Mercedes-Benz to Introduce New-Generation A- and B-Classes at Leipzig Show; Start/Stop Function on High-Volume Models
28 March 2008
|The new-generation A-Class.|
Mercedes-Benz will introduce its new-generation A- and B-Class vehicles at the Auto Mobil International (AMI) motor show in Leipzig (5-13 April). The new line-up features a number of fuel-saving enhancements, including a start/stop microhybrid function on high volume A- and B-Class vehicles. The B-Class is also now available with a gasoline/natural-gas drive system.
Fuel consumption for the standard new-generation A-Class models range between 4.9 and 8.1 liters per 100 kilometers (48 to 29 mpg US). Fuel consumption of the direct-injection diesel engines has been reduced by more than 8 percent or 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers compared with the outgoing models.
Mercedes is adding a start/stop function to the high-volume A 150 and A 170 models, resulting in up to a 9% reduction in fuel consumption for the vehicles when driving in city traffic. Mercedes-Benz has also developed an additional BlueEFFICIENCY package for the three-door A 160 CDI, reducing the Coupé’s fuel consumption to 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers (51 mpg US).
The BlueEFFICIENCY package, available in the autumn of 2008, further improves engine efficiency, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, energy management and weight. CO2 emissions of the 60 kW/82 hp coupé are 119 grams per kilometer. The BlueEFFICIENCY package includes an aerodynamically optimized radiator grille, the rear side of which is sealed off, thus reducing the volume of air flowing into the engine compartment. Despite this, sufficient cooling for the CDI engine is ensured at all times.
The bodywork has also been lowered by 10 millimeters to further reduce wind drag. The Mercedes engineers have leveraged further potential to save fuel by dynamically controlling the power supply on board the A 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY to save energy. The generator management system consistently converts the power generated when the engine decelerates (i.e. on the overrun) into electrical energy, which is then used to recharge the battery in an optimum, energy-efficient manner.
Mercedes-Benz has also revamped the design and technology of the B-Class. The four-cylinder engines now burn up to 7% less fuel than before, and exceed current EU emissions limits by as much as 90%. The new ECO start/stop function is available for the high-volume B 150 and B 170 models. Another new development for the B-Class is the bivalent gasoline/natural-gas drive system in the B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY, which consumes 4.9 kilograms of natural gas per 100 kilometers. Converted into the equivalent quantity of gasoline energy, the fuel cost per kilometer is around 50% less than when running on gasoline.
Good job but not for america because diesel...
Asides of this it shows that when it comes to fuel economy you have to tweak every single function and use active energy management to harness any possible small saving, which all sum up in a big saving, but it is a formidable work, so better to start sooner than later, the later to start will be the looser. In a future were energy is expensive, energy efficiency will be the key of the economic competitivity.
Posted by: Treehugger | 28 March 2008 at 08:08 PM
You have made a common mistake. For the past thirty five years and for intermediate period of the next decade and a half, energy prices will be high. But then prices will resume their historical long downward trend.
I suspect, but cannot prove, that energy will be cheaper than at present more than two decades from now, and progressively cheaper three, four and five decades from now, and further out. But I am certain that will be the case within a decade and a half.
Just on the basis of actions already taken and in progress.
The so called "energy crisis" is a mere scarcity/monopoly problem of about 50 years in duration, en to-to. No different from the"Whale oil crisis" of the 1840s; or the "good English Oak crisis" of the 17th century; or the "nitrate crisis" of the early 20th century, etcetera.
At present, we are suffering from the monopolistic pricing, set 35 years ago, for a commodity for which suitable substitutes did not exist, are only now becoming available.
HVAC, and chemical feed stocks markets, two of the three historical markets for Oil, have long ago found substitutes. Instead of using petroleum, substitutes are used where possible, and for new applications. Those substitutes are in active use. Those markets are declining in their demand for this energy source.
But substitutes not yet available in substantial quantity for the third and largest market, the Transport sector. That will change over the next decade. All the posters on these pages can see the coming substitution and change with the Electrification of Transport.
Many do not know however, that other changes are committed to occur, as well.
The rejuvenation of Fission nuclear electric generation both in the USA and worldwide, has proceeded to the point where 34 new Nuclear plants in the USA, aggregating to some 60 Gigawatts of capacity, are in the pipeline for construction prior to 2020.
That alone will displace a tremendous quantity of old coal, and actually allow about one sixth of the dirtiest coal plants to be retired,shrinking fossil generation by some 10% overall.
