The 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class range will see the inclusion of a new 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission, following in the treadmarks of the recently updated Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.
A release from the company states that the new gearbox will be offered in the E350 BlueTEC diesel model in sedan, wagon, coupe and cabriolet body styles, with emissions and fuel consumption rated at 5.3 litres per 100km for the sedan and 5.5L/100km for the wagon. No exact figures have been made available for the coupe and cabriolet, but they will likely correspond closely to those respectively. Power outputs for that engine will jump from 185kW to 192kW, with torque remaining at 620Nm.
The bad news is that the E350 BlueTEC isn’t currently offered in Australia, and while it is understood there’s little chance of that car being sold here, Mercedes-Benz’s official line was that there has been “no final decision yet”.
In Europe the E400 coupe and cabriolet will both see their engines jump from a 3.0-litre V6 unit to a 3.5-litre unit, but it is likely that the cars sold in Australia will retain their 3.0-litre engines due to fuel standards in our market. However, there’s no great loss, as both engines produce the same 245kW and 480Nm outputs.
A broader rollout of the nine-speed auto is expected, as Benz has confirmed the ‘box can handle as much as 1000Nm of torque. In the European CLS range, the 9G-Tronic is fitted to the CLS220 BlueTEC, CLS250 BlueTEC, CLS350 BlueTEC and CLS500. However, the UK specifications state the E220 BlueTEC will retain the 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic, though with a power increase of 6kW to 131kW.
The updated E-Class is expected to see minor changes and equipment inclusions, with a new “Collision Prevention Assist Plus” system fitted as standard. This unit can detect a possible impact and tension the seatbelts and prepare the brakes, and if no action is taken, apply the brakes autonomously at speeds up to 100km/h. The company claims the system can “also brake in response to stationary vehicles at speeds up to 48km/h and prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 38km/h.
Mercedes-Benz Australia told us that the first iteration of the new 9G-Tronic seen here will be in the CLS500, which is due locally in the first quarter of 2015. Expect the updated E-Class models to flow through around the same time.