Unlike GM, Mercedes-Benz isn’t crying about the cost of development when making its lineup go ‘green.’ And of course, with those profit margins, it shouldn’t. Speaking with MotorTrend, CEO Dieter Zetsche says that cost won’t stop Mercedes-Benz from offering diesels, hybrids, Diesotto and later fuel cell cars on a mass production scale.
“I hear some competitors speculating that whatever it costs to meet the targets, that will be transferred to the customer,” said Zetsche. “But since this is a legal requirement in order to sell the cars, the willingness of the customer to come up with the full bill will be limited.”
Zetsche said that its Diesotto engine, which was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in its F700 concept, is making significant progress. The Mercedes F700 Concept has a DIESOTTO drive system that consists of a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine that allows for 44 mpg, which is equivalent to CO2 emissions of just 127 grams per kilometer. That may sound boring but Mercedes says that the F700 gets the same performance of a current S-Class with a 3.5L V6 gasoline engine or the 3.0L V6 turbodiesel.
The Mercedes S400 BlueHYBRID is also set to arrive on the market in mid-2009. Power will come from a clean BlueTec diesel engine that is combined to a hybrid module and produces 299 horsepower allowing 0-62mph to come in at 7.3 seconds. The Mercedes S400 BlueHYBRID gets a fuel-economy of 30mpg.
Zetsche also said that Mercedes will begin producing one fuel-cell B-Class a day in 2010. “Today we are convinced by 2014 or ’15 we can offer fuel cell vehicles that compete technically and on price with conventional powertrains, in the range of 100,000-plus units a year,” Zetsche said.
Power for the 2010 B-Class F-Cell will come from a fuel-cell drive mated to an electric motor that produces 136-hp and a maximum torque of 236 lb-ft. Along with zero-emission fuel-cell drive, the B-Class F-CELL gets will have a fuel-economy of 81mpg.
2010 B-Class F-Cell Winter Testing:
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