From next year, Mercedes-Benz will be offering a new generation of the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque distribution. This totally new development is based on the front-wheel drive architecture with transversely mounted engines.
Like the other 4MATIC versions, it boasts high tractive power reserves and outstanding agility accompanied by optimum driving safety and energy efficiency. The new 4MATIC will complement the four all-wheel drive versions which have been available to date. This will ensure 4×4 technology tailored to the respective vehicle categories – from the new compact class and the models of the C-, E-, S-, CLS- and CL-Class to the comprehensive range of SUVs and ATVs covering the GLK-, M-, GL-Class and G-Class. The new 4MATIC will also boost driving enjoyment in the two particularly dynamic Mercedes-Benz CLA and CLA 45 AMG models. Both of these models will be premiered in 2013.
The most innovative components of the new 4MATIC include the power take-off to the rear axle which is integrated in the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission and the rear-axle gear unit with integrated, electrohydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch. This set-up enables fully variable distribution of the drive torque between front and rear axle. Additional benefits of this design are a lower system weight than is available from the competition and high efficiency. Similarly to the front-wheel drive versions, all 4MATIC models also boast good energy efficiency.
The 4MATIC all-wheel drive is a completely new development tailored to the requirements of the new models with front-wheel drive. The future all-wheel drive line-up from Mercedes-Benz will be heralded in the coming year by the CLA-Class and the particularly agile and powerful CLA 45 AMG. While the technical basis is identical on all versions, the AMG models feature a modified power output to the rear axle.
The new 4MATIC is being combined with the 7G-DCT seven-speed automated dual clutch transmission which was premiered in the B-Class. The power flux to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated in the main transmission and is supplied with lubricant from the latter’s oil circuit. This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency.
The low system weight of the new 4MATIC is not attributable solely to the PTU. Other weight-stripping measures include a compact rear-axle gear unit, inductively hardened rear-axle side shafts in hollow design and weight-optimised propeller shafts. The system weight of the new 4MATIC is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel drive versions offered by the competition.