the M-Class to make better
    progress on rough terrain. This is because the drive
    shafts transfer the high engine torque at a reduced
    rpm, giving the off-roader a climbing ability of more
    than 60 per cent depending on the type of terrain.
    Unlike in the preceding series, changing to the off-
    road ratio is also possible when on the move, as long
    as the vehicle speed is not above 40 km/h and the
    automatic gearshift lever is in the "N" position. The
    maximum speed for shifting from the off-road ratio to
    the on-road ratio is 44 mph.


   Two differential locks ensure even better progress on         Page
    difficult terrain: the two-speed transfer case
    features an electronically controlled multi-disc
    differential lock which controls the drive torque
                                                    Transfer case with
                                                    100 per cent inter-
    between the axles (inter-axle) and develops a locking
                                                    axle lock
                                             Pto to front axle
    effect of up to 100 per cent depending on the driving
                                     Front axle axle
    situation. In addition the reinforced rear gear
    differential has a 100-per-cent inter-wheel lock. A
    rotary switch in the centre console enables the
    driver to select the differential locks or select an
    automatic mode which activates the inter-axle lock
    when it is required.
Suspension:                                                Page
Top-class technology for the
motorway and off-road
   New front and rear axle designs
   AIRMATIC air suspension for 291 mm ground clearance
   Adaptive Damping System for exemplary on-road

Whether taking bends at speed, on long motorway journeys
or on difficult terrain, the suspension of the new M-
Class is equal to any challenge. Mercedes engineers have
newly developed the axles, steering, brakes and
suspension, and adapted them to match the varied
operating requirements of the off-roader. The result is
a technical masterpiece which meets the highest demands
in terms of both handling dynamics and ride comfort.
Individual customer wishes can now also be met with
respect to suspension technology: available options
include an AIRMATIC package with the Adaptive Damping
System (ADS) and the Offroad Pro technical package with
differential locks, low-range ratios, an underride guard
and AIRMATIC with extended functions for even greater
ground clearance.

The front wheels are located by a newly developed
double-wishbone suspension whose upper wishbone is
located in a high position. In conjunction with the
robust subframe, engine, transmission, steering and
axle, this suspension principle has enabled Mercedes
engineers to achieve an ideal compromise between a high
load-bearing capacity, good ride comfort and exemplary
handling characteristics. The upper wishbone is of
forged aluminium, while the lower wishbone and steering
knuckle are of nodular cast iron. Four rubber bearings
isolate the subframe from the vehicle body and make a
major contribution to the vibration comfort of the new

This front suspension with its high control arm is
equipped with spring struts whose longer spring travel
and more effective rubber bearings provide better ride
comfort than the preceding series. The spring struts
contain cylindrical coil springs, single-tube gas-
pressure shock absorbers and large head bearings. The
torsion bar stabiliser is attached to the spring strut
by a linkage.

Speed-sensitive steering as standard                          Page
The steering gear of the new M-Class is positioned in
front of the wheel centre, and therefore where it can
support the slight but easily controlled understeer of
the off-roader on bends. The servo-assisted rack-and-
pinion steering has a variable ratio which operates a
little more directly in the central position than in the
outer positions. Additional comfort is provided by the
speed-sensitive steering, which continuously reduces the
steering effort below 62 mph as a function of vehicle
speed. This is made possible by an electronically
controlled valve: the lower the speed, the higher the
servo effect. Accordingly only half the steering effort
is required when parking the vehicle than when driving
on the motorway, where the speed-sensitive steering
provides good road contact. This comfort feature is
standard equipment in the new Mercedes off-roader.

Mercedes-Benz has developed a four-spoke steering wheel
with a diameter of 385 mm for the M-Class whose diecast
magnesium structure is designed to deform specifically
during a frontal collision, thereby reducing the risk of
injury to the driver. The steering wheel is an important
part of the operating and display concept with its
conveniently placed, illuminated keys, as it allows
various functions such as the radio, car telephone or
the central display in the instrument cluster to be
operated by slight thumb pressure.

