For the near future, Mercedes-Benz is developing a unique variety of new, particularly economical and clean models, with intelligently combined drive technologies. At the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, the Stuttgart-based car manufacturer is presenting for the first time in Asia its ambitious goals for the future with which it surprised the public at the Frankfurt International Motor Show a few weeks ago.

Automobiles with innovative modular technology combining diesel engines with BLUETEC emissions control technology and compact hybrid modules, such as the C 300 BLUETEC HYBRID and the S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID, are important milestones on the "Road to the Future", which Mercedes-Benz has mapped out and which focuses uncompromisingly on sustainability. Further milestones of the environmentally-compatible strategy defined by Mercedes-Benz for the future are its fuel cell vehicle and the F 700 research vehicle - a development study for a luxurious yet fuel-economical long-distance saloon.

Mercedes presents "Road to the Future" in Tokyo
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Fuel-efficient and environmentally compatible premium automobiles that do not compromise on safety, comfort or supreme driving pleasure: this is the long-term objective of the development strategy defined by Mercedes-Benz.
The development priorities along the way include modular drive technologies; first and foremost, optimised combustion engines with individually configured hybrid solutions that can be used singly or in combination, depending on the vehicle class, usage and customer.

BLUETEC engines - the cleanest diesel engines in the world

In this connection, an important part is played by BLUETEC diesel emissions control technology, which was already successfully launched in the United States in 2006. This intelligent BLUETEC technology, developed by Daimler, effectively reduces diesel vehicle emissions, in particular of nitrogen oxides, making the compression-ignition engine one of the cleanest and most efficient drives in the world. The road to this objective was paved by Mercedes-Benz engineers, on the one hand by optimising the internal operation of the engine, and on the other hand by means of an effective exhaust emissions treatment system fine-tuned to the engine.

The system itself consists of an oxidation catalytic converter which reduces emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (HC), and an additive-free diesel particulate filter. An enhanced NOx storage catalytic converter with patented on-board ammonia generation is combined with an additional selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalytic converter, enabling the lowest nitrogen oxide levels to be achieved. This exhaust gas treatment works without any additional materials. All BLUETEC models from Mercedes-Benz have the potential to continue to comply with the strictest exhaust emission limits in the future too, including the European EU6 and the American BIN5 standards.

S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID with 560 Nm torque at just 5.4 litres/100 km

The S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID, scheduled to go into series production in 2010, underlines the tremendous savings potential and environmental compatibility of the modular technology concept from Mercedes-Benz involving a BLUETEC/hybrid combination. The S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID delivers 150 kW/204 hp and a maximum torque of 480 Newton metres from its 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine, coupled to a 15 kW/20 hp hybrid module.

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When combined with the standard 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, the S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.4 seconds and can reach a top speed of 240 km/h. Even with this superior performance, fuel consumption stands at just 5.4 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, corresponding to a mere 142 grams of CO2 per kilometre ‑ 57 grams, or some 30 per cent, less than the current best saloon in the S-Class segment anywhere in the world.

The S-Class uses the version of BLUETEC with AdBlue injection system. Thanks to this unique combination of BLUETEC and hybrid technology, which delivers the most economical and environmentally-compatible premium cars in the world, the S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID has the potential to meet the most stringent emissions standards applicable anywhere in the world in the future too - for example, the European EU6 standard or the US 50-state BIN5 standard.

Compact hybrid module with start/stop function

The compact hybrid module is a disc-shaped electric motor, which also serves as starter motor and generator. The system offers double benefits: on the one hand it helps in many ways to save fuel, while on the other hand it increases driving enjoyment yet more.

The main reason for the increased driving enjoyment is what is known as the boost effect, whereby the electric engine supports the combustion engine during the high-consumption acceleration phase with a maximum extra torque of 160 Newton metres. With this high torque the electric engine assists the combustion engine heartily when accelerating from very low engine speeds. As a result, the combustion engine itself needs less time and energy to build up its maximum torque. The only thing the driver notices from this synergy of the two power units is a supremely effortless power output whenever he or she starts off.

The hybrid module also features a comfortable start/stop function which switches the engine off whenever the vehicle stops, for example at traffic lights. Once the vehicle is ready to move off again, the electric engine starts the main engine again so gently that it goes virtually unnoticed. This of course also contributes to fuel savings and is kind to the environment: since the engine starts virtually immediately, practically no unburned fuel is discharged when starting off. When decelerating, on the other hand, the electric engine functions as a generator, and can recover braking energy in what is known as the recuperation process.

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This energy is stored in a powerful but compact lithium-ion battery pack in the engine compartment, ready for use when required. The management of this complex system is governed by a powerful control unit, which is also installed close to the engine.

