Mercedes-Benz has added a new nine-speed automatic into its line-up as standard equipment on the E350 BlueTec.
The new in-house-produced unit, known internally under the name 9G-Tronic, has long been mooted for selected Mercedes-Benz models.
However, its existence was officially denied until the weekend, when Mercedes-Benz’s German language website configurator went live with various updates for the E-class line-up – including an entry signalling the 9G-Tronic is now available on the standard rear-wheel-drive E350 BlueTec in place of the older seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox.
The adoption of the 9G-Tronic fails to make any impact on the official E350 BlueTec’s 0-62mph acceleration, which remains at 6.6sec. But with two extra ratios and improvements to its stop/start function over the 7G-Tronic unit, its combined-cycle fuel economy figure has improved from 51.4mpg to 53.3mpg, according to Mercedes-Benz’s own figures. At the same time, average CO2 emissions have been lowered from 144g/km to 138g/km.
The moderate improvement comes through a more than nine per cent gain in city cycle economy, which improves from an earlier 40.9mpg to 44.1mpg. The motorway figure remains the same at 60.1mpg.