The later cars have a tyypical German solution to the cupholder issue. Following another German saying, "Why make something simple when it is easy to make it complicated?" the new cars cupholders are a mechanical design that, when activated, come out of a covered area on the center console. You push the cover down, I believe (I have only used the things for their entertainment value), and they spring to life. The cover moves out of the way, and the cupholder set up kind of extends and unfolds. One is a simple device the other is an adjustable set of mechanical claws that adapts to the size of your cup. When not in use they are fully covered up and not visible.
The previous owner of my E300D TurboDiesel must have used it quite a bit as it was malfuntioning (would open on its own and then not stay shut) and was replaced under warranty. No little part changes, the whole mechanism and the wood cover were replaced as a unit.
Try collecting some of the airsickness bags on your next flight. I found they just barely have the capacity needed after drinking a few beers in the airport lounge before boarding a potty-less commuter flight to Providence one night. The flight was delayed a few hours, so after some pain and discomfort, a creative solution to the problem was discovered....
I guess a stop at the side of the road and a quick search for a tree or some other suitable target would be better than prompting the engineers at MB to come up with some built in mechanical solution. Judging on the cupholder solution, and the failure mode I experienced with that, I would be quite concerned about a random activation and the potential consequences. Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)