Mercedes-Benz to premiere new diesel engine family in new E-Class

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The new engine design cuts fuel consumption and CO2 output by around 13 percent while raising power output to 143 kW from 125 kW compared to its predecessor

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Mercedes-Benz continues to drip feed details of its upcoming E-Class ahead of the vehicle's launch in the Northern Hemisphere spring. Having already revealed some of the car's semi-autonomous features and interior design, Mercedes has announced it will premiere a new four-cylinder diesel engine in the new E-Class E 220 d, marking the launch of a family of all-aluminum four cylinder engines that will proliferate throughout Mercedes' lineup of cars and vans in various outputs and in both longitudinal and transverse configurations.

Mercedes believes that internal combustion engines have a future alongside hybrid and electric powertrains in the move towards more sustainable mobility, and that cleaner, more economical diesel engines are a key part of this vision. To this end, the new OM 654 engine that will premiere as the E 220 d in the new E-Class delivers NEDC combined consumption of just 3.9 l/100km (60 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 102 g/km,, which is a cut of around 13 percent compared to its predecessor, the OM 651. This is managed while boosting power output to 143 kW (192 hp) from 125 kW (168 hp).

This is significant as the outgoing OM 651 is the most-produced engine in Mercedes-Benz' history. The new engine will therefore find a new home in all of the vehicles in which the OM 651 currently resides, including the A-Class, S-Class, and V-Class vehicle models as well as the high-selling Sprinter van.

The E 220 d also displaces 47.5 fewer cubic centimeters per cylinder than its predecessor, has a smaller bore and shorter stroke, and produces more horsepower (195 hp vs 170 hp) with the same torque (400 Nm, 295 lb-ft). The new engine's compression ratio is slightly lower (1:15.5 vs 1:16.2) and it is lighter (168 kg vs 199 kg/370 lb vs 439 lb), all while meeting Euro 6 emissions standards.

The objective, Mercedes-Benz says, was to design an engine that is both superior in efficiency and that could give wide variance without heavy modification. The compact dimensions of the new engine allows more flexibility in adaptation to various uses and its design has exhaust after-treatment integrated into the engine itself rather than separate on the chassis, making the design more flexible.

This will be the first all-aluminum four-cylinder diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz and the company says it has lower noise levels and better NVH (noise-vibration-harshness) than its predecessor. Efficiencies were further added thanks to the next-generation in common rail injection (pressures up to 2050 bar) and a 25 percent reduction in internal friction loss, largely due to Nanoslide coating of the cylinders and an offset crank assembly. The difference in heat expansion between the steel pistons and aluminum crankcase was used to reduce friction in the engine.

The final gain with the new engine lies in its reduced complexity in manufacture and variance. With a modular, compact design, the engines can be easily configured to meet any of the over 1,000 country- and region-specific technical and emissions requirements without reengineering the entire engine or major components of it.

Mercedes-Benz will begin producing the new engine in the second quarter of 2016 and it will begin appearing in vehicles later in the year as its predecessor is phased out.

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