There's a man from Mercedes, probably right now, driving down a back street in some European village, not just checking the vehicle's performance, but also making sure the navigation system has been properly mapped. He might even be outside your house.
Checking out the sat-nav is not a specific job, however. Johannes Reifenrath, director marketing strategy and portfolio and powertrain strategy for Mercedes Benz, points out that the new Mercedes Benz E-Class has undergone some 36 million kilometers of testing, so you might as well make the most of that amount of time on the road.
Some of this new Mercedes Benz E-Class development work was carried out on British roads with prototypes assessed by "myriad drivers" with feedback and final adjustments made if necessary. We are informed that test drivers included experts and "normal" Mercedes Benz UK staff.
And if you have 36 million kms to cover, the Mercedes Benz E-Class is probably a good car to do it in. In fact it will do most of it for you. Ease into a bend and the side of the seat automatically starts to squeeze, keeping you firmly in place as the corner tightens.
On exit (at night) the full beam, which has been looking round the corner, automatically dips in the face of oncoming traffic and the steering wheel pulses to warn you of the presence of the as yet unseen pedestrian.
Similarly that pulse will let you know if you start to lane wander, the blind spot indicator will tell you if someone is trying to overtake. If are distracted by all these warnings and don't see the car in front braking, then of course the brake-assist radar comes into play and starts to slow you down.
The Mercedes Benz E-Class will even tell you what the speed limit is (although this will not be instantly available in the UK as it only recognizes European signs). So, nothing to concentrate the mind? Feeling drowsy? Ping! And audible warning and a coffee cup symbol appears on the instrument panel.
The Mercedes Benz E-Class of 2009 arrives in Britain in mid-June equipped with Mercedes' latest generation 'BlueEFFICIENCY' diesel and petrol engines with improved fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the former peaking at 53.3 mpg in the four-cylinder diesel manual and the latter bottoming at 139g/km. Petrol figures are from 41.5 mpg and 159g/km - all manufacturer's figures.
The range is being simplified from five specification levels down to three: SE, Avantgarde and Sport. The full model line-up will be phased in between June and September 2009. Prices initially start at £28,863 for the Mercedes Benz E 220 CDI SE ranging up to £47,010 for the Mercedes Benz E 500 Sport.
Mercedes' BlueEFFICIENCY programme extends beyond the E-Class engines and takes in newly-developed tyres with up to 17 per cent less rolling resistance, energy saving alternators, fuel pumps, air conditioning and power-steering pumps - which switch off when not in use.
A stop-start system features on the E 200 CGI manual which will be introduced in late summer 2009.Published 16 March 2009