The diesel engine is a powerful force in the history of Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor brands. At Benz & Cie., at the beginning of the twentieth century design engineer Prosper L’Orange developed a functioning vehicle propulsion unit from Rudolf Diesel’s stationary engine, and in 1923 the world’s first diesel truck originated in Mannheim.
Finally, in 1936 Mercedes-Benz built the world’s first diesel passenger car, the 260 D. Since that time there has been an unending succession of innovations to every aspect of the compression-ignition engine in the vehicles of the Stuttgart-based brand. As next milestone, in 2011 the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID comes onto the market – the first diesel hybrid passenger car from Mercedes-Benz.
This new generation of especially environment-friendly diesel drives combines the innovative BlueTEC technology package for the further reduction of emission levels, the comprehensive BlueEFFICIENCY concept for vehicle with optimised fuel economy, and the latest hybrid technology. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID thus sets off towards the future starting in 2011 as first diesel hybrid passenger car of a European manufacturer. This high-tech vehicle, which makes good ecological sense and is blessed with attractive driving qualities, provides an answer to the questions of the vehicle concepts of tomorrow.
The foundation of such innovations is the longstanding experience of the Mercedes-Benz engineers in the field of diesel engines. For since its premiere in the passenger car in 1936, over decades the diesel increasingly has been developed by the Mercedes-Benz engineers into a clean, powerful, high-speed drive unit, yet has retained its economical nature. Originally it was this economic efficiency and robustness which impressed contemporaries; today the diesel engine is an extremely clean power plant with sporty characteristics. Consequently, in the face of increasingly stringent emissions standards, the current compression-ignition engines constitute an alternative to petrol engines more than they ever did. The market reflects this development: in the meantime every second car sold in Western Europe is a diesel car. Mercedes-Benz even sells 54 percent of its cars with a compression-ignition engine under the bonnet. The diesel is more up-to-date than ever today.
Source: Daimler AG