In addition, it essentially eliminates the demand for net new coal generation. Those comitted 60 Gigawatts will raise nuclear generated electricity to above 30% of total from just 20% at present and reduce coal by some 10% of the then larger generation capacity.
There are many old coal plants that must be retired, as they are antiques, even now well past their expected retirement age. They are polluting and are becoming very unreliable, as they age. So new cleaner coal plants will just replace essentiaily, old dirty coal plants.
That is unforseen in most enviromental CO2 accounting.
Just those new nuclear plants coming on line removes 45% of all the CO2 growth above 1990 levels that Kyoto demands. The change to electrified ground transport, driven by cost considerations, not GHGs, will easily shrink demand by a much greater amount well in excess of the remaining 55% of the projected growth. And also a substantial portion of what was emitted in 1990 base calculations.
On thermal efficiency considerations alone, replacing an old coal with a new coal plant, with no net new generation capacity, will reduce CO2 emissions by another 10% as well. In summary, the US is headed to 1960s-1970s levels of CO2 output, with just those two (or three) committed changes.
Irrespective of whether, you are a full GAIA worshiping, AGW true-believer, or a scientific skeptic agnostic, like myself, the US will be producing a lot less than 1990 levels of CO2 by 2020.
All accomplished without ANY other changes. No post-Kyoto treaties, no Carbon taxes. No statist interference in the economy. Useless, and never working, exhortations to ride bicycles or walk, or other such drivel will be unnecesary.
Even better, the air and water will be cleaner. Hoorah.
Posted by: stas peterson | 29 March 2008 at 11:57 AM
Your reasoning simply ignores the growth of population as well as the increasing demand for more confort and life quality at an individual level which sum up on ever increasing quantity of energy need that is simply unsustainable at a relatively short term (how many people enjoy the confort of a modern life ? 1 billion ? and we already see the limit of the system, think of 9 billions tomorrow). Serious people have looked at the math, even if you sum up all the energies contributions, fossil, nuclear, renewable etc. you peak in 2040. And I seriously doubt that the fusion can change that, there is no serious evidence that fusion will ever power anything, same thing for hydrogen. Fast neutron reactors can supply a significant amount of energy but the complexity of this technology will limit the number of reactors you can implement in practice, just as nuclear today. The numbe of reactor that are planned to build in america will barely replaced the ageing ones that are coming to retirement. The wasteful type of civilisation that fossil energies have enable us to enjoy will be just a short anomaly in the history of civilisation and I would say humanity. Asides even if you are right that we could find substitutes to fossil energy I think the energy efficiency will be cheaper than these substitute. Look at nature, everything is optimised and tweaked to save energy, animal, plant, aerodynamic shapes, light composite material, active control of turbulences (like dolphins and fishes), low temperature catalyst, etc..millions years of evolution have comen to the conclusion that energy conservation is the key to survival. I doubt that we can deny this simple law for a long time to come. But you can dream on the contrary if you are afraid for the comfort of your heavy and brick shaped SUV.
Posted by: Treehugger | 29 March 2008 at 12:40 PM
Whine, whine whine. When was the last time you build a car?
Posted by: whine | 31 March 2008 at 12:54 PM
I will not loose time to respond to your provocative vulgarity, but if you think that cars can not be designed differently that they have been so far, then you are just loosing you time on this site.
Posted by: Treehugger | 31 March 2008 at 10:34 PM
Get your head out of your ass treehugger. These are the people that used death camp labor. Now they want to save the world and you believe them. Theres only one way to build a car. I starts with 2 carburetors, eight cylinders and 2 tons of steel. Mix and serve.
Posted by: u da man | 01 April 2008 at 08:07 AM
You seem to feel that there is a carrying capacity for well living Mankind, on the Earth, and that we have crossed it.
I for one disagree. We are no where near reaching carrying capacity on this Earth, even if it is theoretically true. I'm sure the kings, aristocrats and nobles of an earlier era also believed that the World could only offer the "good life" to themselves; and too bad for the serfs and peasants.
Why is it that the Earth currently provides that good-life, a standard of living, to three times the number of all the people alive in as recently as 1940 and beyond the avarice of Kings a mere century ago?
The key is control of energy. And Energy has been getting more available all along. And it still is. There has a been a blip in the price tag, for the last 35 years, but that period is coming to an end. In the broad historical sweep, it is a temporary momentary blip.
Energy makes possible the utilization of all the commodities that the "good life" requires, and Mankind hasn't touched anywhere near the limits for metals, polymers, or food.
