Prayon obtains worldwide sublicense for lithium iron phosphate battery material
Chevron Lummus Global joins ARA ReadiJet Alternative Fuel Initiative to develop 100% drop-in diesel, and jet kero biofuels

New engines in Mercedes-Benz A-Class lower fuel consumption up to 26% compared to preceding models

The new CAMTRONIC variable valve lift adjustment system debuts in the 1.6-liter gasoline engine. Click to enlarge.

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, due to begin sales in Europe in September 2012, features a wide choice of gasoline and diesel engines with up to 26% lower fuel consumption compared to comparable preceding models, accompanied by a considerable power increase.

The A 180 CDI will be the first Mercedes-Benz to emit only 98 g of CO2 per kilometer; the A 220 CDI is the first Mercedes to meet the Euro-6 emission standard which comes into force in 2015. All engines of the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines can be combined with the new six-speed manual transmission or optionally with the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission.

Diesels. The new basic engine in the OM 607 series develops 80 kW (109 hp), delivers 260 N·m (192 lb-ft) to the crankshaft and with a manual transmission consumes 3.8 liters per 100 km (62 mpg US), corresponding to 98 g of CO2/km. This is a 22% improvement over the 60 kW 
(82 hp) preceding model, the A 160 CDI, which consumed 4.9 liters (48 mpg US). The new 
top diesel, the A 220 CDI, is 25% better than its predecessor: 
it develops an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 N·m (258 lb-ft) of torque, and in 
combination with the 7G-DCT automatic dual clutch transmission it consumes 4.3 liters/100 km (55 mpg US) (provisional figure). The figures for the preceding 
A 200 CDI were 103 kW (140 hp), 5.7 liters (41 mpg US), 149 g of CO2.

For transverse installation in the A-Class, the the belt drive for the ancillary units, the installed position of the turbocharger and the air ducting of the engines have been modified.

  • The 220 CDI is only available in combination with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission. The 125 kW (170 hp) top diesel is equipped with a weight-optimized crankshaft with individual bearing covers bolted from below and four counterweights, enabling it to weigh around six kilograms less than a longitudinally installed OM 651 of the same displacement. The single-stage turbocharger has larger dimensions than that in the 80 and 100 kW variants. The A 200 CDI has multiple exhaust gas recirculation to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. It already meets the Euro-6 emission standard coming into force from 2015.

    With 112 g of CO2 per kilometer (provisional figure) the A 220 CDI sets new standards in the segment. With a displacement of 2.2 liters the engine is comparatively large, and therefore already agile at low rpm—i.e., downspeeding (the combination of a large displacement and low engine speeds). As a result it has been possible to make the ECONOMY mode of the 7G-DCT transmission more economical and comfortable. If the driver selects “S”, gearshifts are performed much faster and the ratio spread uses the rpm reserves of the engine for dynamic performance.

  • The 1.8-liter engine variant is used in the A 180 CDI with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission and the A 200 CDI. The displacement was reduced by shortening the stroke (83 mm instead of 99 mm). The significantly longer connecting rods ensure lower transverse friction, and the two Lanchester balancer shafts are also of low-friction design. The single-stage turbocharger was optimized for efficiency and features adjustable vanes.

    With a distance between cylinders of 94 millimeters and cylindrical gears driving the camshafts, transverse installation and the necessary length restriction were part of the design specification from the start. To realize the start/stop function, the belt drive is decoupled from the crankshaft in all three engines.

Other features common to all the diesels include:

  • Common rail technology with a rail pressure increased to 1800 bar. The maximum ignition pressure of 180 bar also contributes to the high power output and a muscular torque curve.

  • The oil injection nozzles and the water pump are activated only when required, in order to save energy and fuel. The controlled oil pump additionally reduces oil flow and thus fuel consumption.

  • The engine block is made of cast iron, the cylinder head of aluminium.

