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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 off-road 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 to 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 more… 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 AIRMATIC 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), more… 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 comfort. 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 M-Class. 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. more… 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 warranty. 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. more… 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 competitors. 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. more… 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 http://www.mercedes-benz-media.co.uk. This release can also be found on http://www.newspress.co.uk. Journalists who require photographs of our cars, trucks and vans and/or press releases can call our Hotline direct on 01293 851790. more… Page 7 At a glance: Technical highlights of the new M- Class* Cornering lights: More safety at road Standard junctions and on tight bends. in conjunctio n with bi- xenon headlamps 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 conjunctio n with bi- xenon headlamps Start-Off Assist: This technology prevents Standard the 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 telephone. 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 gradients. EASY-PACK tailgate: A hydraulic system Optional enables the tailgate to be even more conveniently opened and closed at the touch of a button. more... 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 lights. 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 rapidly. 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 wheel. Multicontour seat: Inflated air cushions Optional allow the seat contours to be individually (standard adjusted for comfort. in the ML 500) more... 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) cent. 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 passenger 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 requires. 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. *Extracts more… Model range and appointments: Page 10 A trendsetter reasserts its position Role-model for a new generation of off-roaders Further improvement in on-road comfort and off-road performance 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 more… restraints (optional) and the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory Page 11 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 DIRECT SELECT gearshift 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 standard 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. more… Some of the extensive standard appointments in the V6 Page 12 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 seats 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 more… ML 500 with multi-zone THERMOTRONIC and chrome package as standard Page 13 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 500: 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: more… 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 14 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 more… still be made to the paint finish, upholstery or op- tional items up to six working days before this delivery date. Equipment packages for off-road and motorway, comfort Page 15 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 clearance Compass 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 strips. 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 bumper 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 more… Chrome package: Mercedes customers are able to Page 16 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 package. Mercedes-Benz ML 280 CDI Page Engine 17 No. of 6/V, 4 valves per cylinder cylinders/arrangement 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 anti-dive, 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 consumption *acc. to VDA measuring method Mercedes-Benz ML 320 CDI Page 18 Engine No. of 6/V, 4 valves per cylinder cylinders/arrangement 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 anti-dive, 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 consumption *acc. to VDA measuring method Mercedes-Benz ML 350 Page 19 Engine No. of 6/V, 4 valves per cylinder cylinders/arrangement 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 measurement 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 anti-dive, 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 consumption *acc. to VDA measuring method Mercedes-Benz ML 500 Page 20 Engine No. of 8/V, 3 valves per cylinder cylinders/arrangement 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 measurement 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 anti-dive, 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 consumption *acc. to VDA measuring method Design: Page 21 Powerful signals Dynamic lines and stylish contours Strong character for any situation High-quality materials and perfect finish in the interior 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. more… The grille is emphasised even more by a continuous, Page 22 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. more… The pronounced edges of the muscular wings grow Page 23 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 more… there is a broad instrument panel which is horizontally Page 24 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 combined with two non-metallic and nine metallic paint finishes. more… Page Bodyshell and safety: 25 Exemplary occupant protection and aerodynamics Self-supporting body instead of structural frame PRE-SAFE® and innovative NECK-PRO head restraints as options 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 - redimensioned. 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 torsional more… rigidity is in part due to a continuous frame structure Page 26 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 series 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 rear 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. more… Numerous sheet metal components in the bodyshell of the Page 27 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. more… Front-end structure with crash-boxes and robust Page 28 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 more… protective area with a high deformation resistance. The Page 29 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 members. 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. more… In the interests of repair-friendly design the rear end Page 30 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- SAFE®. 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 position. The sunroof is closed if a rollover threatens. more… Thanks to these precautionary PRE-SAFE measures the Page 31 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 more… severe, the seat belts are tensioned and reach their Page 32 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 restraints 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. more… The sophisticated crash sensor system in the new M-Class Page 33 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 glance 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 seat 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 severity Sidebags o Optional Windowbags o Automatic child seat optional in front -- recognition passenger seat ISOFIX child seat -- o anchorage Front passenger o -- recognition o = standard more… Cd-value reduced by 15 per cent Page 34 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 model 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. more… Major details which contribute to the exemplary Cd-value Page 35 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 more… comfort with loud hissing, high-frequency whistling or Page 36 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 more… rainwater to the rear, downwards or to the sides. In the Page 37 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 more… switched on or off by a sensor on the windscreen, Page 38 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 foglamps. 