There's an optimal wisp of spin that gets the E350 off the line smartly, but ultimately it makes little difference. Consistent runs across the board. Upshifts at redline whether in Comfort or Sport mode.
Belt-cinching with each full-ABS panic stop from 60 mph. Acceptable amount of fade without pedal effort change. Short distance for a 2-ton convertible.
Slalom: Good balance and crisp turn-in had me smacking cones with the rear wheels, forcing me to take what felt like a wide line. Eventually, understeer became the limiting factor. However, having the ESC on eliminated the understeer and improved the ultimate speed through the cones. Skid pad: Remarkable amount of grip here -- more even than E550 coupe. Easy to balance with the throttle to maintain smooth, consistent arc with ESC off. Steering is a little "distant" but has the precision and feel of a sports car. With ESC on, it subtly keeps the car dead on the painted line with no steering.