The newly developed steering column, which is able to
collapse telescopically by up to 100 mm during a frontal
collision, can be individually adjusted for height and
reach. Electric adjustment is also available as an

Newly developed four-link technology at the rear axle
Like the front axle, the rear axle is mounted on a
subframe which is effectively isolated from the
bodyshell by two rubber bearings and two hydro-mounts.
Mercedes engineers have developed a four-link suspension
design which mainly consists of the following elements:

   Lower wishbone: This axle component is made from
    nodular cast iron.                                      Page
   Upper steering arm: This is an assembly of sheet
    steel camber arms and forged steel rods.
   Track rods: These are located behind the wheel centre
    and are of welded tubular construction.

The rear axle coil springs and single-tube shock
absorbers are positioned in line. A torsion bar
stabiliser is also used.

AIRMATIC air suspension in on-road and off-road
The AIRMATIC air suspension system (optional) developed
by Mercedes-Benz proves its versatility in the new M-
Class. It not only makes a significant improvement to
ride comfort, but also offers additional functions for
off-road driving.

Mercedes customers are offered a choice: the AIRMATIC
package provides an air suspension configured for on-
road operation which automatically lowers the suspension
by 15 mm at higher speeds. For off-road driving this
system enables the ground clearance to be increased by
80 mm at the touch of a button. The second AIRMATIC
variant, which is part of the Offroad Pro technical
package, enables the vehicle level to be raised in three
stages by operating a button: by 30, 80 and 110 mm. This
gives the new M-Class its maximum ground clearance of
291 mm.

It is possible to raise or lower the suspension both
when idling or on the move. If the M-Class is moving,
the system operates on a speed-dependent basis and
automatically lowers the suspension by 15 mm at both
axles when 87 mph is reached, in order to reduce the air
resistance and improve handling stability. When the
speed falls below 25 mph the suspension is raised to its
normal level again. Other features of the air suspension
system include an automatic all-round level control
function, which ensures that the suspension travel
remains constant even when the vehicle is fully loaded.


The suspension level settings at a glance:                       Page
            AIRMATIC package        AIRMATIC in the
                                    Off-Road Pro technical

Mode        Change      Ground      Change      Ground
                        clearance               clearance

Highway     0           181 mm      0           181 mm

Highspee    - 15 mm*    166 mm      - 15 mm*    166 mm

Offroad     --          --          + 30 mm     211 mm

Offroad     + 80 mm     261 mm      + 80 mm     261 mm

Offroad     --          --          + 110 mm    291 mm

*automatic lowering

Adaptive shock absorber control according to the driving
In both variants AIRMATIC Standard works together with
the Adaptive Damping System (ADS), which controls the
shock absorber response in line with requirements while
taking the road surface, driving style and load into
consideration. Selectable solenoid valves in the shock
absorbers enable the rebound and compression damping to
be modified according to the situation, which
considerably reduces body movements. The so-called
skyhook algorithm controls the damping forces at each
wheel in such a way that the wheel-induced forces acting
on the vehicle body are reduced. Thanks to this precise
control for each individual wheel, the two front wheels
can e.g. be damped more heavily than the rear wheels to
reduce the tendency of the body to dive when braking.
Depending on the control command, the valves are able to
select one of four characteristic curves within an
extremely short response time of less than 0.05 seconds:


        o   Stage 1: Comfortable suspension action with        Page
            small body movements and low acceleration
            values owing to soft compression and rebound
        o   Stage 2: Skyhook mode – soft rebound setting
            and a hard compression setting.
        o   Stage 3: Skyhook mode – soft compression
            setting and hard rebound setting.
        o   Stage 4: Hard rebound and compression setting
            to reduce wheel load fluctuations when
            cornering at speed.

When body movements are small the new M-Class operates
in ADS stage 1. If body acceleration values exceed a
certain level, the system changes over to the skyhook
algorithm and uses its rapid-response solenoid valves to
continuously switch between the second and third damping
stage to compensate the rolling and diving movements of
the vehicle body. The current driving situation is
identified by means of a steering angle sensor, three
body-mounted acceleration sensors, the speedometer
signal giving the road speed, data from the Electronic
Stability Program (ESP®) and the signal from the brake
pedal switch. On the basis of this information the
electronic control unit calculates the most efficient
damping forces and selects the relevant characteristic
curves for the shock absorbers.

