Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC Debuts in New York; More Diesels for US Lineup
12 April 2006
|The 320 BLUETEC|
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the previously-announced E 320 BLUETEC—its “50-state ready” clean diesel car (earlier post)—at the New York International Auto Show.
The E320 BLUETEC, one of the new-generation of E-Class vehicles being rolled out by Mercedes (earlier post), uses a new 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine producing 221 horsepower (165 kW) and 510 Nm of torque, which replaces the in-line six found in the previous E320 CDI.
The engine design includes includes four valves per cylinder, centrally located piezo-electric injectors, third-generation CDI direct injection, a turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine and exhaust gas recirculation.
Combined with a seven-speed automatic transmission, the E320 BLUETEC accelerates from 0 to 60 mpg in 6.6 seconds and now has a preliminary estimated fuel economy rating of 31 mpg US combined (27 city, 37 highway).
The E320 BLUETEC incorporates three after-treatment units in the exhaust stream: an oxidizing catalytic converter, a particulate filter and a denox storage converter that absorbs nitrogen oxides temporarily.
The BLUETEC system depends on the use of ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel (less than 15 parts per million) that becomes mandated in the US this fall. The availability of extremely low-sulfur fuel enables the use of reliable particulate filters and efficient nitrogen oxide aftertreatment.
For more aggressive emissions aftertreatment, a BLUETEC system can move up an AdBlue injection system. A water-based urea solution, AdBlue is carried in its own small tank and metered into the exhaust in minute quantities, so small that the tank only needs to be refilled during routine scheduled maintenance.
When AdBlue is injected into pre-cleaned exhaust gas, ammonia (NH3) is released, converting nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen (and water) in a downstream catalytic converter. This is the version of BLUETEC technology Mercedes will apply in the larger GL BLUETEC full-size SUV, and Chrylser in its concept Jeep BLUETEC. (Earlier post.)
Mercedes also announced at the show that it is launching two more diesel-powered models into the US for 2007: the R320 CDI sports tourer and the ML320 CDI sport utility, both using the V6 diesel. These are not BLUETEC-equipped. However, with their precise full electronic control of fuel delivery along with an oxidation catalyst for aftertreatment, the current Mercedes-Benz diesel 3.0-liter engine can pass 45-state emissions standards.
Has this urea-based solution been given the greenlight by the EPA? I remember reading that they weren't happy you have to refill the urea tank every so often.
Posted by: The Anonymous Poster | 12 April 2006 at 02:47 PM
Is there any word from Mercedes regarding compatibility biodiesel? Will the urea injection system reduce NOx in high blends of BD?
Posted by: Brian Young | 12 April 2006 at 02:59 PM
...now if only they could build highly reliable cars the way they did some years back, this would be an outstanding car for that cross-country driving trip.
Posted by: Nick | 12 April 2006 at 04:08 PM
Brian, I'll try to find out the state of work WRT biodiesel and BLUETEC.
Posted by: Mike | 12 April 2006 at 06:12 PM
Anon, re: EPA greenlight for urea injection for passenger cars, I don't think so yet. At least, that wasn't the case in January. But I'll confirm.
The E320 BLUETEC sidesteps that by not using urea injection. The GL and the Jeep would face it, however.
Posted by: Mike | 12 April 2006 at 06:14 PM
Extremely well equipped dinosaur.
As for EPA, basically DB have to satisfy average fleet emission standard (it is more complicated), i.e. have to sell 100 incredible clean gasoline cars to be able to sell one diesel. And yes, urea SCR works with biodiesel, and any diesel is at least 20B capable.
Posted by: Andrey | 12 April 2006 at 11:35 PM
Hi Andrey, any diesel might be B20 capable, but will the manufacturer warrant it? European car companies seem to limit their warranties to B5 max.
Posted by: JN2 | 13 April 2006 at 02:53 AM
If you take a new diesel such as this car on a road trip thru Canada and use Canadian diesel will their diesel fuel do damage to the emissions control equipment?
Posted by: Randall Parker | 13 April 2006 at 06:13 PM
Canada--with the exception of the "Northern Supply Area"--is also moving to ULSD as standard this year. 15 ppm. So, no issues.
The Northern Supply area (the Arctic bits of the northern part of Yukon; the Northwest Territories outside of the area accessible by road from BC and Alberta; Nunavut; parts of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec within 50 km from the coast of Hudson Bay or James Bay) goes to ULSD a year later, in 2007. So you might want to stay out of there with your BLUETEC until then.
Posted by: Mike | 13 April 2006 at 07:34 PM
Hi Mike, quick question for you. Did you find in your reseach the exact NOx emissions of this vehicle (which is typically in grams/mile)? I know that Tier II emissions standards are calling for a fleet average for passenger vehicles of .07 g/mile, down from Tier I standard of 1.0 for diesels alone.
It would be ideal if you could point me to a link. I believe that diesel can be cleaned up with the advent of ULSD, but there are some diesel haters out there with whom I constantly find myself clashing.
Posted by: Dave | 14 April 2006 at 10:32 AM
Having read your linked post to DC's efforts to get the BLUETEC system through the EPA, I believe I can phrase my question (above) a little better. Will BLUETEC allow Benz diesels to meet the Bin 5 or Bin 8 stndards for NOx (.14 vs .05 g/mile respectively)?
Posted by: Dave | 14 April 2006 at 10:36 AM
BLUETEC meets the Bin5 standards--in doing that, it complies with CARB regulations. That goal is the reason DCX has to move to an AdBlue-based SCR system in the GL and Jeep prototypes--otherwise the vehicles would only have achieved Bin 8.
Posted by: Mike | 14 April 2006 at 12:32 PM
One source says E-320 Bluetec comes with 5 speed not 7 speed? Will it have new (more energy efficiant) MB sourced 4Matic? What is final word on MB warranty regarding BioDiesel?
Posted by: Glenn | 04 June 2006 at 11:08 AM
I wish to know if the Roadtrek Adventurer Class B Motorhome is powered by the E320 Bluetec ULSD engine.
Posted by: David Hill Marin | 10 September 2006 at 02:43 PM
Mercedes tells me they can't sell the Bluetec in NY yet. Why not, and when will it become available in NY.
Posted by: Al | 01 April 2008 at 09:13 PM
Is the 2009 Bluetec engine the same as the 2008 CDI engine except for the converter spray to lower emissions? Is the torque, hp the same?
Posted by: George H. Miller | 14 April 2008 at 08:38 AM