There is no net retirements in sight until mid century for the currently running fission reactors in America. In 1990 the forecast was otherwise. But no longer. Almost all have been re licensed for another 40 years of operation. Most have been uprated as well. Two have even been brought back from mothballs.
There will be a lot of retirements of antiquated coal based generation, though. Coal generation, that was originally meant to be retired in the 1980s, in the first nuclear building boom that fizzled. They soldiered on.
President Carter established the Policy of "no fuel reprocessing" and "no repairing" the coal plants. The infantile Carter policy had unintended consequences; no major repair without a total rebuild, equivalent to a new plant with the best non-polluting standard, actually meant no major repairs, in practice. They became even more decrepit.
The Utilities have now had to act. The demagogic utility commissioners can no longer just say chop the reserve margins, as they used to do. Its gone way too far, there are no reserve margins left to chop. ADDing a few Ng turbine peaking plants have created a surplus ofd peakingand a dearth of base load generation.
California would blackout if it wasn't dependent on imports, from Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. As would much of upper NY, Vermont, Maine and northern Ohio blackout without Hydro Quebec imports.
The nascent building boom came after the so-hated, so-incompetent, Mr. Bush pushed through his Energy Acts of 2001 and 2005, that rationalized the construction laws, changed the policy on reprocessing of spent fuel, standardized plant design combined licensing for the NRC, cajoled the plant builders to certify standard designs, and re-enabled the liability insurance. Having pulled the teeth of the obstructionist lawyers, the building boom has taken off, in a mere two plus years.
And with it the reduction in the US Carbon dioxide emissions by all the post 1990 growth and much more besides is locked in to happen.
Germany's political decision to retire it nuclear electric generation, before the normal lifetime, has been abandoned. The UK and FRG have joined with France to embark on a re-nuclearization of western Europe. Japan, India and China never stopped.
The sea change that means is startling. The US will add to its electric generation, the equivalent of 21 clean, non-polluting Hoover Dams in a mere ten years. And that is without measuring any other capacity additions from all other sources, renewable or just modern clean(er) coal plants.
I for one would fight once again the building of GEN IV fast breeders in the 2030s. They are unnecessary. There is plenty of fuel,now that we don't employ wasteful once-thru, not least the 10,000 Treaty-reduced Soviet/US cold war nuclear warheads that the new generation of nuclear plants will incinerate forever. Wonderful de-proliferation.
The safety margins are too slim for fast breeders. Even though re-processing means that the single Yucca mountain repository of 70,000 tons capacity has had it predicted inventory now chopped to less than 5000 tons; and now it will never reach or exceed capacity.
Still there is need for ONLY one LAST generation of fission nukes. And they should all be safe, passive, well proven, light-water GEN III+ designs with perhaps a single "Actinide Burner" fast neutron reactor for the US (or UN) to run.
Posted by: stas peterson | 01 April 2008 at 03:34 PM
You disagree with the fact that earth has reached its carrying capacity but you don't give a single good reason why think you are right and when we have more and more evidence of the contrary, not only energy but also water, metal, mineral clearly show their limit.
You think nuclear will save the world, but I am french and I know that last year EDF the french governemetal producer of electricity (who knows more in nuclear than anybody else)released a report showing that the total production of energy would peak mid of this century, and their prediction is that nuclear would at best produce 20% of our energy need. I have no reason to think that they were wrong and that you are right. Nobody seriously think that nuclear will ever produce more than 20% of our need in energy for a ton of reasons that can't be discussed here. The idea that we can easily shift from a system where we are 90% dependent on fossil energy to something else in half a century is utterly naive and countradicted by anything we know.
Posted by: Treehugger | 01 April 2008 at 10:40 PM
I think there is a chance we may see the B-Class hatchback sold in the USA, assembled at the same Alabama assembly line now used to build the M-Class, R-Class and GL-class SUV's and crossover models. It would allow Mercedes-Benz to offer an entry-level model, especially given the high MSRP of the entry-level C300 sedan in the USA.
Posted by: Raymond | 02 April 2008 at 05:57 PM
Mercedes has really protected their brand image well in the U.S. People will pay a premium for their cars. It used to be that they cost so much more, people had to have a good reason to buy one. Now with the Lexus and Infinity high prices, a basic Mercedes seems affordable.
When I first heard about Lexus, I thought just copy a Mercedes and be done with it. The Koreans and Chinese might do that but Toyota chose not to. Now that Lexus prices are high on some models, you look at them and say, I might as well buy a Mercedes. I do not think that is what Toyota had in mind when they created the Lexus brand and the pricing.
Posted by: sjc | 03 April 2008 at 02:32 PM