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Usually, the U.S. gets breakthrough technology or vehicles after the rest of the world has had time to play with it for awhile. Usually, Europe or Japan gets something great, we write about how good they have it and years later (if we're lucky) it comes our way. It's a rarity when we get something first and the rest of the world waits. But, such is the case with the Bluetec diesel-powered Mercedes Sprinter.

Echoing a campaign from last fall, when Hollywood celebrities were used to promote Mercedes' BlueTEC diesel vehicles in America, MB has put out a release claiming that the success of these diesel SUVs in the states proves the vehicles will be a hit when the BlueTEC SUVs start arriving in Europe this September. The vehicles - the ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC SUVs along with the E 350 BlueTEC sedan - can be ordered starting today. The ML 350 BlueTEC starts

While Japanese automakers have the hybrid lead, the front-runners in diesel are companies of German descent. Mercedes is bringing home the bacon with BLUETEC, BMW is slapping twin turbochargers onto a 3.0-liter diesel, and Volkswagen will implement BlueMotion into five different VWs. Audi intends to join the oil-burning club here in the States with the introduction of the 3.0 TDI, which is good for 240 HP and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. With all that twist, tires should scream from rubber-stripping t

E-Class Bluetecs have been available for about a year, where they account for 20-percent of sales. Now Mercedes' Bluetec-engined cars will be available for purchase in Europe by the end of this year. E-Classes with Bluetec will go on sale in December in all but the UK. Right-hand drive versions are expected at some point in the future, but it is unknown when.

We already brought you news the other day that Mercedes is set announce a diesel hybrid version of the big S-Class sedan in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It now appears that a gasoline hybrid will be sitting alongside it on the stand under the three-pointed star. At the Frankfurt show in 2005, Mercedes also showed both gas and diesel hybrid versions of the S-Class but didn't provide much detail aside from the electric motor being integrated into the drive-train.

We already know a lot about the Vision C 220 BlueTec that Mercedes-Benz brought to the Geneva Motor Show. And, while we also had the two official pictures (click on thumbnails below), for a really good look at the styling and features of this production preview showcar, we can now offer up Autoblog's high-resolution gallery.

The new Vision C 220 BlueTec from Mercedes is coming to Geneva with fuel consumption of just 5.5 liters per 100 kilometers and an emissions control system that is ready to meet the Euro 6 standard, which doesn't kick in until 2015. Benz drivers will still feel comfortable with an engine that has a peak output of 125 kW (170 hp) and a peak torque of 400 Nm. Mercedes-Benz is displaying the BlueTec emission-control technology with a consumption-optimized four-cylinder engine for the first time at t