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Old 03-07-2012, 04:52 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default New AWD System For Mercedes

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Mercedes-Benz proudly claims to building the industry’s very first all-wheel-drive vehicle almost 100 years ago, a giant touring car used for hunting parties in Africa.
It started building four-wheel-drive systems for modern passenger cars in 1985, and has used the 4MATIC moniker on each succeeding generation.
Until recently, a luxury buyer looking for a Mercedes with traction going to all four wheels had a fairly limited option set. But that’s about to change – the German maker soon to make an all-new version of the technology available on 21 of its different products.


The smaller, lighter, more compact fourth-generation 4MATIC system will debut shortly in the S 350 BlueTec diesel sedan ($93,425), the CLS 550 four-door coupe ($74,675), the new E 350 coupe ($53,175), and the new C 350 coupe ($45,245), adding about $2000 to the price of the rear-drive versions of each model.

The new 4Matic system is both lighter and more fuel-efficient.

The new system is fully 50% lighter than the original, part-time 4MATIC system, down from 300 pounds to 150 pounds, and Mercedes-Benz says that, depending on model, the added weight of the system compared to rear-drive versions is either a zero highway mileage penalty or only one mpg highway.
The new 4Matic system is set to send 45% of engine torque to the front tires and 55% to the rear tires under normal driving conditions, and can vary the torque split from 30/70 front-to-rear to 70/30 when available traction dictates.
The new 4MATIC system is housed completely within the case of the 7-speed automatic transmission and is made entirely in-house by Mercedes-Benz, as is the transmission.
Previous versions used an external three-gear transfer case to send power to the front axle, in a housing that protruded from the right side of the transmission, with an external universal joint in the shaft going to the front axle.
The new system, mounted inside the transmission, uses only two gears, making it much narrower, and the universal joint is housed inside the transmission case. Where all previous generations required 4MATIC-equipped cars to have a completely different front floor pan to accommodate the wide transfer case, from now on, the rear-drive and 4MATIC versions of each model will have the same floorpan.
To make the system work properly with only the two gears, the ring-and-pinion gears in the front axle have been turned upside down from their previous orientation.
TheDetroitBureau.com spent a day last week driving all the new models on a highway loop on snow-covered roads in Wyoming and Idaho, on an off-road snow and ice course, and on an icy drag strip, and the new system performed flawlessly, with a variety of Continental, Michelin and Pirelli winter tires mounted on their alloy wheels.
As before, the mechanical system works in concert continuously with the ABS brakes, ETS traction control system and the ESP yaw control system to keep the car on its intended path.
In our test drive, the overall handling and ride advantage went to the heavier CLS 550 and S 350 diesel models, and the best overall performance came from the S 350 diesel, which has a more compliant and comfortable air suspension that the C, E, and CLS versions do not offer.
Mercedes-Benz says that it has sold more than a million vehicles in the U.S. with the various 4MATIC systems since 1989, and that the new system is the lightest and one of the quietest and most efficient systems offered by any manufacturer.
http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2012...up/#more-47753
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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Wow....I think.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
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I wish this was BMW, I want a 328xi this Dec. when BMW has the end of year sales event.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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BMW haven't had a 328xi since '09

They are all 328i xDrives (yes, I know, same thing)

I keep seeing the new 5 series around here, so nice in black, I can't wait for the F20 3 series to start popping up more often
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #5
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150 lbs. for the whole system is impressive.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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I'm hopeful this will allow them to combine $MATIC with Bluetec in the E-Class sedan and wagon, one of which would make a nice CPO purchase (or new purchase if I have a sudden windfall).

edit: Forgot to lift the shift key when typing 4MATIC; Freudian slip?
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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Did I hear lighter awd system? Subaru, take notes now!
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:32 PM   #8
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Were the previous 4Matics set up the same way in terms of the torque distribution?
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ysidro View Post
Did I hear lighter awd system? Subaru, take notes now!
I'd bet it only now as light as the Subaru design. Not sure they can do much to lighten it up anymore.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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I have had experience driving a 2005 E350 4-Matic. Only thing that sticks out is HOLY AWD binding!! Never been a fan of 4-Matic or BMW's x-drive.

Last edited by Scooby-Doode; 03-12-2012 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Brain fart!
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:33 PM   #11
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I would like to see some diagrams
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:13 PM   #12
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How about a C63 with AWD? That would be beastly. Probably blow up too.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post
How about a C63 with AWD? That would be beastly. Probably blow up too.
Doesn't that just remove most of the fun from the car? The C63 is a perfect example of tire melting excess. If you make that AWD, it loses a lot of the overkill factor with all that foolish traction
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocellaris View Post
Doesn't that just remove most of the fun from the car? The C63 is a perfect example of tire melting excess. If you make that AWD, it loses a lot of the overkill factor with all that foolish traction
Exactly. But with that old 6.2-liter being more of a higher-revving engine, perhaps the newer 63 series AMG motor (the twin-turbo one, whatever it's called) might be a better candidate for AWD given its mountains of torque and more relaxed nature.

Not that I'm hoping to see it happen.
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