In addition the driver is able to influence the
changeover thresholds between the four ADS stages, as
well as the spring rate, by pressing a button in the
centre console. There is a choice of three modes:
"Auto", "Sport" and "Comfort".

The variable ADS gas-pressure shock absorbers and air
spring are integrated into a spring strut at the front
axle of the new M-Class. At the rear axle the ADS shock
absorber is located behind the air spring. Torsion bar
stabilisers are also used at both the front and rear.

Larger front and rear brake discs
The new M-Class features generously dimensioned,
internally ventilated front brake discs. In the six-
cylinder models these have a diameter of 330 mm-27 mm
more than before. The top-of-the-line ML 500 is equipped
with even larger brake discs (350 mm). At the rear axle
Mercedes-Benz uses solid disc brakes with a diameter of
330 mm-45 mm more than in the previous M-Class. The
braking system at a glance:

                         ML 280 CDI       ML 500
                         ML 320 CDI
                           ML 350

 Front axle
 Brake piston          2 x 44 mm      2 x 44 mm
 diameter              330 x 32 mm    350 x 32 mm
 Brake disc diameter   internally     internally
 x thickness           ventilated     ventilated

 Rear axle
 Brake piston          40 mm          42 mm
 diameter              330 x 14 mm    330 x 22 mm
 Brake disc diameter   solid          internally
 x thickness                          ventilated

Sports package with 19-inch light-alloy wheels
Wide-base tyres and 17 or 18-inch light-alloy wheels
underline the sporty, dynamic appearance of the new M-
Class. The six-cylinder models are fitted with 17-inch
light-alloy wheels in a seven-spoke design and size
235/65 R 17 wide-base tyres as standard. The ML 500 has
18-inch light-alloy wheels in the five-spoke "impeller"
design and size 255/55 R 18 tyres. A different 18-inch
wheel in a five twin-spoke design with 255/55 R 18 tyres
is optionally available for all the model variants. A
brief survey:
                        ML   PageCDI
                             280                   ML 500
                        ML   64 CDI
                             ML 350

 Standard          Seven-spoke design      Five-spoke
 equipment         7.5 J x 17 ET 56,       "impeller" design
                   235/65 R 17             8 J x 18 ET 60,
                                           255/55 R 18

 Optional                       Five twin-spoke design
 equipment                       8 J x 18, 255/55 R 18

 Sports package      Five-spoke design (also chrome-plated)
 (optional)                  8 J x 19, 255/50 R 19

The wheels Mercedes-Benz offers in conjunction with the
sports package are even larger and more attractive:
these 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a five-spoke design
are also optionally available in a chrome-plated version
which creates an additional visual highlight.

ESP® with tyre pressure warning function
ABS, ASR, ESP®, Brake Assist – these well-proven dynamic
safety systems developed by Mercedes-Benz are standard
equipment in the new M-Class.

The Electronic Stability Program not only keeps the off-
roader safely on course, but also monitors the tyre
pressures in its latest version: the system continuously
compares the wheel rotation speeds, which mainly depend
on the vehicle speed, vehicle load and tyre pressures.
It is therefore able to detect any significant
deviations. In addition the control unit automatically
monitors other dynamic parameters such as the lateral
acceleration, yaw rate and wheel torque in order to
diagnose any pressure loss in a tyre reliably, though
this system does not measure the actual air pressure in
each tyre. If a loss of pressure is detected in a tyre,
a warning appears in the cockpit’s central display:
"Tyre pressure, check tyres." This warning function for
tyre pressure loss based on ESP® technology is standard
equipment in the new M-Class.

