Just -Auto reported yesterday that Mercedes-Benz could have a Bluetec diesel-electric hybrid variant of ithe M-Class on sale in the UK within the next two years. The system would probably leverage a 3.2L six-cylinder Bluetec engine in conjunction with the 2-Mode hybrid system developed jointly with BMW and GM. Fuel economy is expected to be around 40 mpg (we're assuming this measurement is in the UK's larger Imperial gallon) and CO2 emissions would likely be under 200g/km.
That would help cancel out some of the anti-SUV sentiment toward such a vehicle in UK and European markets. Now, while Mercedes wouldn't confirm that any plans for a green powertrain like this exist, Just-Auto expressed confidence in its source. Hopefully, assuming this comes to fruition, the system would comply with US standards and regulations as well, and help lead the way towards more fuel-stingy yet powerful diesel hybrid systems in the future.
[Source: Just-Auto (sub req'd)]