While Mercedes-Benz sees EV and hybrid technology as a long-term future for motoring, that hasn’t stopped it from investing €3 billion (A$4.6 billion) into its newest range of combustion engines.
The first engine to utilise the new engine technologies is Benz’s latest OM654 series four-cylinder diesel engine, which will go into service in the new 143 kW E220 d, with European consumption rated as low as 3.9 l/100km, before spreading across the range.
Emissions are rated at just 102g/km for CO2, while NOx emissions tested using the new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) standard by independent testing authority DEKRA came in below the 80mg/km limit, with results as low as 13-21mg/km in some circumstances.
The new engine is a part of Mercedes-Benz’ modular engine family, and will be available with different outputs in both longitudinal and transverse applications to suit front, rear, and all-wheel-drive vehicles.
Stepped combustion chambers, and a redeveloped exhaust gas recirculation system are some of the new design features of the latest generation engine, while features like chromised timing chains, and optimised turbocharging and fuel injection will be applied to the existing engine range.
European owners of diesel powered A, B, CLA, GLA and V Class vehicle will also be offered a software upgrade as part of a voluntary service measure.
As well as diesel engine technologies, Mercedes-Benz has also looked at improvements that can be applied to its petrol engine range, including a production-first fitment of a particulate filter on a petrol engine.
Set to appear on the facelifted S Class that will debut later this year, the particulate filter (already commonplace on diesel engines) will spread to other vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz range over time.
“We decided five years ago to invest massively in the further development of diesel technology,” said Dr. Thomas Weber, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars development.
“But we are also continuously making our gasoline engines more efficient and more environment-friendly; because high-tech combustion engines will remain the backbone of individual mobility until the widespread market success of electric vehicles.”