  • A two-piece water jacket in the cylinder head provides for optimum cooling in the area of the combustion chamber plate. This enables an ignition pressure of 200 bar and a high specific power output.

  • The cast iron barrels have undergone considerably finer honing than on the predecessor, also contributing to the reduction in fuel consumption.

  • To compensate for the second-order forces which are inherent to four-cylinder in-line engines there are two Lanchester balancer shafts at the bottom of the engine block running in low-friction roller bearings rather than conventional plain bearings.

  • The two-mass flywheel has been specifically designed for high engine torque at low engine speeds in order to isolate the crankshaft’s vibration stimuli, thereby contributing to smooth running.

Multiple EGR. Click to enlarge.

Multiple EGR. To reduce NOx emissions even further, the OM 651 engine of the A 220 CDI is equipped with multiple exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). In addition to high-pressure EGR, where hot exhaust gases are taken from the manifold and reintroduced on the fresh air side, downstream of the intercooler, exhaust gases are diverted at a lower pressure level. This low-pressure EGR diverts the filtered exhaust gases downstream of the diesel particulate filter, cools them and uses a valve to return them to the fresh air flow upstream of the turbocharger.

NOx generation is primarily influenced by the oxygen concentration in the combustion chamber (= proportion of exhaust gases). A further increase in EGR rates using classic high-pressure EGR has the inherent disadvantage of charging losses and further throttling to achieve the necessary scavenging gradient. This leads to disadvantages with respect to particulate emissions and fuel consumption. Low-pressure EGR solves these problems, as it does not reduce the drive energy of the turbocharger while at the same time considerably reducing the throttling requirement of a high-pressure EGR system.

Gasoline. With 115 kW (156 hp) and 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) of torque, the new engine delivers superior performance with consumption of 5.5 liters/100 km (43 mpg US) (129g CO2/km), which is 26% less than its predecessor (100 kW, 185 N·m, 7.4 l/100 km, 174 g CO2). Even the new top model with 
7G-DCT, 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 N·m is more efficient with 
a consumption of 6.1 liters (39 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 143 g.

For these engines, Mercedes-Benz systematically transferred the BlueDIRECT technology of the V6 and V8 engines in the Mercedes-Benz luxury class. The BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines for the new A-Class combine responsiveness and power delivery with efficiency and the best emission figures in this class. The new CAMTRONIC valve lift adjustment feature, makes a major contribution to this.

CAMTRONIC makes its debut in the 1.6-liter engine. For the first time in a turbocharged direct-injection engine, a load management system with an earlier intake cut-off and intake valve lift adjustment has been realized. This reduces the throttle losses under partial load, lowering fuel consumption. In the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), fuel consumption is reduced by three to four percent compared to the M 270 without CAMTRONIC. In day-to-day driving, which typically has a high 
proportion of partial load operation, the potential saving is even greater, with fuel savings of up to ten percent in certain operating ranges. CAMTRONIC was developed completely in-house by the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Stuttgart and the Daimler engine plant in Berlin.

There is a choice of 1.6 or 2-liter variants of the new four-cylinder engine family for the A-Class, covering the power range from 90 kW (122 hp) and 200 N·m to 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 N·m.

With BlueDIRECT and precise piezo-injection, the new engines 
are expected to meet the Euro-6 emission standard for gasoline engines coming into force from 2015. Even the much more stringent diesel particulate limit in the Euro-6 standard is already bettered.

The basis for all three gasoline engine variants in the new A-Class is the all-aluminium M 270 engine with two chain-driven overhead camshafts and four-valve technology. This power unit will also be gradually introduced into larger model series. The four-cylinder can be installed transversely (M 270) or longitudinally (M 274), and combined with front, rear or 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and also with a manual, automatic torque converter or dual clutch transmission.

The technology package in the new four-cylinder gasoline engines includes a number of new developments which were introduced in 2010 with the BlueDIRECT V6 and V8 engines for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and are now available in the compact class.

