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Those Europeans, they do love their oil burners. And so far they’re really the only ones who’ve made serious attempts at selling diesel powered passenger vehicles stateside.
Mercedes-Benz, perhaps the biggest proponent of the technology in the New World, currently offers four amongst its U.S. lineup. These include the R, ML and GL class SUVs, as well as the new E-class sedan. All use M-B’s Bluetec system which injects a urea like substance into the exhaust stream, along with Nitrogen Oxide reducers to help these vehicles meet ultra stringent North American emissions standards.
However, the Stuttgart automaker now plans to bolster its diesel offerings over here; a facelifted S-class will be available with a 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6, likely sometime in the fall, alongside an oil burning GLK.
The latter is an interesting one, for it will probably use a version of the 2.1-liter diesel unit currently offered on European market GLKs. Rated at 204 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque across the pond, this engine allows the premium crossover to scoot to 60 mph in under 8 seconds and top more than 30 mpg on the highway.
However, it will be interesting to see how American buyers take to more diesel models, though in Mercedes’ defense, the company has had more success than most at peddling them here. The company’s original 300 SD turbo diesel sedan became an icon in the late 1970s and 1980s and many are still in use today.
Beyond the S-class and GLK, Mercedes plans to offer a diesel version of its smallest car sold in the U.S., the C-class, which will likely arrive on these shores as well, though probably not until 2013 at the earliest. A further possibility, bolstering the total to eight U.S. oil burning offerings is the GLC baby crossover, though sources from within the company didn’t give any specifics, a spokesperson simply stating “there’s a lot of calendar between now and 2014.”
[Source: Car & Driver]