The brilliance of the 4MATIC AWD

The winter was tough for all drivers here in the UK. If you had the fantastic 4MATIC AWD you would have found getting out of sticky situations a lot easier. It has the power and capability to power vehicle through roads covered with snow and ice. The 4MATIC gives a whole new meaning to a four wheel drive.


4MATIC is available with various passenger Mercedes-Benz vehicles and standard on the S-Class. The intelligent system is now in its fourth generation. It consists of ASR, ESP and 4ETS braking assist combining together so that the engine has maximum power during certain events.

The first example in 1987

Mercedes-Benz has always been keen on developing system that provides power to all four wheels within passenger vehicles. In 1987 the first vehicle to receive the honour was the W124 sedan, the predecessor to the E-Class of today. This was the first generation of the 4MATIC system which utilised electro hydraulic locking differentials to provide power to the front end tyres when it was required.

The development of the 4MATIC system

4MATIC has evolved quite a bit since then. Now as mentioned earlier the system caters for all four wheels rather than just the front two. A mechanical centre differential now transmits power to the transmission of the car to all tyres. At the same time front and rear differentials provide traction to the left and right tyres on the axles.

The first fourth generation 4MATIC

The first ever example of the fourth generation 4MATIC system was first shown on the Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC sedan and the CLS550 in America. By the summertime in the United States the system will also be available on the C350 and the E350.

Development in house

The Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC was developed by the company themselves in house. The main advantages were that there was no weight increase was kept down to a minimal.

Multi-plate breakaway

The multi-plate breakaway clutch essentially allows the front wheels to rotate much faster than the rear wheels. This helps to increase the handling of the vehicle significantly.

Driven like normal on tough road surfaces

The 4MATIC system allows cars to be driven in a sporty type of manner despite being on a difficult road surface. The driver should be able to control the car’s path and speed thanks to the in-built technology within.


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