The combustion process is based on third-generation Mercedes-Benz direct injection with multiple piezo injection technology. The newly developed piezo injectors allow up to five injections per power stroke.

In the warm-up phase this enables particulate emissions to be reduced by more than 90%. The overall result is that all emission figures including particulates are now already below the limits set by the Euro-6 emission standard.

Compared with conventional multi-hole solenoid valves, piezo injectors have numerous advantages in gasoline engines, Daimler says. The fuel vaporizes up to four times as fast, the jet of fuel penetrates less deeply into the combustion chamber and the injectors are able to deliver minute quantities of fuel extremely precisely. All this prevents fuel from being deposited on the combustion chamber walls, resulting in significantly reduced particulate emissions. Moreover, multiple injections allow operating strategies for maximum fuel efficiency while improving cold-start characteristics.

The crystalline structure of the piezo-ceramic changes in microseconds under an electric voltage, and with a precision of just a few thousandths of a millimeter. The central component of a piezo-electric injector is the piezo-stack, which directly controls the metering needle. With a response time of 0.1 milliseconds, the fuel injection can be very sensitively and precisely adjusted to the current load and engine speed, with a beneficial effect on emissions, fuel consumption and combustion noise.

The third-generation direct injection system also features “rapid multi-spark ignition” (MSI). Following the first spark discharge and a brief combustion period, the coil is recharged rapidly and a further spark is discharged. The MSI system enables up to four sparks to be discharged in rapid succession within one millisecond, creating a plasma with a larger spatial expansion than conventional ignition.

The rapid multi-spark ignition can be actuated to vary both the timing of the sparks and the combustion period to suit the relevant operating point. This provides scope for the best possible centre of combustion and improved residual gas compatibility. This in turn reduces fuel consumption. Fuel savings of up to 4% are possible alone by the use of piezo-electric injection technology in combination with multi-spark ignition, depending on the driving cycle.

The turbocharger forces the intake air into the combustion chambers at a pressure of up to 1.9 bar, with the turbine vanes rotating at up to 230,000 rpm. The charger has been designed to deliver high torque even at low engine speeds. A newly developed manifold turbocharger module is integrated and positioned in front of the engine for the best possible cooling. Separate exhaust ducting from the cylinders to the turbocharger and the high exhaust temperature of up to 1050 °C make optimal use of the exhaust gas energy, producing a high output and responsiveness.

By using a combination of direct injection and variable adjustment of the intake and exhaust camshafts, the developers were also able to exploit the advantages of scavenging: partly overlapping the opening times of the intake and exhaust valves causes some of the cold intake air to flush the hot exhaust gas from the cylinder into the exhaust manifold, which considerably improves charging compared to conventional operation.

Especially at low engine speeds, and thanks to the increased mass flow in the exhaust tract, the turbocharger also responds much more rapidly—this completely avoids any turbo-lag. The direct injection system ensures that the fresh gas is not yet mixed with fuel when it enters the cylinder, as would be the case in engines with manifold injection. There are therefore no undesirable scavenging losses—i.e. unburned fuel flushed into the exhaust manifold.

A new thermal management system has also been developed: in cold state, a switchable water pump with flow-optimized ball valve ensures that no coolant flows through the engine, providing for swift heating-up of the combustion chambers after starting up the engine. The thermostat is electronically 
controlled and the coolant temperatures are adjusted according to driving style and ambient conditions. The thermostat itself is also a flow-optimized ball valve. In the interest of high efficiency, the volumetric flow of the oil pump 
is also controlled as in the V engines.

The variable vane-type oil pump operates with two pressure stages, depending on the characteristic map. At low engine speeds and loads the pump runs at a low pressure of two bar. At this time the oil-spray nozzles for piston cooling are switched off. The high-pressure stage is activated at the upper load and engine speed levels. Due to this control concept, depending on engine load and engine speed the lubrication and cooling points of the engine can be supplied with significantly lower drive energy than would be possible with an uncontrolled pump.

