Mercedes-Benz says its 2007 E-Class line of sedans and wagons will be the safest ever, with new features including a system that closes the windows and sunroof, moves the front passenger seat and tightens the seat belts if it senses a crash will occur.
Mercedes, a division of DaimlerChrysler AG, presented the new lineup at the New York Auto Show in a flashy show that included an acrobat flashing lightning bolts out of a baton. E-Class vehicles will go on sale this summer and could help revive sales for the 60-year-old line, which saw its U.S. sedan and wagon sales fall by more than 11 percent last year. Prices weren't announced but were expected to be similar to current models, which start around $50,000 (Ђ41,237).
Klaus Maier, Mercedes' executive vice president for sales and marketing, said new safety features also include a flashing brake light which can help prevent collisions and intelligent headlights that change depending on fog and other conditions.
The E500 which will be rechristened the E550 has a more powerful engine that gets the same fuel economy as the previous generation, Maier said. The 5.5-liter V8 has 382 horsepower, or 80 more horsepower than its predecessor.
The E320 CDI will now be the E320 Bluetec and will feature Mercedes' Bluetec diesel engine, which it says will be the cleanest on the road. The Bluetec will be available in September, when ultra-low-sulfer diesel comes to the U.S. market.
Rounding out the E-Class lineup is the high-performance E63 AMG, with a new, 6.3-liter, 507-horsepower V8 engine, reports AP.
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