Interior:                                                  65
More space and even more comfort
   Variable interior with a load capacity of up to 2050
   EASY-PACK for convenient and safe load compartment
   THERMATIC as standard, Multi-Zone THERMOTRONIC

Aesthetics and ergonomics -- these are two of the most
important aims guiding Mercedes designers and engineers
when they create a new vehicle interior. The new M-Class
reaffirms the high standards of the company where these
disciplines are concerned: with pleasing contours, high-
quality materials, attractive colour combinations and an
unmistakable attention to detail, the designer team has
created an appealing vehicle which captivates at first
sight and invites one to climb in.

The fact that this first sensual impression is not
disappointed is due to a new, intelligent dimensional
concept which brings comfort and ergonomics to a new,
higher level. In other words, the occupants immediately
feel comfortable, protected and safe. The spaciousness,
freedom of movement, seating position and operating
convenience already make a promise that the new M-Class
keeps for mile after mile: the perfect driving

The basic parameters that allow a harmonious interaction
between man and machine are the interior dimensions that
determine the spatial comfort of the occupants: the
distance between the seats, kneeroom, elbow room and
shoulder room. In these respects the new M-Class has
literally gone up in size compared to the preceding
   The distance between the front and rear seat – an
    indicator of the passenger’s freedom of movement –
    has increased by 15 mm to 880 mm, the level
    encountered in the luxury class.


   Thanks to the longer wheelbase, the kneeroom for           Page
    passengers in the rear has increased by 35 mm.

   The elbow room for front-seat occupants has increased
    by 30 mm, the shoulder room by four mm.

   The elbow room in the rear is now 1520 mm, 32 mm more
    than in the preceding series. The rear shoulder room
    has increased by 13 mm.

Key interior dimensions at a glance and compared:

                         New M-Class   Preceding

Distance between seats
(SRP)                    880 mm        865 mm
between front and rear

Rear kneeroom            127 mm        92 mm

Headroom                 1015 mm       1010 mm
front                    1013 mm       1008 mm

Shoulder-room            1482 mm       1478 mm
front                    1481 mm       1468 mm

Elbow-room               1523 mm       1493 mm
front                    1520 mm       1488 mm

Front seats electrically adjustable for height,
inclination and backrest angle
When planning the dimensional concept of the interior,
Mercedes engineers took care to ensure that both male
and female drivers of any body size would benefit from
an ergonomically favourable seating and driving
position. Accordingly the seats have an overall fore-
and-aft adjustment range of 340 mm and a height
adjustment range of 90 mm, and the steering wheel is
also individually adjustable. The driver is able to
adjust the steering wheel height by 25 mm in each
direction, and adjust the reach by moving the steering
column forward by 25 mm or pulling it out by 35 mm.


Electric motors help the front seat occupants find the        Page
most comfortable position: the seat height and the angle
of the seat cushion and backrest are electrically
adjustable as standard. Only the fore-and-aft adjustment
is by mechanical means. A fully electric adjustment
function for the seats, head restraints and steering
wheel – also with a memory function – is available as an

Seating comfort is provided by foam cushions with
precisely calculated zones of varying hardness: the foam
material is of a harder consistency in the raised seat
bolsters to give the driver and front passenger more
lateral support on bends, while the softer configuration
of the seat cushions ensures an even distribution of
pressure and therefore a high level of comfort. The foam
sections are held in seat cushion trays which are in
turn suspended on steel springs. The backrests consist
of a robust sheet steel frame with tensioned spring
elements which support the foam sections. A manually
adjustable lumbar support is integrated into the
backrest of the driver’s seat. Both front seat backrests
are equipped with sidebags as standard, which deploy in
the event of a lateral collision and supplement the
protective effect of the likewise standard windowbags.

Fully-folding rear seats with a 60 : 40 division
The rear seat cushions are also based on the latest
plastics technology, and offer considerably more comfort
than the preceding series thanks to thick foam padding
on the seating surface. There are three height-
adjustable head restraints and three inertia-reel seat
belts with belt buckle tensioners and belt force
limiters to ensure the safety of the occupants. Sidebags
can be integrated into the rear backrests as optional

The rear seats in the new M-Class have a 60 : 40
division; the wider section is on the left side and
incorporates a folding armrest with a stowage
compartment and cupholder. The rear seats can be folded
forward very easily: the seat cushions are first
individually or jointly pivoted forward to a vertical
position behind the front seats. The backrests are then
folded forward together with the head restraints: these
do not need to be removed. In conjunction with the EASY-
PACK system both seat cushions are removable as an
option, extending the level loading floor from 1710 to
1905 mm.

