Mercedes-Benz launches bi-fueled E 200 NGT BlueEfficiency in Europe

Mercedes-Benz has launched the E 200 NGT BlueEfficiency, a bi-fuel natural gas/gasoline model that sports a four-cylinder, 163-horsepower supercharged "Kompressor" engine. The mill has been modified with an additional bank of fuel injectors, allowing it to run on either natural gas or gasoline.

Mercedes-Benz claims that the engine's output and torque figures are unchanged when it's burning natural gas, which means that the E 200 NGT can scoot from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 10.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 139 mph, regardless of which fuel is being pumped into the four-cylinder mill. When burning natural gas, the E 200 has a range of 224 miles. However, that number soars to 454 miles when gasoline is pumped through.

Along with its conventional fuel tank, the E 200 NGT features three natural gas cylinders with a total capacity of 121.5 liters. According to Mercedes-Benz, the advantage of running on natural gas is a ten-percent reduction in fuel consumption and a 20-percent decrease in CO2 emissions when compared to burning gasoline. The E 200 NGT BlueEfficiency will reach dealerships across Europe by the end of March. However, as you probably surmised, M-B has no plans to offer this bi-fueled-E-Class in the U.S.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]
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World premiere of the C-Class Coupé: Mercedes-Benz at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Fun at the wheel and exemplary efficiency are the common factors of all the new Mercedes-Benz products on show at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The focus of attention at the show stand will be the world premiere of the C-Class Coupé, an expressive two-door model that represents Mercedes-Benz's first foray with a classic coupé into this segment. Together with the now even more athletic C 63 AMG, in both Saloon and Estate versions, the Coupé rounds off the recently launched current generation of the C-Class. Another model that is bound to attract attention is the new SLK, which takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a new level. And, shortly before the first models go out to customers, the Mercedes E 200 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY with bi-fuel natural gas drive system will also be on show in Geneva.

What more dynamic way to celebrate the invention of the automobile? The expressive C-Class Coupé sees Mercedes-Benz, now in its 125th year of corporate history, offering a compact, classic coupé. From the side, the new coupé beguiles the onlooker with its compact proportions, low silhouette with powerful shoulders and narrow C-pillar in a classic three-box design. Typical coupé features include the short front overhang, long bonnet, steeply raked windscreen and long, stretched-out roof. The greenhouse extends far beyond the rear axle over the low-raked rear window to a sportily short tail end.

At the front, the new coupé shares the same styling as the latest C-Class, yet offers its own twist on it. The front view is dominated by the radiator grille, clearly emphasised as a central element by the line of the bumper. Two chrome louvres extend to either side of the central star in coupé-typical style, tapering off at the outer edges to accentuate the sporty, arrow-shaped sweep of the front end.

The dashboard reveals a strong, sporty and high-quality design. Three tube rings with an electroplated finish demonstrate the car's sporty credentials to the driver. A key element of the dashboard is a large decorative trim element that extends from the centre air vents across the front passenger side to the outer air vent, emphasising the interior's generous proportions. As a first in automotive engineering, the trim parts are available in "porcelain" piano-lacquer look, so complementing the car's exclusive interior feel.

There is a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines to power the C-Class Coupé. All are equipped with direct injection and the ECO start/stop function as standard. All models are classed as BlueEFFICIENCY units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally friendly in their use of fuel. All automatic versions feature the further-enhanced 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission.

The Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG is now more attractive than ever, with an enhanced aura of dynamism and athleticism: new features include the radiator grille with its large Mercedes star and wing-type transverse louvre, the AMG front apron with lower cross member painted in high-gloss black, and a new bonnet with modified powerdomes. These modifications to the design of the top-of-the-range C-Class model are complemented by numerous technical updates that deliver even more driving enjoyment while also significantly reducing fuel consumption. The use here of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission with "Controlled Efficiency" mode as standard, along with a new power steering pump, helps to reduce the combined NEDC fuel consumption by about ten percent to 12.0 l/100 km (Estate: 12.3 l/100 km). The output of the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine is unchanged at 336 kW (457 hp) and can be increased to a maximum of 358 kW (487 hp) with the optional AMG Performance package. Agility, grip and ride comfort have been enhanced as a result of numerous measures to optimise the AMG sports suspension.

In the form of the new SLK, one of the most exciting and successful sports cars ever built is now entering its third generation. The new roadster uncompromisingly takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a new level. It blends light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, a striking sports-car design with total suitability for everyday use, top performance with exemplary ecology. What's more, the SLK is proud to present the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which switches to light or dark at the touch of a button. Exemplary efficiency and sporty flair come courtesy of powerful new 4- and 6-cylinder engines featuring the standard-specification ECO start/stop function. Delivering superb performance, they are nevertheless up to 25 percent more economical than their predecessors. And a unique set of safety equipment bestows role-model status on the SLK in this segment. With its wealth of technical innovations the SLK is once again the benchmark in its class.

