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MB to introduce new generation engines

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MB has a new generation engine's ready, with the following features:

* Direct injected gasoline

* 4 valves per cylinder

* Variable valvetiming

* Counter directional balanceshaft

The counter directional balanceshaft rotates in the oposite direction of the actual shaft so it cancels out any vibration. MB claims they can get it upto 8k rpm and still have a very quiet and calm engine.

No performance numbers are available and it's not known how many variations of this engine there will be. The engines will be introduced on the C and CLK first.

Apart from the new line of engines we can expect the following from MMB:

- Pre-Safe phase II with prefined reaction

- Intelligent front airbags with early warning system

- New air suspension with integrated damping

- Automatic lane keeping

- Steer-by-wire

- ESP with active steering intervention

- Park assistant with automatic brake intervention

- Night vision device with infrared camera on inside rear-view mirror

- Air condition with integrated cold storing device

- 12-Volt starter-alternator with start-stop function

- Enhanced speech operation

- Improved pedestrian protection

It is rumored that MB has a full frontscreen fullcolor HUD available for the IR cam. As jaguar has proven many years ago IR cams and HUD's improve roadsafety at night considerably. Too bad Jaguar never mass produced their system.

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ford may revive jag's old idea.

I'm glad merc. is finally moving up to the modern world in engines.

the idea of steering and braking i'm not connected to is a bit scary.


Yeah, I was about to say. The new Benzes now accelerated, stopped, and turned without any direct connections. From Mercedes, I know that the systems will be bullet-proof, but I could imagine it being just a little stressful to drive at first.


Drive by wire? Okay, I can live with this gimmick alright.

Steer by wire? I don't think so!

Mercedes engineering may have been " bulletproof " way back in the day, but I wouldn't trust it with my life now. But besides that, a steering system with no physical connection to the wheels is not only needless, but a blatant flirt with disaster.

There is no way their little electronic engineering tricks could be better or safer than a good old fashioned mechanical linkage to the front wheels.

Mercedes is just fishing for engineering breakthrough awards with that one.

No one in the car business is ever ahead of anyone else in the same league by leaps and bounds, when it comes to available technology. What Mercedes is planning for in that list is pretty comprehensive show car tech. Automatic lane keeping and the like. They may incorporate some of that stuff, but if the competition is not planning on using half of that, Mercedes probably won't. Even though they would like to. MB is still a company that likes to make money, they won't put something out just for the sake of progress, if they don't feel they could make a good profit on it. They are no doubt already pushing the limit of their comfort zone with the introduction of the 7-speed, and a new line of engines popping up all of a sudden. They aren't selfless, thats' always quite obvious with MB.


I find these repsonses funny. First of all everyday we trust our lives to electronics we don't even know about, but when it's suddenly in our face then we're mistrustfull.

Everybody here has been on a airplane, public bus, subway, had a relative in hospital, etc. Everybody here uses power, gas and water. Today's powerplants are fully automated.

Steer-by-wire has been around for over a decade now and it was first used in a car 8 years ago. F1 cars have been using steer-by-wire for over 4 years now and there hasn't been 1 incident related to steer-by-wire.

I think the public needs to be educated about there systems.


Even airliners have a traditional mechanical linkage as an emergency back-up, to operate the control surfaces. Racecar drivers are knocking on death's door all the time. I don't know about you, but all the cars I have ever travelled in, have the steering connected to the front wheels, and I like it. If the lights go out on the city bus, the driver can still steer it, If the utility and water plants go down, you are not in immediate danger. The power grid in much of the U.S. East coast, mid-West, and parts of Canada blacked out a while back, but it did not threaten anyone's life in any direct way. Hospitals have auxiliary power for just such incidents.

Back-ups are everywhere. You know how many people freaked over Y2K? Although it turned out to be nothing, only after much safe guarding. People thought we were on verge of catastrophy because all the computers might mess up. We should never rely on electronics to the point where we are deeply afraid of what will happen if it all quits. Thats just not smart. The internet is a wonderful means on entertainment and information, and I have fun with the computer. But I would never trust that technology with anything truely important, certainly not my life or anyone else's. That approach is not simply " mistrusting ", it's just wise.


Modern airplanes don't have any backup controls, just backup pumps and electronics. There is no way anybody could control a 747-400 through conventional means. Even more so in a 777 which is fully automated, it could fly it's self provided the airports it's landing on have the correct facilities. Today flying is nothing more then plotting a course and flipping a few buttons, if ur in the air flip a switch and the plane will take you to yoru destination.