With the rear seats in their normal position the load         Page
compartment is 1063 mm in length and 1027 mm in width.
This provides enough space for a pram, or at least six
crates of bottled drinks or two large golf bags. Those
requiring more space for luggage or recreational
equipment have many ways of adapting the interior of the
new M-Class to the transport task in hand. A brief

                     Position in     Load comp.     Load capacity*
                     the rear        dimensions     (in litres)
                                     (L x W)

                     3 seats         1063 x 1027    551 litres if
                                     mm             loaded to
                                                    upper edge of
                                                    rear seatback

                                                    833 litres if
                                                    loaded to roof

                     No seats,       1710 x 1027    1051 litres if
                     rear seat       mm             loaded to
                     cushion                        upper edge of
                     folded up,                     driver’s
                     rear                           seatback
                     seatbacks                      (Fig.)
                     forward                        1830 litres if
                                                    loaded to roof
                     No seats,       1905 x 1027    1252 litres if
                     rear seat       mm             loaded to
                     cushion                        upper edge of
                     removed                        driver’s
                     (optional),                    seatback
                     seatbacks                      2050 litres if
                     folded                         loaded to roof
                     forward                        level (Fig.)

*acc. to VDA measuring method including stowage space under load
compartment floor (48 litres) and in left side panel of load
compartment (6 litres)

The largest cube that can be accommodated in the rear of
the new M-Class has a volume of 1056 litres. If the
front passenger seat is moved to its most forward
position, the load compartment length is increased to a
maximum of 2100 mm. Six chrome lashing lugs for securing
the cargo are standard equipment in the Mercedes off-
Easier, more convenient loading with EASY-PACK                Page
The well-proven EASY-PACK system (optional) by Mercedes-
Benz makes it easier and more convenient to load and
unload the new M-Class. This includes a hydraulically
powered tailgate which is opened or closed by pressing a
button in the driver’s door, or by remote control. The
optional load compartment cover with an integral safety
net is also part of the new EASY-PACK system.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz has developed numerous
components which allow the secure stowage of large and
small items in the load compartment, and reliably
prevent luggage, shopping bags or other objects from
sliding around when the vehicle is on the move. The
EASY-PACK load-securing kit is based on aluminium rails
on both sides of the load compartment floor, to which a
telescopic rod can be attached on special mounting bases
to create a transverse or diagonal division and/or a
load lashing belt with a width of 95 mm and a length of
1000 mm can be anchored.

Multifunction steering wheel and two-part central
display in the cockpit
The new multifunction steering wheel with operating keys
and the attractively contoured instrument cluster with
its central display are the most important components of
a modern operating and display concept which both
informs and assists the driver.

With help of the standard-fitted multifunction steering
wheel, the driver is able to operate the radio and car
telephone by thumb pressure or access important
information which appears in the central display of the
instrument cluster. In addition, more than 50 individual
settings can be programmed at rest in this convenient
manner – from a digital km/h display to automatic door
locking and the speed limit for winter tyres. Once
selected, these functions are constantly active and
require no further operations or manual intervention.

The attractive and clearly arranged instrument cluster
with chrome-embellished dial instruments for the
tachometer and clock (left) and the rev counter and fuel
gauge (right) keeps the driver informed about the most
important vehicle


functions. The different red and yellow control lamps         Page
are distributed over the surfaces of the two dial
instruments, but only come to the driver’s attention
when starting the engine or when they are needed. The
central display is located between the two cylinders of
the dial instruments. Its upper section shows the
information and displays selected using the
multifunction steering wheel, while depending on the
individual settings, the lower section shows the outside
temperature or vehicle speed, the position of the
automatic gearshift and the current gear.

The interior door panels also form part of the operating
concept. This is where Mercedes engineers have
positioned the switches for the standard-fitted power
windows, exterior mirror adjustment and remote control
tailgate (driver’s door).

