DRAMATIC NEW C CLASS GETS THE BLUES
The last year or two must have been interminable for executives at Mercedes- Benz, doing their best Oscar-losing smiles as they watched arch-rival BMW sweep all before it with its EfficientDynamics diesel engines. From next year though, they will not need to bury that sickly feeling of envious longing any more, because Mercedes-Benz will finally be able to offer customers engines with higher power and lower emissions that compete with the best in the market.
The starting point for this new generation of diesel engines is the C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, using the well-proven 2.2-litre four cylinder unit as the donor motor. Then, Mercedes-Benz engineers have added a fourth generation common rail injection system that squeaks even less fuel into the cylinders, and dual stage twin turbocharging to produce an engine with a mighty 204bhp, a huge 369lb ft of torque, Euro 5 emissions standards, 54.3 mpg and CO2 levels of 138g/km, taking it into a highly competitive and very low VED and company car tax banding.
To get the C 250 CDI to such impressive levels of parsimony, it also has aerodynamic enhancements including less clumsy wing mirrors, a smooth underbody, reduced rolling resistance tyres, and adaptive power steering that places no demand on the pumps when it is needed less.
It’s the first of a new generation of engines that will offer high power and muscular torque alongside low emissions, all of which will carry the BlueEFFICIENCY badge and be based on the philosophy of smaller displacement allied to multiple turbocharging. The 250 CDI will also be available in the next generation E-class from launch next year, replacing the six cylinder 280 CDI, alongside a number of other yet-to-be announced diesels, both large and small (a version of this engine with 170bhp will replace the current 220 CDI), all produced with similar ‘Intelligent Downsizing’ thinking. Soon almost all diesels in the A, B C and E-Class ranges will be labelled BlueEFFICIENCY. The result of this work is a seriously rapid piece of kit. It gets to 62mph from standstill in seven seconds but its real speed is on the move. Long gearing and cement mixer torque means that through the gears the C 250 CDI has the accelerative momentum of a global bank run. It just keeps coming, surging to 5,500rpm. It isn’t especially refined, being no more than adequate on that front, but boy does it move, with third and fourth gears seeming able to fling you forward from any speed.
So, the C250 CDI offers the right figures on the balance sheet, as well as delivering a very dramatic.
ON SALE: SPRING 2009 RANGE STARTS AT: £28,000 (APPROX) FOR MERCEDES-BENZ C 250 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY
- Price: £28,000 (approx)
- Engine: 2143cc, 4 cylinder, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 204bhp at 4,200rpm
- Max Torque: 369lb ft at 2,000rpm
- Max Towing Weight: tba
- Combined Consumption: 54.3mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 138g/km (C)
- 0-62mph: 7.0secs
- Max speed: 155mph
- Insurance Group: N/A