All-wheel drive for everyday use.
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At the heart of 4MATIC is a central differential with a planetary gear system.
The force distribution between front and rear axles (this is different from model to model) guarantees superior, consistently predictable handling on virtually all surfaces. In combination with the electronically controlled 4ESP® and 4ETS systems, 4MATIC delivers a dynamic, comfortable and safe ride, even under arduous conditions. And average fuel consumption is increased only marginally compared with standard drive variants.
A key feature of 4MATIC is that it dispenses with conventional differential locks. Instead, wheels with insufficient grip are braked automatically, while the drive torque of the wheels with sufficient traction is increased. These rapid automatic braking pulses achieve the same effect as three differential locks.
These automatic braking impulses, which improve traction on slippery surfaces and stability in critical situations, are apportioned by the system based on sensor data concerning wheel rotational speed, steering wheel movements and position, as well as the vehicle’s yaw rate and lateral acceleration.
The centrepiece of the 4MATIC system is a single-stage transfer case (two-stage in the GL-Class) with an open central differential that balances torque distribution between the axles. The transfer case is connected directly to the automatic transmission and, together with the engine, torque converter and front axle gear, forms a complete drive unit.