Mercedes’ new four-cylinder diesels

Published: 11 April 2008

Mercedes has announced a new diesel engine, and it’s a win win situation – power is up, emissions are down. The environment can breathe a (small) sigh of relief while you have a bigger smile on your face. More importantly, it will form the base of Stuttgart’s first diesel hybrid.

The new diesel engine – tell me more!

It isn’t motoring at its most exciting but there are three variants of the new engine –  which is 2143cc in size –  and they are:

200CDI – 134bhp/243lb ft
220CDI – 168bhp/295lb ft
250CDI – 201bhp/369lb ft

While the 200 and 220 already exist, their emissions and fuel consumption are down, with exact numbers depending on what model each engine sits in. CO2 is the big news, though, with reductions of up to 13 per cent on engines that weren’t exactly dirty in the first place. Power outputs are the same, but the 200CDI gets a 44lb ft hike in torque.

The headlines that Mercedes is shouting about surround the all new twin-turbo 250CDI. In a C-Class – the first place the new oil-burning units will appear – it’ll power the saloon to 62mph in 7.7 seconds while putting out just 143g/km of CO2 at the back. Fuel economy is a not unreasonable 51mpg.

I don’t want a C-Class, but can I still get the 250CDI?

Yes, Mercedes will be rolling it out across new models from late 2008 so expect the new E-Class, amongst others, to get the new engine variants too. They can be mounted lengthways or crossways and can be linked to four-wheel drive, so there’s plenty of versatility and it could well be the engine of choice in some ranges.

Bluetec will also be available later and give BMW and its Efficient Dynamics something to think about. Speaking of the Bavarians, BMW’s nearest rivals to the new Mercedes powerplant are the 320d (177bhp/258lb ft, 58.9mpg/128g/km) and 325d (197bhp/295lb ft, 47.9mpg/155g/km).

The C250CDI’s combination of grunt and economy looks to have the 3-series licked for now. So long as the C200 and 220CDIs get their MPG and CO2 bang on, then BMW have to work hard to get their smallest saloon back on the game.

And this hybrid model?

The 2.2-litre in 250CDI guise will form the basis of the E300 and S300 Bluetec hybrids. The all new E-class will arrive in 2009 and we’ll see the diesel hybrid in 2010 with a total of 413lb ft, 134g/km CO2 and 55.4mpg. In the S300, also due in 2010, the important figures will be 142g/km CO2 and 52.3mpg.