The coolant ducting in the cylinder head is also completely new. The water mantle is of two-piece construction to improve flow. This leads to specific increases in flow speeds and heat dissipation at certain points, accompanied by a rigorous reduction in pressure losses throughout the coolant circuit. This has made it possible to reduce the power output of the water pump despite an increased engine output.

As it warms up, the flow of coolant is regulated by a 3-phase thermal management system so that it rapidly reaches normal operating temperature. Initially the coolant remains at rest in the engine. It then circulates in the engine circuit, but without the radiator. When a temperature of 105 °C has been reached in normal operation (87 °C under high load), the vehicle’s radiator is included in the circuit.

ECO start/stop function with direct-start. The start/stop system included as standard in all models operates with starter-supported direct-start. When the engine is switched off, the attitude of the crankshaft is registered by a new crankshaft sensor so that the engine control unit knows the positions of the individual cylinders. On restarting, it can then select the cylinder that is in the most suitable position for first ignition. After the starter has briefly turned over the engine, reliable injection, ignition and combustion is immediately possible in the ideally 
positioned cylinder.

CAMTRONIC intake valve lift adjustment. The system operates mechanically, but is served by an electronically controlled actuator. The intake camshaft is made up of several components: two hollow-drilled sub-shafts of equal size (cam-pieces) are mounted on the carrier shaft. The first cam-piece controls the intake valves of cylinders 1 and 2, and the second those of cylinders 3 and 4.

The cams have the form of a double-cam with two curved surfaces. The surface operating the valves via roller-type rocker arms is only half as wide as on a conventional cam, therefore the space requirement is the same. When the steeper half of the cam is active, the valve lift is increased and the valves remain open for longer. Switching to the flatter half of the cam shortens the valve lift and the valves close sooner.

Load control with the smaller valve lift is realized using various components. At very low engine torque the load control is conventional, using the position of the throttle flap, at medium torque levels using the position of the intake camshaft and at high torque levels using the charging level of the turbocharger.

As the torque increases the valve lift is switched to the larger level, load control once again being conventional via the throttle flap or, in the charged operating range, via the charging level of the turbocharger.

Mercedes-Benz development engineers took numerous measures to ensure the most efficient combustion even with the smaller valve lift. Owing to the smaller valve lift and early intake valve closure, the turbulence in the combustion chamber is reduced at the spark plug. This turbulence decisively influences the combustion speed and full combustion of the fuel/air mixture. To compensate this apparent disadvantage, the turbulence is increased in the lower partial load range by using a multiple injection strategy with injection ignition, while multi-spark ignition ensures reliable combustion.

The switchover from the smaller to the larger valve lift goes unnoticed by the driver. As cylinders 1 and 2 as well as 3 and 4 are coupled in pairs with one cam-piece each, it is possible to adjust the valve lift of all four cylinders within one camshaft revolution using just one double actuator. A correspondingly large effort was required to develop the synchronization for the switching process and ensure the long-term durability of the components.

The variable, hydraulic vane-type camshaft adjusters on the intake and exhaust sides have a wide adjustment range of 40 degrees with reference to the crankshaft. This new development features significantly smaller dimensions.



Look what CAFE and competition from hybrids and electrified vehicles is doing to ICE design.

The technologies used could have been developed 25+ years ago, had the required pressures been there.

Better too late than never? PHEVs will also benefit?


"New engines .. lower fuel consumption up to 26% compared to preceding models.."

What is this?

Non-oil guzzling EVs are on the road and a 100 years of "automobile ICE 20 mpg average" 'suddenly improves' by double digit percentages?

The TV bombards with lawsuits against imperfect replacement hip joints, 'nets', medications..

Yet, obviously, better auto mpg was available and directly withheld from consumers by automakers(oil?) for decades.

