I reported earlier on Mercedes' new Blue Efficiency program, which will allow buyers to select more fuel-efficient versions of every Mercedes model. Interestingly, the major European car manufacturer has backed this up with the redesign of several new small cars to be introduced soon.
Green Car Congress recently reported that Mercedes will be unveiling these cars in the upcoming Leipzig auto show, which is being held from April 5th-13th.
The German automaker has reduced fuel consumption on its diesel A-class vehicles by an average of 8%, and some models will come with a "microhybrid" start/stop feature, making the cars up to 9% more fuel efficient. This feature will automatically stop the engine when the vehicle isn't moving and start it right back up when the gas is pressed. The widespread use of this technology represents a shift towards acceptance of more unconventional fuel-saving techniques.
The best of these A-class models reaches an impressive 49 MPG, with another getting 51 MPG when combined with the Blue Efficiency package. Blue Efficiency and stop/stop features are also available on the B-class, which is notable because it features several cars with natural gas engine options that use as much as 50% less energy than their gasoline equivalents.
It's great to see a major manufacturer making real efforts to reduce fuel consumption across the board. Hopefully Mercedes can be persuaded to offer some of these models in the United States, where domestic manufacturers are dragging their feet big time on meaningful, across-the-board fuel economy improvement. Kudos to you, Mercedes!
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