The most economical Mercedes E-Class model to date is now even more frugal than ever: thanks to the further-enhanced 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission and standard ECO start/stop function, the E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY uses just 4.9 litres of diesel/100 km according to the combined NEDC fuel consumption figures, 0.4 litres less than hitherto. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 129 grams per kilometre. The all-wheel drive version E 250 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY also benefits from these efficiency-enhancing modifications, with an average fuel consumption of 6.3 litres/100 km.

In March, in parallel with its appearance at the Geneva Show, the new E 200 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY with bi-fuel natural gas drive will be rolled out to the company's European sales partners. The basis for the eco-friendly and cost-effective natural gas engine is provided by the tried and tested four-cylinder supercharged "Kompressor" engine with an output of 120 kW (163 hp). This has been modified with the addition of further injectors on the underside of the intake manifold and can run on either natural gas or unleaded premium-grade petrol. A pressure regulator with sensor and electromagnetic shut-off valve is fitted near the engine to regulate the supply of natural gas and maintain the required system pressure at a constant level. Imperceptible to the vehicle's occupants, an innovative engine management system ensures a smooth, jolt-free switch between modes - even when the vehicle is moving.

Along with the conventional petrol tank from the standard model, four gas cylinders are neatly concealed in the natural gas-powered vehicle – one behind the rear seat backrest and two underneath the floor of the boot. They have a total capacity of 121.5 litres of natural gas (corresponding to 19.5 kg).

The output and torque characteristics of the sophisticated four-cylinder power unit are maintained even when it is running on natural gas. In conjunction with a five-speed automatic transmission, the E-Class Saloon accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds, while its top speed is 224 km/h. Fuel consumption in petrol-driven mode has been reduced compared with the predecessor model by 1.2 litres to 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined). In CNG operating mode, consumption could be reduced by 0.6 kg per 100 kilometres to 5.5 kg – corresponding to CO2 emissions of 149 g per kilometre. Running on natural gas, the car has a range of around 360 kilometres, while its standard 59 l fuel tank gives it a petrol-driven range of around 730 kilometres: in other words almost 1100 kilometres in total. The advantages of running on natural gas: a reduction of around 10 percent in fuel consumption, a more than 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and significantly cleaner emissions than comparable models with petrol engine only.

The new look that comes with the Viano Avantgarde Edition 125 is not for the faint-hearted: this new top-of-the-range model runs on exquisitely designed 16-spoke 8J x 19 light-alloy wheels with a high-sheen finish. High-gloss chromium-plated exterior mirror housings and side sills, plus chrome trim on the front bumper and a chrome-plated finishing strip on the tailgate serve to emphasise its special look. Inside, the driver and front passenger, along with four rear-seat occupants, take their places on comfortable yet at the same time sporty seats in finest leather with piping edges and reinforced lateral support. The individual rear seats are fitted on rails and can be adjusted in increments of 25 mm. They also feature integrated three-point seat belts, height-adjustable head restraints and adjustable armrests.

The sporty appearance of the Viano Avantgarde in the Edition 125 is complemented by the dynamic power of its Mercedes-Benz V6 engines, which are unique in this vehicle class. The V6 CDI 3.0 combines power and eco-friendliness with an output of 165 kW (224 hp) and exceptional traction of 440 Nm. High torque and superb smooth running characteristics are combined in the alternatively available V6 petrol engine with a displacement of 3.5 l and 190 kW (258 hp). On top of this, there is a specially tuned sports suspension. The Mercedes-Benz Viano Avantgarde in the Edition 125 is available from this spring in "compact" and "long" versions.

Since 25 February, the F-CELL World Drive has been underway in a second continent. That was the date on which the three distinctive green B-Class F-CELL vehicles set off on the first US leg of their journey, from Fort Lauderdale on the east coast of North America to New Orleans. All in all, the hydrogen-powered vehicles will be covering 7500 kilometres through the US and Canada before embarking from Seattle to continue their journey in Australia.

Before beginning their journey in the US, the vehicles had already shown their mettle over a distance of more than 3000 kilometres through southern Europe. The symbolic start for the trip came during the gala celebration to mark the 125th anniversary of the automobile on 29 January, before the B-Class F-CELL vehicles set off the following day for Paris on the first leg of a journey that would take them through France and Spain to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

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