Mercedes E320 Bluetec makes market debut in Los Angeles
On the runway at this week’s Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek at Smashbox Studios, Mercedes-Benz USA unveiled a version of its E320 BLUETEC, a diesel sedan that will immediately be available in limited numbers to California customers through a special two- year/24,000-mile lease.
California’s stringent emissions requirements have kept new diesel automobiles models off the California market for the better part of a decade. The new E320 BLUETEC - distinguished as "2007 World Green Car" by an international panel of journalists earlier this year - changes all that.
BLUETEC denotes state-of-the-art engine and exhaust technology which produces the cleanest diesels available on the market today. Utilizing this technology, the V6-powered E320 BLUETEC diesel is able to provide the powerful torque of a large V8 engine with the low fuel consumption of a four-cylinder compact.
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.