The 'improved auto mpg' metals, turbos, injectors, microprocessors, .. - have been available for DECADES.

Perhaps some new class action lawsuits are due on some actual intentional matters of fraud.


I still recommend to postpone any new car expenditure because at that rate it will be worth to have posponed the buying for a couple of year because fuel economy will jump 100% or more. So if you buy now and you get 20% better fuel economy you will have less fuel economy in the future compare to the later cars.

The hydrogen fuelcells cars will come in a couple of years and will be still better then these old farted gasoline and diesel cars. It's worth the wait and they are 100% no polluting. Also these improved cars are still coming from the same car manufacturers that were hiding real efficient technologies. Look at what they do with hydrogen fuelcell and hydrogen distribution, they are hiding it after making ton of prohibiting patents against it from new car compagnies that are not in the actual cartel. They do that with the help of united world goverments organized by big oil and world banks. They have trillions of spare dollars and yet do not release real non polluting car technologies.


Can ANYONE explain to this A D guy that:

hydrogen fuelcells cars cost ~$100,000, if ever marketed

have no viable public source of (hydrogen) fuel

have been "a few years away" for THIRTY(30) years



Gang, perhaps we have been slow, but the complexity of electronics, and the use of electronics by automotive engineers, really is new. The interplay of mechanical variability of so many components, the quality of the sensors, the response time of the electronics, all are hard problems that need to be orchestrated incredibly well to produce these results. And while we can be frustrated by the relatively slow adoption, reliability is sooooo important in ICE design I'm OK with a bit of conservatism.

These innovations are fantastic. Good for the whole world. I'd love to be able to buy a Mercedes A series with that 109HP diesel. Even if that Euro 62MPG is only 48 MMPG in the US, that would be fantastic. More, please!


Dollared...have you considered a Camry or Fusion 2013 Hybrid instead? The Camry is guaranteed reliability for at least 15 years.


Hi Harvey, Those are good suggestions - and great cars. However, I live in a big city with big parking problems. The Mercedes is 20 inches shorter than the Camry. Now a Focus hybrid hatch, that would be interesting.....or a Ford C-Max Hybrid with 7 passenger seating....I would buy that tomorrrow.


Dollared, "Bosch produced the first fully digital electronic injection system in 1982."

Thirty(30) years isn't just slow. Fraud and collusion seems more probable.


Kelly, direct injection isn't really what's driving this. It's the electronics - and more importantly, the complex interplay between sensors, mechanical controls, and compute power. If you want to talk about conspiracies, I'm game. But the subject would have to be the mess we've made of US auto market with SUVs, Mutant Giant Minivans, and Crossovers from hell. Give the Europeans a break. They've genuinely tried to be more and more efficient every generation.

Roger Pham

Those with deep understanding of combustion engine and automotive engineering will truly appreciate the achievements that are going into these new MB engines. When it comes to wring out the last % of efficiency, MB spares no effort in systematically reducing friction and engine heat loss everywhere possible, as well as bringing about the most efficient combustion.

No fraud nor collusion in the automotive industry was involved to keep the efficiency of ICE low in the past. When fuels were cheap, little attention was paid to improve engine efficiency. Instead, more attention was paid to keep engines simple and low-cost, while raising engine's output and car's weight to satisfy the "need for speed" and the "need for heft" instinctly residing within most of us!

Nick Lyons

@Roger: right on. There was no incentive to spend millions on efficiency when gas was cheap. And don't forget, engineers are not running these companies. The decisions about what the company invests in are made by executives (often ex-sales people) who are focused on next year's results. If gas is cheap and SUVs are profitable, go for it. No conspiracy was needed to throttle innovation--it's all about incentives.

Now we have lots of innovation around fuel economy. Why? Expensive gasoline, more so than CAFE IMHO. Efficiency sells now--the demand is there, and everyone sees that cheap gasoline is not coming back any time soon. Time to invest in efficiency.