C 300 BLUETEC HYBRID with 224 hp at only 4.6 l/100km

Mercedes-Benz BLUETEC HYBRID models are set to be the most economical and cleanest vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines in the world. Among them is the C 300 BLUETEC HYBRID, due to go into series production in 2011. With a combined rated output of 165 kW/224 hp and a combined maximum torque of 560 Newton metres, the C 300 BLUETEC accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 s, while its top speed stands at 236 km/h.

Even with such superior performance for a vehicle in this class, the C 300 BLUETEC HYBRID only requires 4.6 litres of diesel fuel per 100 kilometres, achieving in the process CO2 emissions of just 122 grams per kilometre, the lowest of any vehicle in its class in the world.

2010: fuel cell goes into standard production in the B–Class F-Cell

In the summer of 2010, Mercedes-Benz will launch the first series-production car with a local zero-emission fuel-cell drive. The small-scale series production of the B-Class F-Cell will begin early in 2010. The powerplant for this innovative vehicle will be a new-generation fuel-cell drive that is much more compact and yet at the same time more powerful and completely practicable for everyday use.

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At its heart, in technical terms, will be the optimised fuel-cell system which Mercedes-Benz introduced in the F 600 HYGENIUS research vehicle in 2005. This very compact system is considerably more efficient than previous generations of fuel cells. The redesigned stack is around 40 per cent smaller and produces 30 per cent more power, yet it uses 16 per cent less fuel. Starting under cold conditions has also been improved.

The B-Class F-Cell features another improved, more compact and more powerful system. The electric engine develops a top output of 100 kW/136 hp and a maximum torque of 320 Newton metres. The B-Class F-Cell thus meets all expectations in terms of dynamic performance, which surpasses that of a two-litre petrol-engine vehicle. However, the consumption of the emission-free fuel-cell engine in this ideal compact family car corresponds to a mere 2.9 litres of fuel (diesel equivalent) per 100 kilometres.

Already "on the road": smart fortwo ed with local zero-emission electric drive

The first 100 smart fortwo ed with electric drive are currently being tested in a large-scale pilot scheme in London. At the heart of the local zero-emission drive unit is a 30 kW/41 hp permanent magnet (PM) electric engine, which delivers a maximum torque of 140 Newton metres right from the moment the engine starts up. The smart fortwo ed therefore offers one of the cleanest ways of nipping around in city traffic, where it offers a range of up to 115 kilometres.

smart fortwo mhd with fuel-efficient petrol micro hybrid from 2007

From October 2007, the first of three different hybrid solutions will be present in the smart mhd - or "micro hybrid drive". With this technology, the fuel consumption of this economical three-cylinder petrol engine, which still develops an output of 52 kW/71 hp and a maximum torque of 92 Newton metres, drops from 4.7 to 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres thanks to the intelligent start/stop system, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 103 grams per kilometre.

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Study: smart fortwo cdi mhd new world CO2 champion with 78 g/km

With a fuel consumption of 3.3 litres per 100 km and a correspondingly low CO2 emissions level of 88 grams per kilometre, the smart cdi is currently the most economical and environment-friendly car in the world among series-production vehicles. Thanks to its start/stop technology, with its 2.9 litres per 100 km, and 78 grams of CO2 per km, a further developed diesel version, the smart fortwo cdi mhd, sets the new world-wide benchmark. Of course, the smart fortwo cdi mhd features a closed-trap diesel particulate filter, which reduces particle emissions to a barely-measurable level. And in terms of all the other exhaust gas components, the smart fortwo cdi mhd is so clean that it undercuts the stringent EU5 limit values.

New BLUETEC vehicles on the "Road to the Future"

The new models in the ambitious Mercedes-Benz roadmap for the future also include further vehicles with BLUETEC diesel engines or innovative petrol direct injection as well as several hybrids and many CO2 world champions. Following the successful launch in North America of the world’s first BLUETEC passenger car - the E 320 BLUETEC, which was voted "World Green Car of the Year 2007" in the United States - the technology to give us the cleanest diesel in the world is now about to arrive in Europe as well. The E 300 BLUETEC, the cleanest and most economical EU5 business-class diesel, comes to the European market in December 2007. The R, ML und GL 320 BLUETEC models that follow in 2008 will be the first three diesel SUVs in the world.