The layout of the units and controls in the centre
console is according to ergonomic principles, with
priority given to the importance of the relevant
functions, the frequency of use and visual
considerations. This means that depending on the level
of equipment, the radio or navigation system is in the
most easily visible and accessible position. This is
followed by the operating unit for the standard
THERMATIC automatic climate control system or the
optional Multi-Zone THERMOTRONIC system, which features
well-positioned and attractive rotary controls for
manual temperature selection (right). The lower end of
the centre console is occupied by switch arrays with
keys for off-road functions, Downhill Speed Regulation
and the hazard warning lights, as well as for optional
features such as heated seats, differential locks and
the low-range function.

Thanks to the innovative DIRECT SELECT gearshift on the
steering column, which makes it possible to dispense
with a conventional automatic shift lever, the tunnel
cladding in the M-Class has sufficient room for a
spacious stowage compartment and a cupholder. Both are
concealed by lids which pivot upwards slowly at the
touch of a finger. There is also a spacious stowage
compartment in the padded armrest between the front
seats, and its upper section will accommodate a mobile
telephone. The rear end of the tunnel cladding takes the
form of two separately adjustable ventilation vents for
the rear.

Sophisticated interior lighting concept                       Page
To ensure that the occupants of the M-Class feel just as
at home at night as during daylight hours, Mercedes
engineers have developed a sophisticated lighting
concept for the interior. This not only includes
indirect illumination of all the major switches and
controls in the centre console, but also reading lights
for the driver, front passenger and rear seat occupants
as well as lights in the front footwells which, like the
other interior lights, automatically dim when the doors
are closed. Ambient lighting in the exterior mirror
housings and courtesy lights in the doors ensure that
passengers are able to enter and leave the vehicle
safely in the hours of darkness.

Mercedes customers are able to shed even more light on
things with the interior lighting package. This optional
item supplements the standard interior lighting with
illuminated door handle recesses, footwell lights in the
rear and ambient lighting in the tailgate. The stowage
compartment and cupholder in the centre console are also

THERMATIC automatic climate control as standard
The standard THERMATIC system ensures a high level of
climatic comfort. In "Auto" mode this automatic climate
control system varies the blower speed depending on the
individual temperature selection and automatically
controls the proportion of recirculated air at high
ambient temperatures to cool the interior more rapidly.
The driver and front passenger are able to select their
preferred temperature individually by means of
attractively styled rotary controls. Red LEDs display
the selected values. Keys for ventilation of the rear
and residual engine heat utilisation are integrated into
the control unit on the right. In the centre between the
control units there are keys for manual adjustment of
the blower speed, the defroster function, the heated
rear window, air recirculation and airflow distribution.

Efficient ventilation of the interior is assured by a
total of eleven vents in the instrument panel, footwells
and tunnel cladding. In addition to the large defrosting
vent aimed at the windscreen the instrument panel
features four

prominent circular vents which can be individually             Page
adjusted by the driver and front passenger; these can be
swivelled and the airflow can be variably controlled by
a selector wheel. Passengers in the rear have a central
floor-level vent for the footwells and two swivelling,
variable vents in the tunnel cladding.

The so-called tunnel function is a further special
feature: if the driver presses the air recirculation key
down for a longer period (approx. two or three seconds),
this not only closes the air recirculation flap in the
air conditioner but also any open windows and the
sliding roof. If the key is depressed again they return
to the previous position. Mercedes-Benz equips the CDI
models in the new M-Class with an additional PTC heating
element. This is located behind the heater heat-
exchanger for the air conditioning system and switches
on as required – depending on the ambient temperature –
to warm the interior quickly after starting the engine.

Multi-Zone THERMOTRONIC with a booster fan for the rear
With the Multi-Zone THERMOTRONIC system (optional,
standard in the ML 500) the new M-Class also achieves
the quality level of a luxury saloon where climatic
comfort is concerned. This automatic climate control
system supplements the standard THERMATIC with
additional functions which mainly benefit passengers in
the rear:

   A booster fan in the tunnel cladding enables the
    airflow to the rear to be independently adjusted.