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. more… Page Drive train: 39 Significant increase in output and torque 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 locks 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). more… All the engines for the new M-Class are combined with Page 40 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 situation. The key engine and performance data for the M-Class at a glance: 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 consumption* *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. more… The key features of the new Mercedes diesel engine in brief: Page 41 Six cylinders in a V-arrangement Aluminium crankcase with cast-in grey iron cylinder liners Third-generation common-rail injection with piezo injectors Four-valve technology with two camshafts per cylinder bank Turbocharger with electrically adjustable turbine blades 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 shut-off Quick-start glow system ML 320 CDI Cylinder V6 arrangement 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 more… DIN has been reduced to approx. 208 kilograms or Page 42 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 plastic. 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: more… The forged crankshaft rotates in four bearings which Page 43 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 improvements. 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 emissions. 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. more… The flow of coolant for the oil-water heat exchanger Page 44 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 more… exchanger. Acting in conjunction with the hot-film air Page 45 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 microseconds 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. more… Mercedes engineers have also made improvements to other Page 46 components of the common-rail system and the injection process: 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 required. 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 more… German market, producing a further significant reduction Page 47 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. more… Under higher engine loads the camshaft adjustment Page 48 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 arrangement 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 mixture. 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 more… shortest distance to reach the combustion chambers, Page 49 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 torque. 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 combustion. 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 more… have a positive effect on engine responsiveness and Page 50 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 converters 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 more… lambda sensors – a control sensor and a diagnostic Page 51 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. more… ML 500 Page 52 Cylinder V8 arrangement 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. more… When the new M-Class is equipped with the Offroad Pro Page 53 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 transmission. 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 more… conventional automatic transmissions, where the Page 54 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 quality. 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 console: 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. more… Offroad ABS is activated and provides significant Page 55 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 accelerates. more… The new standard off-road functions of the M-Class at a Page 56 glance: 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 slowly. Start-Off Prevents the vehicle from rolling on Assist uphill and downhill gradients. Downhill Speed Maintains a constant speed on steep Regulation downhill stretches. (DSR) 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 components: 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. more… Two differential locks ensure even better progress on Page 57 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. more… Suspension: Page 58 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 performance 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 M-Class. 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. more… Speed-sensitive steering as standard Page 59 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 option. 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: more… Lower wishbone: This axle component is made from nodular cast iron. Page 60 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 configurations 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. more… The suspension level settings at a glance: Page 61 AIRMATIC package AIRMATIC in the Off-Road Pro technical package Mode Change Ground Change Ground clearance clearance Highway 0 181 mm 0 181 mm Highspee - 15 mm* 166 mm - 15 mm* 166 mm d Offroad -- -- + 30 mm 211 mm 1 Offroad + 80 mm 261 mm + 80 mm 261 mm 2 Offroad -- -- + 110 mm 291 mm 3 *automatic lowering Adaptive shock absorber control according to the driving situation 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: more… o Stage 1: Comfortable suspension action with Page 62 small body movements and low acceleration values owing to soft compression and rebound settings. 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. more… 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: more… ML PageCDI 280 ML 500 ML 64 CDI 320 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. more… Page Interior: 65 More space and even more comfort Variable interior with a load capacity of up to 2050 litres EASY-PACK for convenient and safe load compartment management THERMATIC as standard, Multi-Zone THERMOTRONIC optional 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 experience. 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 series: 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. more… Thanks to the longer wheelbase, the kneeroom for Page 66 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 model Distance between seats (SRP) 880 mm 865 mm between front and rear seat Rear kneeroom 127 mm 92 mm Headroom 1015 mm 1010 mm front 1013 mm 1008 mm rear Shoulder-room 1482 mm 1478 mm front 1481 mm 1468 mm rear Elbow-room 1523 mm 1493 mm front 1520 mm 1488 mm rear 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. more… Electric motors help the front seat occupants find the Page 67 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 option. 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 equipment. 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. more… With the rear seats in their normal position the load Page 68 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 survey: 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 (Fig.) 833 litres if loaded to roof level 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.) folded forward 1830 litres if loaded to roof level No seats, 1905 x 1027 1252 litres if rear seat mm loaded to cushion upper edge of removed driver’s (optional), seatback rear 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- roader. more… Easier, more convenient loading with EASY-PACK Page 69 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 more… functions. The different red and yellow control lamps Page 70 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. more… Sophisticated interior lighting concept Page 71 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 illuminated. 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 more… prominent circular vents which can be individually Page 72 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. more… In conjunction with an infinitely adjustable refrigerant Page 73 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. more… COMAND APS with off-road programme Page 74 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 programmes. 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 enjoyment. 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.
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