From a menacing winter storm to a challenging corner, 4MATIC® all-wheel drive makes the most of available traction by precisely engaging all four wheels. More than letting all four tires do the work equally, 4MATIC® features a number of advanced, and quick-thinking innovations to empower each wheel individually as conditions change. So whether you're starting out on a slippery patch, encountering a sudden change in the weather, or even rounding a dry curve, 4MATIC® helps you put your best foot forward.

Greater control, gripping results


Each wheel fully engaged. Every element fully integrated.

4MATIC® is far more than an all-wheel drive mechanism added to a two-wheel drive vehicle. It's fully integrated not just with the drivetrain but the many safety and driving assistance systems of a Mercedes-Benz. Under normal conditions, the compact, lightweight system channels the engine's torque to the front and rear wheels through a center differential, for sporty balance and agile handling. When traction demands change, 4MATIC® reacts instantly and expertly to maximize control. By sending power to the wheels that can use it best, it helps you feel a rewarding sense of confidence in any season.


4ETS® turns slip into grip, and grip into go.

The 4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4ETS®) is an innovation pioneered by Mercedes-Benz that helps send power to gripping wheels if other wheels slip. Using the same wheel-speed sensors as the Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), 4ETS® can detect the onset of wheelspin and rapidly pulse the brake at the slipping wheel. This sends torque back to the gripping wheel, which can apply the engine's power to the road. Working automatically on all four wheels, 4ETS® can help get you going even if only one wheel has grip.


Elegantly simple: the core components of 4MATIC®

A transfer case, integrated within the 7-speed automatic transmission, feeds power to the front axles. A limited-slip center differential provides balanced power between the front and rear axles.And the 4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4ETS®) uses sensors already in the vehicle for its Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP®),to precisely manage the torque demands of each wheel.


From winter's fury to summertime fun.

While 4MATIC® shines when the sun doesn't, its lightweight design and quick reflexes enhance the handling of a Mercedes-Benz in any season. From a snow-slicked road to a sweeping, dry curve, 4MATIC® helps optimize how each wheel turns torque and traction into confidence and control.


The basics of 4MATIC® all-wheel drive


Four points of contact

Virtually every element of braking, steering and accelerating is carried out through the four patches where your tires meet the road. The friction between the tires and road surface turns grip into go. But the laws of physics limit the total force (lateral plus longitudinal) that a tire can manage, especially as road conditions change. 4MATIC® is designed to achieve the best balance of these forces in every situation.[*4]

Weight distribution

When you brake, it shifts the vehicle's weight toward the front wheels, making them work harder. Acceleration shifts it rearward, while cornering transfers it toward the tires on the outside of a turn. In addition, the road conditions can affect how each wheel grips at any time. 4MATIC® responds to all of these factors at once, optimizing the torque at each wheel to the conditions.

Wheel speeds

When driving in a straight line, all four wheels normally rotate at the same rate. Rounding a corner, however, forces the two outside wheels to travel a longer path than the inside wheels. That means the left and right wheels must be able to rotate at different speeds. 4MATIC® continually monitors the speed of each wheel to know when it's turning at the proper speed, or not, in every situation.

Mixed-friction surfaces

On a dry, paved road, the traction available to all four tires is generally the same. But a puddle, a patch of ice, or even a loose gravel shoulder can vary the grip of each wheel, all at once. 4MATIC® uses a combination of individual brakes and reduction of excess engine output to balance to help send the optimal amount of torque to each wheel.