We're about to witness the first-ever mass-production diesel hybrid in this summer's Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 crossover; this sort of powertrain has had engineers and many consumers drooling for a few years. The miles-per-gallon possibilities and environmental benefits are fascinating right away. All that has held them at bay was the expense of development and production, plus the unwanted risk of passing that big price tag on to buyers.

Mercedes confirms that its E300 Bluetec Hybrid is on the way and will be on sale by the end of 2012. We asked them right away what this means for Mercedes' diesel investment in the United States. The team members in Germany grinned a lot and said they could neither confirm or deny anything at this time. But to stay tuned.

The first viable diesel hybrid from Stuttgart for public consumption was first shown at this past March's Geneva Motor Show. It combines a latest-generation 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel good for 204 horsepower with an ultra-sophisticated 20-hp electric motor module. Effective combined torque, however, booms out at 428 pound-feet from way down low in the revs, while estimated miles per gallon in European city/highway combined cycle hits 57.4 mpg at its best. For the EPA cycle, knock that down to a more earthbound 45 mpg or so average in normal driving. Still, not too shabby for an E-Class, kids.

The lithium-ion battery assembly used in the E300 Bluetec Hybrid is the same one tried and liked already in the S400 Hybrid. Please, oh, please, get this baby over here for a near-future One Lap of America.


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  • 16 Comments
      graphikzking
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could this be our first automotive (not train) diesel hybrid in the states??? If it gets a true 45mpg I will be seriously impressed! With start/stop it could easily give 60mpg in a smaller car and I would give it a very thorough consideration. It will have to get at least 60mpg though because the current prius is getting 55mpg and runs on cheaper gas. (In Pa gas is about 30 cents a gallon cheaper than diesel). The diesel engines handle heavier vehicles (larger cars) MUCH better than the gas hybrid engines. I would LOVE to see Mercedes license this to a Dakota Pickup. Anyone else like 428ft/lb of torque in a small 20k pickup with 28mpg city and 38 highway? I would love a cheap pickup for my "home" needs. Mulch, dirt, a few pieces of plywood/drywall every now and again. Move a fridge/bedroom set type of use. I don't need a "real" truck just something with this engine.
      Jei Thom
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just don't see why every major manufacturer has not been (really serious about) marketing diesel hybrid powertrains until recently. All of the available full-size trucks, SUVs, sedans, etc should've had some diesel-electric hybrid option like 5 years ago. Neck-snapping torque and excellent fuel consumption packaged in some of the heaviest vehicles on the street. This is the CAFE-busting formula that should be used in just about everything on the road today.
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jei Thom
        The problem is, that a diesel hybrid get's quite expensive: You need the diesel engine AND the hybrid stuff. So if the diesel costs $5000 extra and the hybrid costs $5000 extra, this one might cost $10k extra...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      QAZZY
      • 3 Years Ago
      45mpg is great in a car this size! The 2.2 turbodiesel sounds pretty fun (how could nearly 100hp/liter AND 400+ ft/lbs of torque NOT be?) and the extra torque (as if you needed it...) from the motor makes twist worthy of a larger pickup (in comparison, the Ford 6.2L V8 makes around 400ft/lbs of torque). Diesels already have excellent mileage (VW Polo TDI gets 78mpg on the EU scale, which is just over 64mpg US), and gas hybrids already have good mileage (Prius need no introduction), I'm actually surprised it took this long for someone to figure it out and put it to market. Drop this in a smaller, (oxymoron alert) more affordable C-Class, and you have a hit.
      Prius owner
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd order one today if I could. Better still if it were an S-class. Happy to pay a premium to help defund OPEC and its terrorist sympathies.
      Richard S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Added costs aside, imagine the mileage for the same set-up in a C-Class. You could even make the diesel and electric motor smaller for a smaller output but given the lesser weight, performance should still be similar or better and a kick-ass MPG rating.
      benzaholic
      • 3 Years Ago
      So adding the electric pieces lets them use just the 4 cylinder diesel. That might help balance out the cost issue that normally precludes combining more expensive diesel engines with more expensive hybrid systems.
        montoym
        • 3 Years Ago
        @benzaholic
        Same reason the current S400 Hybrid is the cheapest S-Class in the US currently. It's the only one available with a 6cyl in the US.
          QAZZY
          • 3 Years Ago
          @montoym
          S400 Hybrid gets great mileage for and S-Class, but the A8 (new one, with a V8) gets better highway mileage (27 vs. 26, marginal, but impressive, considering it's a V8 vs. hybrid V6) and marginally worse city mileage (17 vs. 19), an environment where the hybrid has always been the best. The difference is that the A8 is LIGHTER, something automakers usually seem to forget.
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 3 Years Ago
        @benzaholic
        There goes the big difference between Europe and USA: For Europe you don't need to add a hybrid to make the 4-cylinder acceptable. The top selling (about 50%) model on the E class in Europe is a 136 hp 4-cylinder diesel.
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      For the kind of money this thing is going to cost it's gotta have Performance with a capital P as well as mileage. Leave the bigger diesel in it and put a 100hp electric motor system then we'll talk. Otherwise it's just another silk purse/sow's ear compromise.
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