Trucks and busses have had drive-by-wire for ages. Nobody is complaining about that.

4 years in a high performance envoirement like F1 without any failure and you still say it could fail.

The US is a funny place when it comes to powerplants, even more so because you guyz have nuclear powerplants running on Windows NT. You know one of the Nuclear powerplant near Brooklyn scrammed because of the Blaster virus.

The Y2K bug was nothing to begin with, just because the media had to blow it up in our faces doesn't mean society as we know it was in danger. I thank the media everyday for doing that because I made a pretty penny of the Y2K thing and so did many others just by going out and deassembeling the software to see how many bits it uses for date counting. 30 mins work tops but a real money maker.

Who sais the MB system won't have any backups?

You know you might aswell just buy a cabine in the mountains and go live there if you don't wanna rely on electronics cause they are all around and like you pointed out, nobody dies when they do fail so I really don't know why you should trust them.


Airliners do have a mechanical backup, hydraulically assisted. Buses may be drive by wire, thats' different than steer by wire. Four years in F1 with no accidents is not enough to trust that technology in the real world, where cars are built on production lines, and not hand assembled in race shops. What makes me think Mercedes won't have a real backup? I hope they do, but if they did, what would be the point of steer by wire? The thing is, with a mechanical connection, you don't need a backup. Thats a testament to how silly steer by wire is.

If you want to put your your whole life in the hands of electronics GIR be my guest. But if it ever craps out, don't say you weren't warned.


The core system in a modern airplane (that includes the 747) is hydraulic, the only backup system it knows is a 2nd and 3rd pump and lines, the Airbus A320 (which is the 2nd biggest airplane in the world) has all electronic controls instead of a hydraulic/electronics combo. Like I said, you're welcome to try it but there is noway a human can control a 747 or any other airplane of that size without the help of hydraulics or electronics.

And I do trust electronics cause I spend most of my time inventing and making money of it.


Thats' why I said hydraulics, a traditional airliner's cockpit controls are connected to more than a computer, they will work without the aid of electronics. And planes such as the 777 being completely automated is very risky. There are some people who won't fly on a DC-10 for whatever reason, some probably won't want fly 777 either for these reasons.

It's true, no one can control a plane that size without the use of hydraulics, but to rely completely on electronics is crazy, if something happened to the power system, which it sometimes does, even if not to the degree of affecting controls, no one on board would stand a chance.

Even still, in a car, you have no time for a backup to kick in. At high speed, if there is a major failure, you will see the results of it very quickly. Probably too quickly to do much about it. Thats' why I feel it's a mistake to attempt airliner sophistication in a car. Airplanes must not fail, but people are often lazy about the maintenance of their car, things get old, they break down, and glitch up. There are no jet or racing mechanics to insure things are in safe and proper order before every journey.


So you trust hydraulics but not electronics? why? The chances of a pump stalling or a line bursting are as equaly great as a software failure. At least with software you can cacth a error and correct/ignore it. If there is a leak in one of your hydralic lines then it's kinda hard to correct now is it? And while we're at it the control surface position and pumps are still measured and operated by a uC, what does it matter if you pull out the hydraulics and replace it with all electronics parts? When push comes to shove you could power the electric servo's with a 12V battery, power hydraulics is a little bit harder todo.

You know that in 83% of all cases were a pilot or machine operator claims hardware failure it's ussualy human failure. The electronics just give people an extra escape goat. I see this all the time, they call us because some machine screwed up and when somebody is on the spot to service the machine they find out they're been neglecting the machine or did something they weren't supposed to be doing.

Heck I'd trust electronics more then a human. With electronics when something does go wrong, you can back track why it went wrong and fix it in the future. With humans you can't track what went wrong and you sure as hell can't fix it in the future. Just look at the huge amounts of traffic accidents and the huge amount of people who die needlessly everyday just because of human failure.

Just a few months ago there was an explosion at DSM (which is a big Dutch chemical company), 3 of their workers died at one of their melamine processing facilities. They have these huge salt ovens which run upto 900 degrees celcius. The three were doing some maintenance on one of the ovens, they power down the oven, push in the safety, open the lid and climb in. This other guy who didn't know the oven was takendown on maintenance wondering why the oven was down tried to start it, the computer gives him an error message. Hey that can't be right, but the oven needs to run so he opens a junction box and bypasses the safety, he starts the oven, the lid is open, oxygen gets in, BOOM!

