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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.
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.