The Mercedes Benz E500 houses a 5.5-litre, V8 engine, which understandably, doesn't fall under the BlueEFFICIENCY banner, but all of the other engines do. Similar to BMW's EfficientDynamics and seemingly equally as incongruous with the perceived power, BlueEFFICIENCY is the Mercedes Benz programme for economical and eco-friendly motoring.
Some heavy-duty testing, both in-house and through simulations of customer's driving profiles, has made it possible for the company to concentrate the efficiency for everyday driving scenarios and has improved the overall fuel efficiency by some 23 per cent.
This isn't simply engine tuning, although there have been many improvements in this regard. The effort has been made right across the board, from the employment of low rolling resistance tyres, an on-demand power steering system, aerodynamics and some other tweaks that, while not enormously significant, contribute to the overall, considerable improvement. ECO start/stop wasn't available at launch but is due anytime now, in the Mercedes Benz E200 CGI.
One particular development is the electro-pneumatically controlled fan shutter. Apparently, air flowing through the radiator and engine bay makes up around 10 per cent of the car's drag. By making the cooling fan an on-demand system and closing off the grille with louvred fins when it is all right to do so, reduces the already good drag coefficient of 0.25Cd by 0.013. Not impressed? Then let me tell you that that equates to a gain of 1.5mpg at motorway speeds.
Another development is a new 4-cylinder, direct-injection 1.8-litre, petrol engine, which despite being turbo-charged, is responsible for a fuel consumption improvement of 20 per cent, on its own. In the Mercedes Benz E200CGI, it produces 184hp and in the E2250CGI the output is 204hp. The larger CGI units, Mercedes Benz E350 (3.5 V60, 292hp) and E500 (5.5 V8, 382hp) also have improved fuel economy but only by around 1mpg.
The test car was the Mercedes Benz E250CDI in SE trim and 6-speed manual gearbox. Under the bonnet was the 2.1-litre, twin-turbocharged, diesel unit, which also has different outputs; 136hp, 170hp and 204hp. The other diesel option is a 3.0 V6 (231hp). All have seen improvements in torque, emissions and fuel saving. For instance, the test car had a power output of 204hp at 4,200rpm and torque of 500Nm, peaking between 1,600- and 1,800rpm. That is 60Nm more than the old V6 E280 model and 23 per cent more fuel efficient.
Officially, the figures for the test car are: 40.9mpg (urban), 64.2mpg (extra-urban) and 53.3mpg for the combined with CO2 emissions of 139g/km, which is impressive for such a large vehicle. The same can be said of the 0-62mph sprint time of 8.2 seconds and the top speed is 149mph, where legal.
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