Fine example on electronics doing it's job and refusing to start the oven because of the safety procedures. The guy choses to ignore these safety procedures and adapts the system himself. In this case if the system were to be fully automated those 3 would still be alive.


many new aircraft have complex aerodynamics a pilot could never fly alone without the help of the computer. The failure rate of the fly by wire in the A320 statistically should incur a severe failure 100 times less likely than the hydraulics system in an A310. Just food for thought.

If mercedes uses it, it will work first.


I'm absolutely sure that Mercedes will make a system that is 99.9999% failsafe, but why? There is no need for a steer by wire feature, so why spend the cash for R&D there? Although, in engineering, it is commonly known that the more complicated a system is, the more room for error exists, so why tempt fate? Plus, if they did implement the system, they would have to train all of the technicians on the new system. Once again, $$$$ where it shouldn't be.


Electronics certainly have their place, but saying that they should replace human action is like saying that you don't trust yourself. A mechanical system, hydraulic included, can be made stronger. You can feel it with your hands, and see it with your eyes. Take it apart and see what needs to be improved. Electronics are a much more shady science. Things happen to your computer or VCR, and you wonder what the hell the deal is, even the tech heads have those experiances.

There may be a lot of wackos out there prone to " human error ", but can you imagine what would happen if one of those wackos encountered an electronic failure while driving? Many many accidents occur, but I'll bet hardly any at all have anything to do with steering failure. If steer by wire becomes very popular, the manufacturing standards will grow slack, and you just might hear about accidents happening because of that. ABS brakes were a big improvement, but accidents have been attributed to that as well. Nothing can stay perfect, thats' the nature of a complex system.

But aside from safety concerns, who wants artificial road feel?


Look who's copping BMW. :evil:


You're kidding right? "Tech heads" who don't know what's going on? Shady science? Are you trying to insult me here? First of all I can tell you whats happening with any of the machines that was built by my company, the only thing I have todo is pull up the docs.

The reason why companies don't do a indepth analysis is because if you know the symptoms, you know where the problem is. For instance Philips has a whole list of symptoms for their TV's and VCR's. basicly the list sais: "If this is wrong, replace that part". The reason they do this is because if you were to analyse the complete VCR you need an expert. That expert would need a few months to analyse and fix the part. Why would you pay an expert salary to fix a part when you can easily pull out that part and replace it with a new one? The part costs less then the expert. With a list like that you can hire cheap, uneducated people and have them just follow step by step procedures on replacing parts.

Same thing goes for my company aswell, if one of our clients calls us and tells us that the machine isn't doing a certain thing properly then we almost immediatly know which part is failing and what needs to be done. We send out somebody with the new part, he replaces it and in 90% of all cases it's fixed. Easy, quick and cheap. Why would I send over somebody who spends all day trying to analyse the machine and then when he has to problem he needs to come back to the depote pick up a part and go back to replace it. It halts production for our costumers and costs them or us money (if they have a service contract), in general they won't be happy with us and maybe nexttime hire somebody else to build a machine.

Just because the cheap worker doesn't know what's going on doesn't mean he's a representative of the whole industry. If I tell one of my costumers that I don't know why a machine they paid a few million euro for doesn't work because it's all "shady science" then they'll probably stone me to death. Heck if it were shady science then I'd fill my office with goodluck charms and talismans, maybe hire a voodoo doctor. They wouldn't call it "logic" if it's shady science, they would've called it something allong the lines of "don't get it" or "what's happening?!".

The reason why PC's are so shady is because you are dealing with like 50 different hardware and software vendors who are doing their own thing and don't open it up to the public. So there's no way all that hardware and software can work together and there's noway anybody could pull off todo an instant analysis and fix it.

You know people used to be affraid of "magic tricks" or illusions just because they didn't know how it worked. Back in the days you could be executed for that. Now you're saying that just because you don't see how it works and basicly do not have a understading of it you're afraid of it? I think basicly the public needs to be educated about this because these systems will be integrated more and more into our lives.

Power steering became very popular over the years and nobody has anything against that. Manufacturing standards are the same as they were almost 10 years ago. You know that BMW 745i of yours has electronics all over it. Do you leave it at home every morning because it might fail? Accidents do happen how much you try to prevent them, but with electronics atleast you know whats going on and what you can do in the future to prevent it.

And yes you're right, nothing can stay perfect. But that's why we invented maintenance and anual checkups.

The synthetic feeling isn't the point of discussion here, the safety is.


I don't drive a 745Li and wouldn't buy one, it's a 740i, and it's steering system is connected to the wheel. You can dicipher anything made by your company, but what about someone elses? But that isn't my point, my point is electronic systems mess up frequently as you acknowlaged as well.

