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AIMS: Mercedes lifts E-class efficiency

Frugal: Mercedes-Benz has trimmed the fuel consumption of its E-class four-cylinder BlueEfficiency sedan models by up to 16 per cent.

Benz cuts E-class diesel thirst by up to 16 per cent with new auto and idle-stop

4 Jul 2011

MERCEDES-Benz has trimmed the fuel consumption of its E-class four-cylinder BlueEfficiency sedan models by up to 16 per cent by upgrading to a new seven-speed automatic transmission and introducing idle-stop in a powertrain update.

Announced at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne, the changes bring the E-class into line with the newly released C-class powertrains, but also result in a lift in prices on some models to cover the cost of the slicker shifter – replacing the current five-speeder – and other tweaks.

The most efficient E-class, the 2.2-litre 150kW diesel E250 CDI BlueEfficiency, now gets a claimed combined fuel economy rating of 5.1 litres per 100km, down from 5.9L/100km.

This pips the best BMW 5 Series fuel performance, 5.2L/100km by the 520d with its eight-speed auto, while also beating the majority of Australia’s most fuel-efficient petrol light cars, such as the Holden Barina Spark (5.6L/100km) and Toyota Yaris (6.0L/100km).

Mercedes’ entry-level E-class diesel, the 125kW E220 CDI BlueEfficiency, also gets a reduced thirst, now achieving 5.2L/100km – an improvement of 0.7L/100km over the superseded powertrain.

4 center imageBoth of these engines get idle-stop, along with other fuel-saving technologies such as a self-regulating turbo compressor and optimised oil pressure control and engine belt drive.

The entry-level four-cylinder petrol E-class, the 1.8-litre E250 BlueEfficiency, also benefits from the new seven-speeder, cutting the combined fuel consumption by five per cent to 7.2L/100km (previously 7.3L/100km).

Mercedes-Benz claims the new transmission – 7G-Tronic Plus – is not only more efficient, partly due to low-viscosity transmission oil and low friction bearings and seals, but also smoother.

The only other changes to these three models are a new steering column-mounted transmission selector and gear-change paddles, and a full-colour LCD display in the instrument cluster capable of showing three-dimensional graphics.

All four-cylinder power and torque outputs remain the same at 125kW/400Nm for the E220 CDI, 150kW/500Nm for the E250 CDI and 150kW/310Nm for the E250.

The price of the E220 CDI goes up from $83,300 to $84,800, while the E250 CDI rises from $89,400 to $101,005. The petrol E250 climbs from $95,300 to $97,780.

New V6 and V8 powertrains are also in the pipeline for the E-class in September.

Also at the motor show, Mercedes showed a special-build CLS 63 AMG, loaded with more than $50,000 of options that lift the potential price to about $330,000 (plus on-roads).

Cloaked in stunning Designo red paint – about $30,000, if you can convince Benz to do one for you – and carbon-fibre exterior trim – another $10,800 – the one-off car is representative of what cashed-up Benz buyers can achieve with the long options list of the new second-generation CLS four-door ‘coupe’ that is making its public debut at the show.

Among the other extras applied to the CLS 63 AMG – which has a standard list price of $263,500 – are the extra-oomph AMG Performance Package ($17,900), carbon-fibre interior trim ($6900), Night View Assist Plus safety device ($3500), special 19-inch forged alloy wheels (price unknown) and tyre-pressure monitoring ($850).

Other Benz models getting their first Australian show airing in Melbourne are the C-class coupe – including the 63 AMG version – and new third-generation SLK roadster that arrives in Australian showrooms in August with a starting price lopped by $10,000.

&nbsp Mercedes-BenzE-class sedan range
E220 CDI BE$84,800
E250 BE&nbsp &nbsp $97,780
E250 CDI BE$101,005
E350$132,635
E350CDI$136,485
E500$183,685

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