   The temperature and air volume for the rear can be
    individually adjusted by means of a separate
    operating unit in the tunnel cladding, allowing
    efficient multi-zone climate control.
   The system also automatically controls the air
    distribution for the driver and front passenger sides
    and the rear.

Sensors supply the THERMATIC microprocessor with current
data for the interior and ambient temperatures, the po-
sition of the sun and the level of humidity.


In conjunction with an infinitely adjustable refrigerant      Page
compressor, the dewpoint sensor measuring the moisture
level enables the automatic climate control system to be
precisely and economically controlled as required. An
activated charcoal filter absorbs airborne pollutants
and prevents odours from disturbing the vehicle occu-
pants. If the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide concen-
tration in the incoming air exceeds a certain value, the
air conditioner automatically switches over to air re-
circulation mode thanks to a special pollution sensor.

The operating unit for Multi-Zone THERMOTRONIC uses a
display to show the temperatures which the driver and
front passenger are able to select using the
ergonomically designed rotary controls, as well as the
current blower speed. The "Mono" key in the left control
unit makes it possible to synchronise the settings for
the driver and front passenger sides as well as the
rear, and to transfer the temperature selection to the
left-hand rotary control unit.

Choice of two navigation systems
Good entertainment and perfect musical enjoyment are
also catered for on board the new M-Class. In standard
trim the off-roader leaves the assembly line equipped
with the Audio 20 car radio, which has FM, MW, LW and SW
reception and an integral CD-player. Perfect operating
convenience is assured in conjunction with the likewise
standard multifunction steering wheel: without taking
his hands from the wheel, the driver is e.g. able to
adjust the volume or activate the station search
function to select a different radio station. The unit
also features a keypad which enables telephone numbers
to be input if it is networked with a mobile telephone.

With Audio 50 APS Mercedes-Benz offers an optional high-
performance system with an integral twin-tuner FM
receiver, a CD-player and a directional arrow navigation
system with dynamic route guidance by RDS-TMC. The unit
features a 4.9-inch graphic TFT colour display. The
navigation CD contains the road networks of the major
European countries, and the integral CD-player is able
to play music CDs during the route guidance process. The
other radio and operating functions correspond to those
of the Audio 20 unit.

COMAND APS with off-road programme                            Page
The top-of-the-line audio system is COMAND APS
(optional), which combines a radio, navigation system
and CD-player. The centrepiece of this unit is a large
colour display (6.5“) in the latest TFT technology, with
an excellent resolution and colour reproduction. A
navigation DVD is provided which contains the European
road network and tourist attractions. Route guidance is
by means of a colour map in the COMAND display,
directional arrows in the central display of the
instrument cluster and verbal information. After route
calculation the navigation DVD can be removed and the
system used to play music CDs. In this case the
navigation system operates with directional arrows. For
radio reception the unit is equipped with an FM/RDS twin
tuner, and will also receive long, medium and short-wave

In the M-Class COMAND APS includes a special off-road
menu with helpful information for drivers travelling off
the beaten track: the current course with a compass
function, the altitude and the steering angle.

All the Mercedes radios available for the new M-Class
feature a speed-dependent volume control function: from
approx. 20 km/h the volume is gradually increased to
suit the relevant driving situation. An aerial diversity
function, which ensures the best possible reception by
switching between the roof aerial and two FM aerials in
the rear window, is also standard equipment with the
Audio 20, Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS units.

Surround-sound from eleven loudspeakers and a sub-woofer
Eight loudspeakers are connected to Mercedes car radios
as standard. An even more sophisticated set is available
as an option: a surround-sound system with eleven
loudspeakers and an additional sub-woofer. This system
is precisely configured for the acoustic conditions in
the interior of the off-roader: a microphone registers
the prevailing background noise so that the
microprocessor is able to adjust the volume and tone
precisely, thereby ensuring consistent listening

As a further option in conjunction with the Audio 20,
Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS units, a 6 CD-changer is
available which is housed in the glove compartment. The
unit is also MP3-capable.

To top