19 Mercedes in 15 Minutes
That is what Mercedes-Benz is promising for the introduction at the Frankfurt Auto Show of its new and updated cars, according to Geoff Day, the director of corporate communications at Mercedes.
Not all of these will be entirely new models. Some are models which are being updated. But the star of the Mercedes show will be the F700, the large luxury Mercedes to be powered by its new DiesOtto engine, a turbocharged direct injection 1.8 liter four producing 238 hp and yielding 39.2 mpg. All that in a vehicle the size of an S Class. The “DiesOtto” name reflects the nature of the engine: a diesel type engine that burns gasoline.
Mercedes calls this "controlled auto ignition,” but that’s just a fancy name for compression ignition, the same principle on which a diesel operates. The fuel/air mixture is ignited by the compression itself, without a separete source of ignition – i.e., a spark plug.
The F700 is not a production car. Rather, it is an engineering concept car, one designed to showcase a new technology which Mercedes-Benz clearly intends eventually to bring to production sooner rather than later.
It is the concept successor to the F500, pictured here, which was shown at the 2003 Tokyo Auto Show. That car was a hybrid diesel.
The Frankfurt show opens next month.