Even cleaner: Particulate trap and BLUETEC

Dec 4, 2007
  • Standard equipment: Diesel particulate trap
  • BLUETEC technology: Compliance of the diesel engine with future emission regulations
Another milestone in 2005 was the introduction of the soot particulate trap as standard equipment. Mercedes-Benz had already made a major advance toward eco-friendly diesel propulsion in the fall of 2003, when the company introduced the world’s first diesel-engined car meeting the EURO IV standard with a maintenance-free particulate trap. This achievement drew on experience gained over many years, since Mercedes-Benz had developed its first traps for diesel engines for the Californian market back in 1985.
In the next step, from 2005, the company started fitting all its diesel-engined passenger cars, from the A-Class to the S-Class, in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, with diesel particulate traps as standard. This involved more than 30 different models, whose particulate emissions were reduced by over 90 percent in comparison with the previous engines, thanks to a combination of engines optimized for economy and emission levels and the use of particulate traps. A retrofitting program for passenger car particulate traps also started in the fall of 2005, initially for the C-Class and E-Class.
The history of diesel engines for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars up to that time reveals the enormous change in the character of the compression ignition engine for sedans, station wagons, convertibles and coupes since the introduction of the first Mercedes-Benz diesel-engined car from large-scale production in 1936. For decades, diesel engines were seen as robust, durable and reliable, but also as rather sluggish and unsophisticated. CDI technology eliminated these drawbacks once and for all, and introduced a whole new image of agility, ride comfort, motoring pleasure and, not least, environmental compatibility. This transformation was also highlighted by breathtaking concept cars such as the Vision SL 400 CDI and Vision SLK 320 CDI Triturbo.
2006: BLUETEC for passenger cars builds on CDI technology
Diesel engines have certainly come a long way in terms of fuel economy. The world’s first diesel engine, in the Mercedes-Benz 260 D introduced in 1936, used 0.3 liters of fuel to generate one kilowatt of output, whereas today’s C 320 CDI model, over the same distance, gets by on just 0.04 liters per kilowatt. As well as conserving natural resources, this reduces environmental pollution by lowering exhaust emission levels. State-of-the-art filter technologies also continue to play a vital role in this process.
The next stage on the journey toward even cleaner diesel engines is BLUETEC. This Mercedes-Benz technology combines the CDI engine with complex and effective emissions control by means of a catalytic converter and additive-free particulate traps. BLUETEC technology essentially consists of an exhaust gas aftertreatment system, using an oxidation catalyst to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, and an enhanced NOx storage-type catalytic converter to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.
Mercedes-Benz successfully introduced BLUETEC in commercial vehicles in 2005, and its application in passenger cars started in the USA in 2006. The trail-blazer for the new technology was the Mercedes-Benz E 320 BLUETEC. Along with its impressively low emission levels, this car also proved its qualities beyond the Americas, in an endurance trial from Paris to Beijing. International auto journalists recognized the significance of this new diesel technology following its market launch, and Mercedes-Benz’s ongoing commitment to innovation in general, by electing the E 320 BLUETEC as the "2007 World Green Car".
The choice made by the jury members from 22 countries acknowledged BLUETEC’s position at the forefront of the quest for new ultra-clean diesel technology. In introducing BLUETEC for passenger cars, Mercedes-Benz has in fact started another revolution in diesel technology, just ten years after the advent of the CDI engine. Many new models are now being fitted with BLUETEC, as company engineers continue to develop and refine the technology. For example, Mercedes-Benz is planning to offer three V6 BLUETEC models in the North American market in 2008, in the GL-Class, M-Class and R-Class.
2007: BLUETEC for passenger cars hits the European market
The E 300 BLUETEC unveiled in September 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show is the first Mercedes-Benz model for the European market to be fitted with this trail-blazing technology. The market launch of this model at the end of 2007 marks the start of the Mercedes-Benz BLUETEC marketing campaign for passenger cars in Europe. Like all other BLUETEC passenger cars, the E-Class presented at the motor show in Frankfurt, with its state-of-the-art emissions control system, is based on proven CDI technology. The E 300 BLUETEC also has outstanding ecological, economical and dynamic qualities. Its 155-kW (211-hp) three-liter V6 engine generates a highly impressive torque of 540 Newton meters and consumes just 7.3 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (provisional NEDC total consumption figures; the equivalent of 32.2 mpg), with emission values already below the limits of future European regulations.
Future BLUETEC models with CDI technology for European roads are already on the starting blocks. For example, 2009 will see the launch of the C 250 BLUETEC with the new generation of Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder diesel engines. The company is also working on numerous hybrid drive models combining a BLUETEC engine with electric propulsion. Two models are scheduled for introduction in 2010: the E 300 BLUETEC HYBRID and S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID. They will be followed by the C 300 BLUETEC HYBRID and S 400 BLUETEC HYBRID.
CDI still in the limelight
In parallel with the development of BLUETEC, there are also continuing innovations to CDI diesel engines as a mature technology. One outstanding example from Mercedes-Benz Cars is the diesel engine in the new smart. The new smart fortwo cdi has an NEDC fuel consumption of only 3.3 liters per 100 kilometers (71.2 mpg) and carbon dioxide emissions of just 88 grams per kilometer, making it the world’s most economical production car and also the "CO2 Champion". The little 33-kW/45-hp two-door car will travel around 1000 kilometers on a full tank of 33 liters. The proven cdi engine from the previous model was further enhanced by Mercedes-Benz engineers to help the car meet the challenges of the future. Power and torque are both up by ten percent, while fuel consumption was trimmed back by around 13 percent.
Between the smart, with the world’s smallest direct-injection diesel engine, and the pioneering CDI-based BLUETEC HYBRID models, there is a wide and varied spectrum of numerous models from many different series of Mercedes-Benz Cars. They are all driven by powerful and incredibly refined diesel engines, descended from a common ancestor: the Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI first introduced in 1997. Ten years on, the acclaimed debut of the CDI has become an enduring success story.
Clean pioneer: From January 2005, Mercedes-Benz successively made BLUETEC technology for emission control available for all truck series.
Advanced engineering: The diesel particulate trap developed by Mercedes-Benz re-generates itself without fuel additives and is maintenance-free
Coordinated campaign for clean air: Diesel particulate trap and catalytic converter system, 2005