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The Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec: A Diesel Luxury Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Mercedes-Benz E320

The Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec: A Diesel Luxury Car

Anthony Fontanelle
February 13, 2007

Luxury cars are known for having the perfect fusion of performance and a good number of amenities that could not found on ordinary sedans or even coupes. But it is hard to find a luxury sports car that would not burn a hole in your pocket because of its gas-guzzling nature.

But once in a while, a car comes along that gives the performance of a sports car, the luxurious feel of a luxury car, and a gas mileage rating that is unusually good for a car of its caliber. One such car is the E320 from Mercedes-Benz. The reason behind the great fuel economy exhibited by the E320 is its diesel engine.

Diesel engines may not seem a perfect fit for a luxury because of its reputation of producing too much noise and spurting out harmful exhaust gases - but thanks to the Bluetec diesel engine technology that was developed by DaimlerChrysler, the diesel engine that their luxury car employs performs like a gasoline engine in terms of emissions and noise.

In Europe, diesel engines are already popular for its high power output. Advances in technology also allow car manufacturers to reduce the amount of hazardous gases from the engine’s exhaust. With the popularity of such engines in the European region, American car enthusiasts are also showing interest in diesel engines.

The nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions that have in the past gave diesel engines a bad reputation is now being reduced thanks to an oxidation catalytic converter and a particulate filter. Aside from those two devices, the Bluetec system also integrates an NO2 trap and an SCR catalytic converter. Due to the integration of the filters and the catalytic converters, the engine must use only ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. Indeed, the diesel engine that comes with the E320 is so efficient and clean that its emission is pretty much the same to that of a gasoline engine. Not only in its clean burning fuel is it at par with gasoline engines but also in noise, or the lack thereof.

One advantage of using a diesel engine in a car is its fuel efficiency and it has been made more efficient by the high-pressure electronically controlled common-rail direct fuel injection system. This is evident in the high gas mileage rating of 35 miles per gallon that vehicles using such can achieve.

Aside from that distinct advantage, a diesel engine also provides a lot more torque than a gasoline engine. This amazing amount of torque rated at 388 lb-ft is what is needed for good acceleration. The diesel engine of the E320 can propel it to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in only 6.6 seconds. That figure is at par with many sports sedans that are now available in the market.

The diesel engine that comes with the E320 is a 3.0-liter V6 engine constructed out of aluminum alloys which makes the engine weigh considerably less. The powerplant can produce up to 208 horsepower. What stands out though from the figures posted by the diesel engine is its torque, the maximum of which can be achieved at 2400 revs per minute. The engine is coupled to a seven-speed automatic transmission that facilitates the smooth transfer of the torque and horsepower to the rear wheels. The amount of power produced when you press down on the accelerator is so great that stopping in its track would take high performance brake components like those found in Active Brakes Direct. The speed that the E320 can attain makes it a great car for cruising down open freeways where the true capability of the engine and the wide array of components shines through.

Source: Amazines.com

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