In the world of automotive, all-wheel drive has become increasingly popular for providing superior performance and safety on roads of various conditions. Mercedes-Benz has developed its own all-wheel drive system called 4MATIC, which stands out for its engineering excellence and the ability to deliver superior driving experience.

Becoming more prevalent in Mercedes’ lineup since the 1980s, the engineer Paul Daimler sought to work on a vehicle capable of overcoming rough terrains during colonial journeys in Africa, but it only became “popular” when Mercedes-Benz introduced the 4MATIC all-wheel drive at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It was first implemented in 1987 on the 6-cylinder models of the W124, the future E-Class. Since 2008, the system has been linked to the automatic transmission, and with the CL 500, it became a standard feature on many cars in the German fleet.

What is the concept behind all-wheel drive?

While front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive offers adequate performance under normal conditions, all-wheel drive allows the engine power to be distributed to all four wheels. This results in increased grip and control, especially in slippery road conditions or rough terrains.

Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC system is designed to offer intelligent and adaptable traction on all four wheels. By using a combination of sensors, sophisticated electronics, and mechanical components, the 4MATIC system optimizes the distribution of torque to the wheels based on driving conditions. One of the key features of the 4MATIC system is its ability to variably distribute torque between the front and rear wheels.

Under normal conditions, traction is primarily distributed to the rear wheels to ensure a balanced driving experience and sporty driving dynamics. However, when a loss of traction is detected, the system can immediately send a greater amount of torque to the front wheels to maintain stability and control.

To constantly monitor driving conditions, the 4MATIC system utilizes a wheel speed sensor that detects differences in rotation between the four wheels. This information is then processed by the electronic control, which instantly determines the amount of torque to be sent to each wheel. The electronic control can quickly adapt to various situations such as curves, accelerations, or uneven terrains to ensure safe and stable driving.

Mercedes-Benz offers several variants of the 4MATIC system to cater to the diverse needs of its vehicle models. For example, it can be found on a wide range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including sedans, coupes, SUVs, and even high-performance AMG cars. Each variant of the system is optimized to provide maximum traction and stability, ensuring an engaging and safe driving experience.

There are many advantages for those who have access to it: firstly, it improves traction on slippery surfaces such as snow, ice, or mud, allowing a safer drive and preventing from skidding or sliding. Additionally, the 4MATIC system increases stability and precision in cornering, offering greater control and a sense of agility. Finally, the system contributes to improving vehicle efficiency, as it can adapt torque distribution based on driving conditions, reducing wear and fuel consumption.

With its ability to intelligently distribute engine torque to all four wheels, the 4MATIC system redefines four-wheel driving, providing adaptable traction and stability in all driving conditions. Whether tackling snowy roads or taking on sharp curves, Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC system ensures an engaging, safe, and exciting driving experience.

Come and try it by renting a Mercedes at our desks in Milan, Rome, and Modena, and be amazed by a superior driving style.