What is 4MATIC® AWD?

October 8th, 2015 by

All Wheel Drive
All drivers know the advantages of all-wheel drive. It’s not just for those who want to take their vehicle off the paved road – it also aids greatly in poor driving conditions, on problematic roads, and can improve performance characteristics. Not every all-wheel drive is the same though, with some being more efficient and more effective than others. Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC® all-wheel drive was designed to bring the ultimate in all-wheel drive performance to the ultimate luxury performance vehicles.

How Does 4MATIC® Work?

4MATIC® coordinates the balance of power going to all of the wheels, sensing and adjusting the balance as needed to ensure four points of contact at all times with the road. This also includes sensing changes in weight distribution, wheels speeds, and types of surfaces, and adjusting as needed. The sensing weight distribution is particularly important – as Mercedes-Benz vehicles tend to be heavier, due to higher-quality materials and high-powered engines, a system that can account for this is important. The weight-sensing system in 4MATIC® vehicles allows the Mercedes to handle just as pleasantly as smaller, lighter all-wheel drive vehicles.

Using an advanced center differential and 4-Wheel Electronic Traction System (ETS), the system optimizes the torque going to each wheel, and balances the power between the front and rear wheels – changing the ratio by up to 40 percent. This allows 4MATIC®-equipped vehicles to have the performance characteristics of rear-wheel drive performance vehicles on clean, dry pavement, but the safety and precision of all-wheel drive vehicles on treacherous roads.

What Sets 4MATIC® Apart?

Developed by Mercedes engineers, the 4MATIC® system is one of the most efficient all-wheel drive systems on the market. While early 4MATIC® systems were a bit primitive, and even some modern systems from other car makers are effective yet bulky, Mercedes’ modern 4MATIC® system has eliminated almost all of the areas where all-wheel drive has seen difficulties in the past:

  • Where older all-wheel drive systems would add 200 pounds or more to the weight of a vehicle, the current 4MATIC® system adds only 100 to 150 pounds, depending on the model.
  • Other versions of all-wheel drive vastly increase the turning radius of the vehicle, but with 4MATIC®, the turning radius is only increased by inches.
  • Thanks to the ability to direct power to the wheels that are performing at the highest efficiency, the 4MATIC® system does not see the massive fuel economy loss like many other all-wheel drive systems have to deal with.
  • The 4MATIC® system is not just an all-wheel drive mechanism that has been crudely added on to a front- or rear-wheel drive vehicle. It is fully integrated with the rest of the drivetrain, including Electronic Stability Program and Antilock Braking System.

What Vehicles Have 4MATIC®?

You can only find 4MATIC® on Mercedes-Benz vehicles, but the good news is that every Mercedes class has an option of 4MATIC® on at least one of the models in the class. This includes these models, along with many others:

  • E 350 4MATIC® Sedan
  • S 550 4MATIC® Sedan
  • CLS 400 4MATIC® Coupe
  • GL550 4MATIC® SUV

Having an all-wheel drive system like 4MATIC® is almost a necessity for winter driving in the Long Island area. Sitting so close to the sea, we can see plenty of snow, sleet, and ice, from Freeport to Babylon. Make sure you have a vehicle that can handle the weather, and stop in to Mercedes-Benz of Massapequa to check out all of our 4MATIC®-equipped vehicles.

Posted in Car Tips, News