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E 350 CGI with second-generation petrol direct injection

In parallel with the E 300 BLUETEC, Mercedes-Benz is extending its model range to include the sophisticated petrol direct-injection engine with spray-guided combustion process. The V6 petrol engine that has been available since spring 2006 in the CLS 350 CGI, the first one of its kind in the world to use this innovative combustion system and piezo injection, will also come onto the market in the E 350 CGI, as well as the E-Class in both saloon and estate guises. Compared with the E 350, which will continue to be available, the 215 kW/292 hp V engine offers 20 hp more power and 15 Newton metres more torque (365 Nm), although its consumption is ten per cent lower. In the NEDC combined cycle the E 350 CGI Saloon, which accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds, needs a mere 8.7 litres of premium per 100 kilometres. The top speed of all model variants is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

From December 2007: new C 220 CDI Estate with fuel consumption of just 6.1 l/100 km with 170 hp

That more power can also mean lower consumption is shown in exemplary fashion by the new C 220 CDI Estate. Its four-cylinder diesel engine has been further refined to produce 18 per cent, or 60 Nm, more torque. As a result, it was possible to reduce the engine revs, and thus also consumption under real-life conditions. With the six-speed manual transmission that is fitted as standard on this model, the C 200 CDI Estate uses only 6.1 litres of diesel fuel per 100 kilometres - in other words 0.8 litres less than the predecessor model and yet with performance improvements of 13 per cent from 110 kW/150 hp to 125 kW/ 170 hp. The excellent aerodynamics, coupled with the fact that the weight has remained virtually the same as that of the smaller predecessor model, are additional factors contributing to the optimising of fuel consumption. The C 220 CDI Estate accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 224 km/h.

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Elegant styling, great practicality and hallmark Mercedes refinement are further characteristics of the C 220 Estate. The new model comes onto the market in early December with a range of eight state-of-the-art four- and six-cylinder engines.

From 2008: C 200 CDI to travel 100 kilometres on 5.1 litres of diesel

In April 2008 Mercedes-Benz will be bringing a further C-Class model with exceptionally favourable fuel consumption onto the market: the C 200 CDI, which according to NEDC ratings requires just 5.1 litres of diesel fuel per 100 kilometres, thus achieving CO2 emissions of 135 grams per kilometre, a very low figure for this level of vehicle and performance class. A factor in this achievement is an efficiency package consisting of a lowering of the vehicle body by 15 millimetres, aerodynamic details, tyres with a particularly low rolling resistance and a further-optimised four-cylinder diesel engine that offers a top performance of 100 kW/136 hp and a maximum torque of 270 Newton metres.

A 160 CDI with CO2 emissions of just 119 grams per kilometre

A low fuel consumption of just 4.5 litres of diesel fuel per 100 kilometres - corresponding to CO2 emissions of 119 grams per kilometre - is a key feature of the A 160 CDI, due to be launched in June 2008. The 0.4-litre reduction in fuel consumption can be attributed to intelligent optimisation in all relevant vehicle components.

B 170 NGT with clean natural-gas drive from summer 2008

The B 170 NGT is the first compact model with natural-gas drive from Mercedes-Benz: this 85 kW/116 hp-powered version of the B-Class will be the company’s second natural-gas-drive vehicle and will join the E 200 NGT in June 2008. It offers the same basic advantages as the larger saloon: CO2 emissions that are some 20 per cent lower than those of a comparable petrol model, at a consumption of 4.9 kilograms of natural gas per 100 kilometres - corresponding to 7.4 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres - the B 170 NGT produces CO2 emissions of just 135 grams per kilometre. Running costs are lower than those of a comparable petrol-engine vehicle by about one half. The role of alternative and synthetic fuels for internal combustion engines is becoming more and more important in ensuring environmentally compatible mobility. Their use can significantly improve the overall CO2 balance, while also reducing our dependency on fossil fuel sources. For Mercedes-Benz, the use of natural gas represents an important milestone along the way to more widespread use of synthetic fuels from biomass.

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2009: C 250 BLUETEC, V6 performance, 4.9 l/100 km and EU6 potential

With the C 250 BLUETEC Mercedes-Benz launches its new generation of 4-cylinder engines in 2009. The strong, clean and extremely economical 2.2 litre powerplant delivers 150 kW/204 hp and produces a maximum torque of 480 Newton metres - values which until recently could only be achieved by 6-cylinder diesel powerplants with a displacement of at least 3 litres. These values enable the C 250 BLUETEC to offer excellent performance. It accelerates in just 7.9 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, reaching a top speed of 245 km/h.

At the same time, fuel consumption figures are exceptionally low for its class. The C 250 BLUETEC makes do with just 4.9 litres per 100 km. This means CO2 emissions of only 130 g/km. Thanks to comprehensive BLUETEC exhaust emissions control technology, the new diesel is as clean as a petrol engine in terms of all exhaust gas constituents, with the result that it will be able to comply with a future EU6 standard.