Maintenance and annual check ups is great, but as I stated before, people get lazy on their vehicle maintenance all the time, and we're talking about very important systems that can't afford to be neglected. The thing is, what is the point of steer by wire, when a mechanical connection works just fine? It's a potentially dangerous gimmick, and one more thing to think about. And what if that steering system requires a very expensive repair somewhere down the road? And the owner can't afford it, it renders an otherwise good vehicle useless, because it's electronic steering is out of commission. That is stupid.

Synthetic steering feel is an aspect of the discussion going on here, we're talking about steering, and feel is a big part of that, so I say again, who want's synthetic steering feel? I suppose you.


The point about steer-by-wire is that you can have faster response times and make heavier cars steer light and sharp. Have steering intervention, like when lane keeping, if you ever try to change lanes without looking first or generaly stupid things. Have more room in the engine compartment because there is no steering shaft and can easily change from lefthand drive to righthand drive, you only need to switch the interiour around which is cheaper.

All the docs we have are also supplied to the customer because it's their machine. If they hire a good electro technician he/she should be able to fix it. Heck after years of tinkering with electronics I can recognize what a certain part does just by looking what components are on it. It's all upto the company what they want todo with it. For instance EMI, we make their carbon pressers. EMI has their own operators and technicians so they maintenance their own machines. They take the machine apart every 2 weeks and put it back together again, it's called preventive maintenance.

And why is it all of a sudden a dangerous gimmick? I just think you're calling it dangerous because you don't understand it and just like those medival people try to kill what you don't understand. Like the shady science comment, which makes me believe you don't know base 1 about electronics. Ever concider that if powersteering would fail it would be expensive aswell? And what would anybody be doing with a vehicle they can't afford the maintain?

Steer-by-wire is the same as powersteering. You get a very light steer with counterweights in the steer so you still have a little feeling in the wheel but just like power steering you don't feel the bumps and the shocks. Your 745i has power steering right?


the problem is, there is no such thing as do it yourself or non dealer repair on such a system, atleast, not yet.


GIR brings up good pionts in the areas of tighter, faster steering, more engine compartments space, and freedom to move things around. I don't agree with the system however. In my opinion, these benefits are outweighed by the facts that MB is pumping money into systems like these, repairs will be expensive as they will be done by trained staff, and the slightly higher risk involved. Yes, there is a higher risk in utilizing systems such as these. There is no way that MB can test every possible situation pertaining to steer-by-wire, or its corresponding lane keeping. It is a more complitcated system, and that means a higher risk of error. It's statistics.


It's people like you GIR who live and breath electronics who put to much faith in that crap. We're not talking medievel people trying to kill what they are afraid of, we're talking about good old common sense. It's just not as safe to place the burden of steering completely in the hands of electronics. I am not scared of electronics, they have their place as I've said before, but the entire steering system is not one of them. I considered the space saving issue, but they seem to be doing just fine stuffing those huge engines around steering shafts, and onto little compartments already, so who cares? You're not saving that much space.

People buy cars they can't afford everyday, they let the maintenance slip, the systems go kaput. These are things to consider. When someone brings up an idea like this, I immediately think about the long term. These electro gadgets like steer by wire may be cute now, but how will they hold up under 10, 15, 20 years or more of hard use, often without the benefit of regular maintenance? By " shady science " I meant that electronics are not as cut and dry as mechanics, it's all about electrical currents and the like, hence the name, electronics. There is no denying the fact that a direct connection will always be safer and much less to think about maintenance wise. All electronic would be considerably more expensive to fix than a conventional system, even so, why tempt fate?

Aside from that, a faster steering response time would not even be natural, in fact it makes no sense at all. A car should only turn as quickly as the driver's hands apply the input to the wheel, and a heavy, cumbersome car is not going to be made " sharper " just by making the steering electronic. Use your head. The road feel would still be made up of tiny messages transmitted to your palms from the brain of an on board computer. Maybe you prefer things in your life to be fake, but I don't. I like them REAL.

And for the second time, I don't drive a 745i, it's a 740i Sport, and it has REAL steering.


well done electronics should never need maintanance, electronics is no worse than mechanics if you understand it. The thing is, a mecahnical system is much more effected by small changes. If it is a heavy large car, mechanical steering will feel like it is hooked to a boat, but electronic steering can have the feel of a small sporty car no matter where it lives.


