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Mercedes-Benz Gets the Blues

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Mercedes-Benz BlueEFFICIENCY Photo: Rod Hatfield
By Mike Meredith
The new SL Roadster launch was almost a sideshow on a stand dedicated to fuel efficiency and lower emissions technology.
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Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Photo: Rod Hatfield
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Photo: Rod Hatfield
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Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK BLUETEC Hybrid Photo: Rod Hatfield
Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK BLUETEC Hybrid Photo: Rod Hatfield
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Mercedes-Benz SLK Photo: Rod Hatfield
Mercedes-Benz SLK Photo: Rod Hatfield
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Mercedes-Benz SLK Photo: Rod Hatfield
Mercedes-Benz SLK Photo: Rod Hatfield
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Mercedes-Benz SLK Photo: Rod Hatfield
Mercedes-Benz SLK Photo: Rod Hatfield

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    The Geneva show marked the start of Mercedes Benz’s program to roll out BlueEFFICIENCY models offering lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions throughout their range.

     

    From this month, Mercedes-Benz will begin a program leading up to offering 20 BlueEFFICIENCY models throughout their product range, with each model featuring a series of equipment and technologies that will reduce fuel consumption by up to 12 percent and a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.

     

    Elements of BlueEFFICIENCY will include improved aerodynamics, low-rolling resistance tires, new electric ECO steering, weight reduction measures, generator management and other measures.

     

    The first example which debuted at the show is the C350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY with second-generation direct injection technology that delivers 10 percent lower fuel consumption compared to the previous engine. To assist efficient driving, an intelligent fuel economy display and shift indicator will be added to all Mercedes-Benz models, beginning this summer with the BlueEFFICIENCY models and then extending throughout the entire model range.

     

    Another BlueEFFICIENCY example in Geneva is the C200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine that consumes only 5.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (approx. 46 mpg), reduced from 6.1 liters per 100 km (approx. 38 mpg) for the previous model. The C200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY will go on sale this spring along with the C180 Kompressor with a BlueEFFICIENCY package.

     

    Vision GLK BLUETEC HYBRID

    Mercedes-Benz launched the Vision GLK BLUETEC HYBRID as a solution to increasing fuel efficiency for SUVs. A compact high-tech hybrid module with a disc-shaped electric motor inserted between the 2.2-liter diesel engine and the transmission creates power output of 224 horsepower and 560 Nm (approx. 413 lb-ft) of torque. Mercedes-Benz claims that the Vision GLK BLUETEC HYBRID achieves a lower CO2 output than any other SUV at 157 grams per 100 kilometers with the BLUETEC emission control system with AdBlue injection to meet the toughest emission standards.

     

    The Vision GLK BLUETEC HYBRID also includes the new advanced lithium-ion battery from Mercedes-Benz that will make its production debut in the S400 BlueHYBRID scheduled to go on sale in 2009.

     

    New SL Roadster and Others

    The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class roadster continues as the sporty and luxurious driving with fresh styling, more refinement and additional advanced technology. Most noticeable is the front-end design which is both new and familiar with a wider grille that incorporates a single horizontal element reminiscent of the legendary 300 SL, longitudinal bulges added to the hood and new headlights with standard bi-xenon lighting elements.

     

    Other model updates include the addition of the CL 500 4MATIC to the CL-Class lineup. With the addition of the lightweight and very efficient second-generation 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, the CL-Class is offered for the first time with all-wheel drive.

     

    The SLK roadster is updated with new exterior styling, a new instrument cluster and a three-spoke steering wheel. The front bumper is update with a modified air dam and at the rear there is a diffuser-style design for the lower valance, trapezoidal exhaust and dark-tinted taillights. The side mirrors have LED indicators with an arrow shape.

     

    The SLK 350 receives a new 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 305 horsepower, an increase of 33 horsepower over the previous version with improved fuel consumption of 9.5 liters per 100 km (approx. 24 mpg) with the 6-speed manual transmission.

     

    The CLS also receives styling updates with a modified grille that now incorporates two louvers rather than four, the mirrors include arrow-shaped LED indicators and the taillights add LED technology. Inside the CLS a new leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with white dials and chestnut wood trim.

     

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