2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Mercedes-Benz sees the new generation of the so-called “Bluetec” diesel as a technological milestone. Such clean units will not be available in Europe until 2008.
By Thomas Flehmer
Mercedes is preparing the diesel for the future. “The new Bluetec diesels are a small piece of the mosaic in a large plan for mobility in the future,” said Mercedes Development Board Member Thomas Weber at the presentation of the new technology in Las Vegas, “we are offering the cleanest diesel in the world. Bluetec is a milestone in technology », which will initially only be used in the USA. In Europe you have to be patient until 2008.
Four catalysts in use
The new system not only has the usual soot particle filter, but is reinforced by additional catalysts. Mercedes offers the Bluetec system in two versions that are used depending on the model. In the first system, a total of four catalytic converters reduce the emission of carbon monoxides, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides and stop soot particles.
The second variant is a continuation of the first system. The nitrogen oxides are converted into water through a separate injection of the Adblue additive mentioned by Mercedes. This system is particularly used in commercial vehicles. Mercedes has already sold 25,000 units that meet the Euro 5 standard that will come into effect in 2009. While the Adblue injection consumes up to six percent less fuel, the first system, which will function in the E 320 CRD Bluetec in the USA from October 15, increases consumption by up to six percent. A figure of 6.7 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers is probably still unique for this segment.
Driving pleasure should not be missing
Even if there is now more technology in the limousine, no major differences to the "old" E 320 CRD could be seen on the test drives around Las Vegas. The 210 hp and the maximum torque of 536 Nm ensure impressive power delivery. The sprint of 6.7 seconds over 100 kilometers does not look any different despite Bluetec. However, there is a small waiting period before the work processes begin after pressing the accelerator pedal. Otherwise the seven-speed automatic of the 3.0 liter six-cylinder worked without any problems.
The fact that a puncture in the Nevada desert temporarily interrupted the test drive cannot depend on the engine. "We build economical, clean and powerful cars that are not without driving pleasure," says Weber. Because without driving fun, the customer does not necessarily jump to clean solutions.
As clean as a gasoline engine
Mercedes also relies on the rising diesel trend in the States. So far, the fuel was considered dirty. The Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) will be available nationwide in the USA from mid-October. With just 15 ppm sulfur, it is 33 times cleaner than the previous diesel fuel. In Germany, the sulfur content in diesel is around 10 ppm. Bluetec aims to attract new customers. «We make the diesel as clean as the gasoline engine. That is the goal of Bluetec”, says Rudolf Thom, Center Manager“Certification Environment and Regulatory Environment”of the Mercedes Car Group.
However, the new, fun-to-drive mosaic particle has to be adapted in some places for the future. Bluetec diesels, for example, fail to meet the strict Bin5 standard in the USA. “We are prepared for this limit value,” says Weber. But the norm has not yet been met. And just next to it is also over. The bad thing about this is that five states in the US insist on just this norm. These include California and New York, the automobile markets with the highest sales in North America.
Another hurdle justifies the later entry into Europe - the price. While the six-cylinder, which is to be used in around ten Mercedes models and a total of 22 different models from the DaimlerChrysler Group, is around 55,000 dollars in the USA, one has to reckon with a price of over 60,000 euros in Europe. It does not seem certain at the moment whether customers will exchange their old E 320 as a result.
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