Mercedes-Benz unveils all-new diesel hybrid technology

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As OEMs throughout the industry drop diesel from their passenger vehicle line-ups, Mercedes-Benz has reaffirmed its commitment to the fuel. Starting with the C- and E-Class, the German auto maker will introduce an all-new plug-in diesel hybrid powertrain

German OEM Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its first plug-in diesel hybrid system at the Geneva Motor Show. The addition of the powertrain marks the first time that the company has paired an externally chargeable hybrid system with a diesel engine.

The new OM 654 four-cylinder diesel unit is paired with the latest-generation 9-speed 9G-TRONIC hybrid transmission. This means 90kW of electrical power, an additional 400Nm of electric torque and, thanks to a 13.5kWh lithium-ion battery, an estimated electric range of 50km in the NEDC.

Set to be introduced to the new C- and E-Class, the hybrid system features an onboard charger with a 7.2kW recharge rate, enabling a complete recharge in seven hours via a domestic socket or just two hours from a wallbox.

In another first for the OEM, it is the first passenger car diesel engine to use a stepped-bowl combustion process – named after the shape of the combustion bowl in the piston.

The unit will include an aluminum engine block and steel pistons, as well as the further-improved Nanoslide coating of the cylinder walls. The new engine also benefits from the use of fourth-generation common-rail injection with pressures of up to 2,050 bar.

Ola Källenius, board member at Daimler AG and the man responsible for Mercedes-Benz vehicle development, said, “We believe plug-in hybrids are more than a bridging technology. With our modular Mercedes engine portfolio, we can create a perfect electrified solution for every application. We will have more than 50 electrified vehicle variants by 2022.”

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017, having recently graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in journalism. For the newest addition to the editorial team, stepping into the assistant editor position signalled the start of a career in the subject he studied. In addition to his work on UKi’s automotive titles, Sam also contributes to Stadia, writing content for the magazine and website.

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