Mercedes-Benz proudly claims to building the industry’s very first all-wheel-drive vehicle almost 100 years ago, a giant touring car used for hunting parties in Africa.
It started building four-wheel-drive systems for modern passenger cars in 1985, and has used the 4MATIC moniker on each succeeding generation.
Until recently, a luxury buyer looking for a Mercedes with traction going to all four wheels had a fairly limited option set. But that’s about to change – the German maker soon to make an all-new version of the technology available on 21 of its different products.
The smaller, lighter, more compact fourth-generation 4MATIC system will debut shortly in the S 350 BlueTec diesel sedan ($93,425), the CLS 550 four-door coupe ($74,675), the new E 350 coupe ($53,175), and the new C 350 coupe ($45,245), adding about $2000 to the price of the rear-drive versions of each model.