"No fraud nor collusion in the automotive industry was involved to keep the efficiency of ICE low in the past."

That's like saying there was no "planned obsolescence" or GM sold EV1s to their check-in-hand owners or zero emissions laws weren't crushed or, per Dollared, "..the mess we've made of US auto market with SUVs, Mutant Giant Minivans, and Crossovers from hell" didn't happen.

We've seen science fiction(what's a satellite?) become fact - men walking on the moon - in under twelve(12) years.

Then, the public endures 35 more years of "20 something car mpg" after and while OPEC/oil firms double our oil prices and triple their profits over-and-over since 1973.

100 years of the same pathetic mpg, oil prices quadrupling in a decade, GM selling EV NiMH patents to an oil firm, etc. etc. is HIGH fraud - not random free market activity.

Nick Lyons

Building and selling cars is a very tough business to be in. With global competitors and excess capacity worldwide, enormous capital costs for R&D and huge marketing budget requirements, it's no wonder that auto executives everywhere try to push the highest margin vehicles. Here in the US that means light trucks, followed by luxury cars.

The trouble with CAFE is that it is a cop out. By pushing automakers to sell unprofitable cars, their incentive was to undermine the effort (hence, the SUV boom which used loopholes in the regs). The proper incentive for fuel efficiency is in the price of fuel. A better way to get to greener transport is to tax fuel (or all hydrocarbons, for that matter) and rebate the revenue equally to everyone. Ride a bicycle and you get paid for not driving. Drive a guzzler and you pay for your excesses. We could have done this when the price of gas was low; the incentive has now kicked in with high gas prices. Unfortunately, the extra cash is going to oil companies and foreign places instead of being recycled here at home. In any event, the incentives for innovation in efficiency are now lined up, and innovation is happening.


"Building and selling cars is a very tough business to be in." - could end in $50 BILLION dollar bailouts.

"The trouble with CAFE is that it is a cop out." Bull. The automakers have proven they would not even put a ten dollar seat belt in a car, to save a customer's LIFE, without Federal law.

Who can pretend automakers just "discovered" that oil prices increased thousands of percent, so now they can improve mph.


"Who can pretend automakers just "discovered" that oil prices increased thousands of percent, so now they can improve MPG." - top auto mph is already ~50mph ahead of typical reflexes.


You confuse what YOU want automakers to produce, with what will best sell - what people will buy.

"The automakers have proven they would not even put a ten dollar seat belt in a car, to save a customer's LIFE, without Federal law."

There is no evidence that automakers or Big oil wanted to kill car buyers.

People did not want to buy, nor bother with seat belts because they were lazy or too cheap or "we did not need them before" or "I do not have fatal crashes" or all of the above.

They were very low sellers at the dealers and aftermarket.
The gov had to mandate them on cars, and eventually mandate their use.

Who can pretend auto buyers just "discovered" that oil prices increased thousands of percent.

And now they have belatedly quit buying trucks and big cars - Trucks sales are near zero.

Wait - You say Light-duty trucks were STILL over 46% of the market (in April 2012) ?


I refuse to believe that, it's high fraud.


That's also sarcasm.


Here are some actual Facts:

Year-to-Date (through April 2012):

Big Vehicle sales . . . . : 47% (2.18 million)
- - (Large and Luxury Cars + Pick-ups + Large and Luxury SUVs)

Small Vehicle sales . . : 53% = 2.47 million
- - (Mid and small Cars + Mini-Vans + Small SUVs)
- - Even fewer small cars if small SUVs are excluded

Maybe auto buyers have not yet "discovered" that oil prices increased thousands of percent.


TT, EVERY gallon of oil(esp. imported) adversely affects EVERY American.

Buy a Hummer/SUV/truck, waste oil - arm a terrorist.

Enjoy Worldwide sales of Toyota Motor hybrids top 4M units

The comments to this entry are closed.