2009: ML 450 HYBRID - the most economical hybrid SUV in its class

The ML 450 HYBRID will be launched on the market in 2009 as world CO2 champion as it is the most economical petrol hybrid in its class in the whole world . Its innovative two-mode hybrid system makes it possible to drive powered entirely by electricity, while achieving the highest comfort levels. The V6 petrol engine delivers 205 kW/279 hp and 338 Newton metres of torque, the two-mode hybrid module with two electric engines develops 45 kW/61 hp. A combined system output of 250 kW/340 hp and a combined peak torque of 480 Newton metres give it effortlessly superior power, while offering its fuel consumption of just 7.7 litres per 100 km. This way the ML 450 HYBRID with all-wheel drive achieves CO2 emissions of only 185 g/km, a level unmatched by any other vehicle in its class anywhere in the world.

The two compact electric engines of the ML 450 HYBRID take up a lot less space in the vehicle than comparable systems, thus guaranteeing that this is an ideal package. The system, unique in its kind, with four fixed gears, combines the advantages of a multiple-speed automatic transmission with those of a stepless CVT transmission. The two electric motors are integrated in the innovative two-mode hybrid transmission of the ML 450 HYBRID. This drive is optimised both for urban and country roads. Voltage is supplied by a 288 V battery, which makes it possible to store considerable quantities of electrical energy. In interaction with an intelligent energy management system, this vehicle features all the full hybrid characteristics such as driving entirely under electric power, the start/stop function of the internal-combustion engine, boost effect and braking energy recovery.

Mercedes-Benz is thus offering a hybrid technology which guarantees low fuel consumption, effortlessly superior performance, the highest level of comfort and outstanding practicality - also in terms of a fully utilisable boot volume. The two-mode hybrid also improves performance and fuel consumption, especially at higher speeds, giving it a further advantage over other hybrid concepts available on the market.

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2009: S 400 HYBRID sets a new note in the luxury segment

At the same time as the ML 450 HYBRID, Mercedes-Benz will be launching a S‑Class with petrol hybrid on the market. In the S 400 HYBRID, which will be available from mid-2009 in Europe, the 205 kW/279 hp V6 petrol engine is combined with a hybrid module delivering 160 Nm and 15 kW/20 hp as soon as the engine starts up. The combined maximum power output is 220 kW/299 hp, while the combined maximum torque amounts to 375 Newton metres.

The S 400 HYBRID can accelerate in 7.3 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. Yet even with such excellent performance, this superb combustion engine requires a mere 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres in the NEFZ cycle. This results in CO2 emissions of just 190 grams per kilometre, making the S 400 HYBRID the most fuel-efficient luxury petrol-powered saloon in the world, irrespective of whether competitors pit a petrol, diesel or hybrid drive against it. Only the S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID, the S 400 BLUETEC HYBRID and the F 700, also presented at the Tokyo International Motor Show by Mercedes-Benz, can improve significantly on the world record set by the S 400 HYBRID in terms of low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

2010: the new Business Class in the E 300 BLUETEC HYBRID

The new E-Class with a combination of BLUETEC, 7G-TRONIC and hybrid technology will arrive on the market in 2010. The modular technology concept of the E 300 BLUETEC HYBRID consists of a new four-cylinder diesel engine that develops 150 kW/204 hp and a maximum torque of 480 Newton metres, plus a compact hybrid module delivering additional 15 kW/20 hp. Due to diesel-specific advantages in terms of torque and consumption, this BLUETEC/hybrid combination is an even more efficient unit than any petrol hybrid known to date.

With the high combined torque of 560 Nm of its 4-cylinder engine, the E 300 BLUETEC HYBRID surpasses many 6-cylinder diesel engines upwards of 3 litres displacement, convincingly displaying effortless superiority. Fuel consumption of just 5.1 litres of diesel per 100 km/h, corresponding to CO2 emissions of just 134 grams per kilometre, makes the BLUETEC HYBRID the cleanest and most economical business saloon in the world.

After 2010: excellent power and economy with the S 400 BLUETEC HYBRID

After 2010 Mercedes-Benz will offer a further BLUETEC/hybrid combination that delivers fuel efficiency and excellent environmental compatibility together with supreme driving pleasure: the S 400 BLUETEC HYBRID achieves this by combining the 15 kW/20 hp hybrid module with the tried-and-tested V6 diesel engine that is already used so successfully in numerous Mercedes-Benz model series. Following further development, this now even more economical engine delivers top output of 180 kW/245 hp. Combined, this BLUETEC/hybrid unit delivers a maximum power output of 195 kW/265 hp, at a combined maximum torque of 630 Newtonmetres.
Further power combinations, such as for instance, with a 45 kW/61 hp hybrid module, are currently in the testing phase. With 195 kW/265 hp and 630 Nm of torque (combined values), the S 400 BLUETEC HYBRID delivers very dynamic performance. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds, and this in conjunction with the standard seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC. Its - electronically limited - top speed is 250 km/h. Such performance comes with an average fuel consumption of just 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres (CO2 emissions: 154 g/km).

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