Awarded the title of Green Car of the Year 2007, the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec, gives a fuel economy of 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. And it gets this fuel economy, and the tag of green car, with a diesel engine!
Mercedes-Benz usually known for their luxury cars like the SLK Roadster, charges a $1000 premium on the Bluetec clean diesel over the standard gasoline version. This is because the exhaust is treated within the engine to minimize harmful emissions.
Clean Diesel Green Car
Its launch in mid-October coincided with the federal mandate for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel, which must have less than 15 parts-per-million sulfur content. This new "clean diesel" fuel allows Mercedes to make use of sophisticated aftertreatment hardware in the exhaust system to bring tailpipe emissions to 45-state standards. With the future addition of a final Selective Reduction Catalyst (SRC) and AdBlue system, Mercedes is confident the car will meet the tier 2 / bin 5 emissions standards, the most stringent in the world, and be a 50-state legal automobile.
The BLUETEC E320 will utilize an oxidation type catalytic converter, a particulate filter, a new and improved NOx trap system, and finally the SCR catalytic converter to meet emission requirements. AdBlue, generally referred to as urea, is a nontoxic, odorless, and biodegradable fluid that is misted into the exhaust flow at the SRC catalyst. The result is ammonia that reacts with nitrogen oxides in the exhaust, which are broken down to nitrogen and water. The system works quite well as a final scrubbing of the diesel exhaust. Unfortunately, Mercedes and other car manufacturers are still waiting for the federal government to make a ruling on how servicing of the system will be handled. As part of the emissions system, refilling of the AdBlue tank will likely be done at an authorized dealer during routine service intervals.
So why would you want a diesel passenger car anyway? The traditional answer is improved fuel economy since diesel engines are typically 30 percent more fuel efficient than a comparable gasoline engine. Modern diesels, however, are a whole new breed of powertrain option. Quiet, smooth, and very satisfying to drive thanks to copious amounts of low-end and mid-range torque, there is very little not to like about today’s diesel engines. Occupants of the E320, for example, must really pay attention to detect the characteristic diesel harmonics or sound.
As you might expect, the Mercedes-Benz E320 is a very refined package. Luxury sedan buyers won’t be disappointed by the new BLUETEC clean diesel, but, rather pleasantly surprised. The 3.0-liter turbo V-6 produces 208 horsepower at 3,800 rpm, and more importantly, also generates 388 lbs-ft of torque available from 1,600 to 2,400 rpm. All that torque delivers impressive acceleration that feels like a powerful V-8. From a standing start, 60 mph is reached in the mid-six second range. While most E320 BLUETEC owners won’t be drag racing away from traffic lights, it’s nice to know that power is there when you need to pass.
More pics at Canadian Driver
The E320 BLUETEC is a solid, comfortable touring car. Slide in behind the wheel and there is no mistaking the Mercedes feel. German design and old-world craftsmanship deliver a distinctive and rewarding driving experience. This is the kind of car you just want to point at the horizon and keep on going. Hours roll by in the refined cabin with little fatigue. Overall ride and handling qualities are quite good. The ride is firm yet pleasing, and this car feels well planted thanks in part to its nearly two ton weight in street clothes.
Among celebrities that drive cars using clean diesel technology is actress Sophia Bush with her Audi A3 TDI. Actress Jenna Dewan also spends her money on clean diesel cars, driving an Audi Q7 TDI.