According to a report in Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz intends to make turbocharging the short-term cornerstone of ongoing efforts to help boost overall fuel efficiency and trim CO2 emissions levels across its entire lineup. Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler board member who heads up its Research and Development wing, told a group of European press members "All our vehicles will have turbocharged engines in series production by the end of 2010 at the latest."
With even more stringent regulations looming on the near horizon, particularly in Europe, Mercedes believes its various forms of advanced turbo packages are the most effective way to maintain -- and even improve -- overall performance from lighter and more-compact, smaller-displacement engines while also reducing their respective carbon footprints. The automaker previously announced intentions to move towards a zero-emissions goal in the long run through the use of fuel cells and electric power. Prior to that, it will begin introducing various hybrid variants to its product mix. The U.S. rollout for those vehicles is slated to commence in late 2009, when the S400 Hybrid and ML450 Hybrid go on sale here. The S-Class is a mild-hybrid package that will pair a 279-horsepower gasoline V-6 with a 20-hp electric booster motor while the ML450 will be a true dual-mode setup that teams its 279-horsepower V-6 with a pair of motors integrated into the transmission that make 61 horsepower and draw power from a compact lithium-ion battery.