Another contribution to relaxed driving comes from the newly-developed, standard-fit DIRECT CONTROL suspension with selective damping system. The shock absorbers automatically adapt to the driving situation. The improved damping effect and stabilisation of the vehicle are particularly valuable on poor road surfaces. The optional DIRECT CONTROL suspension permits the vehicle body to be lowered by 15 millimetres (standard in conjunction with the AVANTGARDE equipment line and the AMG sports package).
The AIRMATIC air suspension – standard in the E 500 and optional for the 6-cylinder models – automatically influences the effect of the shock absorbers on each wheel and adapts them to the current road, load and driving characteristics. The driver can manually switch between a comfortable and a sporty setting. When necessary the system independently switches to a more rigid option – for example when the driver has to make an evasive manoeuvre. The vehicle height can be regulated with a push of a button: on poor sections of the road the vehicle height can be raised by 25 millimetres and at higher speeds it is automatically lowered by 15 millimetres – for more driving stability and less air resistance. Even when the vehicle is loaded the ground clearance remains constant thanks to the level control system.
The optional Direct-Steer system offers a more direct steering ratio, reducing the need for great steering movements at large steering angles, for instance when parking or in tight curves. Direct-Steer is standard in the models with V6 and V8 engines.
(the above illustration shows the optional Rear comfort package)