Thats' what power assisted steering is about, there are very heavy cars these days that are not a bear to steer, and steer by wire has nothing to do with it.


People like me who put too much faith in "that crap"? You tell me, when was the last time you heard people died because of electronics failure and when was the last time you heard people died because of human error?

And what the hell are you talking about? It's not "cut and dry as mechanics", many electronic components can be compared to mechanical components. Electrical components themselves are easy to understand, it's the math that comes with it that comes with it that is the hard part. You don't understand, that's why you mistrust. It's simple human nature passed down to us from our caveman forefathers.

Lets take ABS for instance, electronics all the way. When was the lastime you heard that ABS failure resulted in a mayor crash? Or when was the last time you heard somebody say: "I had to get rid of my car because the ABS is broken and I can't afford to get it fixed". Let me guess, never? But I did hear about ABS saving lives.

One of our mayor customers is DAF and we did some mayor components for them. They have steer-by-wire as an option on their trucks. Many truckdrivers have said that they prefer steer-by-wire over powersteering. I have seen the DAF studies and you might not believe this but the turning circle on a fully loaded truck was reduced by 8%. The FFRS diesel pump we made for them increased performance by 6% while reducing fuel consumption by 3%. And we owe it all to the little electronic PCB which controls it all.

You seem to think that all the roads are one great big speedway, they're not. Heck I can't count the times I wished somebody would take over from me on the highway.

Lets count the fake things on your 745i.

PDC, fake distance warning, the only time you should know you're too close to an object is when you hit it, like small childeren behind your vehicle

DSC, fake body movement

ABS, fake braking, you should pump the pedal yourself

Traction control, fake traction you should be adjusting the gaspedal yourself

Auto Airco, fake temprature and air adjustment you should be adjusting it yourself

Rain sensor, fake windscreenwhippers you should be turning them on yourself

Servotronic, fake shocks

Powersteering with adjustable steering collumn (and yes it is standard on all models), fake steering and steerwheel

Electronic seats, you should be adjusting your seat by pulling on levers and turning dails

Memmory function for seats and steering collumn, fake seat adjustment you should be doing it yourself

Dual VANOS, fake cam adjustment a mechanic should be doing it for you

Valvetronic, fake valve timming, the cam should timming your valves and not the electronics

Burglar alarm, fake safety you should be watching your car yourself

Remote entry for doors, windows and trunk lid you should be opening them yourself

Onboard full daignostics, fake mechanics should spend hours trying to find out whats wrong with the car

Onboard entertainment system with CD changer, Cell phone and GPS route planner, you should be changing 8 tracks yourself while talking on dailtone phone and carefully plot a course ont eh map yourself.

Auto headlight switch, fake switch when you leave your headlights on you expect your battery to be drained.

How REAL is that? How REAL is DSC, TC or Servotronic? If any of those systems fails then it could have disasterous consequences, did they ever fail? Did you ever crash because of these failures? I think it's funny for a person who has a BMW, a car brand who's known for pumping their cars full of electronics, to mistrust electronics. Hence my original question, do you ever leave your 745i at home knowing it's full of electronics and they might fail?

Why is it that because it's hidden, it's okay but when it comes into our view suddenly we have a problem? It's because of electronics you can have such a sporty car without a turbo.


For the last time, I don't drive a 745i, it's a 2001 740i Sport.

But aside from that little detail, I have heard of accidents being caused by faulty ABS, I wrote it above. Human error will always be a factor, but why increase the chances of a mishap? There are many many things on my 740 that are electronically controlled, it has more computers than the rocket that first went to the moon. Most if it I don't even use. The GPS I don't bother with, because I happen to like maps, I don't use the cell phone, I have a telephone at home. I use the mirrors, and my own eyes to see where I'm parking.

My point is, I have no problem with electronic assistance of certain things, just like I have no qualms about driving a car with none of those things, no power seats, no power windows etc. I have driven many vintage cars with not so much as an electric clock on board, and have felt completely safe. If ABS brakes quit on a conventional modern car, you can still steer, that may be the only thing that saves you. If the CD player, or the power windows, or automatic temperture control craps out, it's no big deal, I can still steer the car. I welcome all these things that people like you GIR so dilegently work with, but not when it comes to a steering system that is in no way connected to the front wheels.

Another thing to consider, what if on a snowy night, you come back to find your car battery dead? The car won't start, and you won't even be able to steer the car in the direction you may want to push it in to get it out of the way. Mercedes has problems with their " Keyless Go " system locking people out of the car, why should anyone trust an electronic steering system?

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