As I have talked about in the past, Mercedes has been doing a lot recently to make their product offerings more environmentally friendly across the board. However, I must say that these new diesel engines are one of the most interesting things I've seen thus far.
Besides being a huge leap forward in a European economy based on diesel, these engines also appear to have the ability to jump the pond and show up in models stateside.
So what makes them so special? These new 2,143 cc 4-cylinders have a peak output of 204 hp (150 kW) and 369 ft-lbs (500 Nm) of torque in the most powerful model, which represents increases of 20% and 25% over the previous generation, respectively. At the same time, Mercedes has managed to reduce CO2 emissions 13% and pass the Euro-5 emissions standards.
There are four new engines overall, ranging from 204 hp on the high end to 136 hp on the low end. While the prospective fuel economy numbers are not listed for that 136 hp model, the middle-range 170 hp engine is expected to get 46.1 US mpg, a number any driver in this current fuel-price crunch could envy.
Mercedes has done this with a combination of several interesting and innovative technologies, including two-stage turbocharging, optimized intercooling and exhaust gas recirculating, intake port shut off, and new injector control features. These definitely are not your dad's old diesel Mercedes. All these advances allow the car to run clean enough to pass the new Euro-5 emissions standards without NOx scrubbers, but evidently Mercedes will still be installing their new BlueTec system in order to make the engine's emissions extra-clean.
These engines will first see the roads in the C-class, but Mercedes has said that it intends to use them in applications across all classes, including the Sprinter van and in planned diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. Not only do these new engines represent a growing shift towards diesel as the internal combustion engine of the future, but their improvement over their predecessors is nothing to scoff at. Personally, I am excited to see the way that Mercedes is developing into a greener manufacturer, and I hope this is reflected in its worldwide product offerings.
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