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Sharing the stage at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show with an all-new SL for 2013 will be two new Mercedes-Benz products designed to deliver heightened fuel economy. Both cars will be based on the current E-Class and both will be hybrids, but that’s where the similarities end.
Up first is the E300 BlueTec Hybrid, using a version of the Mercedes 2.1-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder. That engine makes 201 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and will come mated to an electric motor producing 27 hp and 184 lb-ft with a lithium-ion battery pack holding the charge. The result will be a 0-62 mph time of 7.5 seconds and an all-electric range of about a mile at speeds below 35 mph. Mercedes is targeting a fuel economy rating in the high 60 mpg range, although that’s on the generous European cycle.
In addition, Mercedes will unveil the E400 gasoline hybrid using the brand’s 3.5-liter V6 and the same electric motor to deliver roughly 32.4 mpg on the U.S. EPA cycle.
Click here to view AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Preview
The next generation of Nissan‘s iconic Z car could include both diesel and hybrid offerings in an attempt to meet increasingly strict emissions regulations and grow the car’s appeal in certain markets. According to a report by AutoCar, Nissan is reportedly considering several options for alternative powerplants that would be provided by Mercedes parent company Daimler as a result of the recent collaboration between the two automakers.
In terms of hybrid technology, the suggested option would be the current 3.5-liter V6 hybrid setup currently in use in the Mercedes S400 – although Nissan currently has its own V6 hybrid setup that will be used in the M35 Hybrid when it debuts later this year. The use of a hybrid engine would also help the Z in its home market of Japan, where hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular.
As for diesel engines, if Nissan does decide to go this route then Daimler will most likely play a role. Suggested options for the Z include the Mercedes E350 CDI’s V6 engine or even the diesel hybrid planned for the upcoming E300 Bluetec. Using the E250CDI’s 2.2-liter diesel with 204-hp, it gets an additional 15 kW (20-hp) electric motor and lithium-ion battery that assist in powering the car. As a full-hybrid, the E300 Bluetec Hybrid can also operate on just electric power for short distances at speeds of up to 35 km/h (22 mph). The diesel engine also shuts off when slowing down at speeds below 80 km/h (50 mph) to reduce consumption. Total output for the hybrid powertrain is rated at 224-hp and 428 ft-lbs of torque and average fuel economy is rated at an incredible 56 mpg on the European test cycle.
Nissan has yet to confirm these reports and with the next-generation Z still a few years off, planning is likely still in the early stages. Still, reports of gasoline and diesel 4 and 6-cylinder engines being used in the next generation Infiniti G have become prevalent – suggesting a hybrid or diesel Z is a possibility.