Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
October 17, 2007
Beginning October 15, MBUSA will offer its E320 BLUETEC to customers under a two-year/24,000 mile lease program through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. The E320 BLUETEC is lease-priced on a par with its gasoline sibling, the E350.
The special limited-mileage lease program is the first step in the company's plans to offer consumers diesel alternatives in all 50 states. MBUSA will offer 50-state diesels across its SUV model lines (M, GL and R- Class) late next year and will continue to add to its alternative powertrain offerings.
According to Tom Cackette, executive director for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), "The E320 is testimony to demanding nothing but the cleanest vehicles for California. Mercedes-Benz has developed a diesel emission control system that results in a car as clean as comparable gasoline vehicles being sold here. This vehicle has shed the reputation of diesel as a dirty technology. And we hope California has shed its anti-diesel reputation by certifying this vehicle as the first diesel passenger car to meet the most stringent smog emission standards in the world."
MBUSA, which has sold diesels here in the United States for 40 years, believes diesels are an ideal solution for today's luxury car buyers because they yield a significant increase in fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance or interior room. The E320 BLUETEC can go nearly 700 highway miles on a single tank of fuel.
Beyond their fuel efficiency, from an environmental standpoint, BLUETEC vehicles are the cleanest diesels available in the world today. Since diesels inherently burn less fuel than gasoline vehicles, they also produce significantly lower emissions of carbon dioxide (C02). Also, in BLUETEC vehicles particulate levels are reduced to levels comparable -- or better than -- that of gasoline-powered vehicles. Similarly, NOX emissions are reduced to meet the most stringent exhaust limits in the world.
The California lease program will function as a bridge as MBUSA prepares to begin phasing in 50-state BLUETEC vehicles nationwide starting in 2008. The first step will be the extension of the special lease program to other states which do not currently allow sales of new diesel automobiles in January 2008. Later in 2008, Mercedes will introduce another BLUETEC system on its M-, R- and GL-Class vehicles. This system utilizes AdBlue injection, a process that adds precisely measured quantities of a urea-based solution into the exhaust stream which enhances long-term emissions performance sufficient to meet the stringent BIN 5 standards.
(Oct 15, 2007)