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Mercedes' production Bluetec diesel SUVs

Thu, 13 Mar 2008 00:00:00 -0700

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

13 March 2008 17:14

Europe loves diesel, America doesn’t, so welcome to the US-only Mercedes Bluetec SUVs. The R, ML and GL 320 Bluetec diesels will be launched in America in autumn 2008, but won’t be coming to Europe yet. The three SUVs, which Mercedes claims come with the world’s latest and cleanest diesel engine, may not even make it to the UK. 

All three come with a 3.0-litre diesel engine that has revised piston crowns, a lower compression ratio, and a new turbocharger and ECU. This means 208bhp and 398lb ft. The big news is the second-generation Bluetec system that means all three cars meet the US Bin 5 standard, and Euro 6. Bluetec means an Adblue mixture is carried in an onboard tank that is refilled at each service. Consumption is about 100ml per 62 miles, so the 28-litre tank (32 in the GL) is enough. The system cuts NOx emissions by up to 80 percent.

The M-class also gets Mercedes' latest facial tweaks, while all three also receive the interior updates, and come with the Pre-Safe safety system.

There’s no official word on when these cars will come to Europe, but don’t expect them in 2008. All three aren’t on the cards for the UK. In 2007 Mercedes launched the E300 Bluetec in Europe. It was a detuned, more economical version of the E320 Bluetec available Stateside that won Mercedes the ‘World Green Car of the Year 2007’ award. But as the Bluetec system adds a few extra g/km CO2 there’s little scope for the car succeeding in the UK market.

By Ben Pulman