Mercedes-Benz Promises Plug-ins Across Lineup
Speaking at the TecDay Road to the Future, Thomas Weber, board member for Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, stated that the automaker “will electrify all Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series, step by step.” Weber added that over half of the $16.3 billion invested over the next two years in research and development is earmarked for “green technologies” with more than $6 billion slated for passenger cars.
In this commitment to accelerating sustainable powertrains, Weber also pointed out the need for Daimler to maintain a selection of different state-of-the-art technologies that can be optimized to meet specific buyer wants and needs. The key will be to apply intelligent technology to enhance the efficiency of all variations, whether gasoline, diesel, plug-in-hybrids, batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.
Leading the way on the more conventional side of things, Weber also announced a new generation of more-efficient modular gasoline and turbodiesel engines, with the former being of most interest to its American customers. The first new gas engine will be an inline-6 fitted with a starter/generator electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. Set to debut in the 2017 Euro-spec S-Class and destined to replace all of M-B’s existing gasoline V6s over time, the engine’s setup lets it function as a mild-hybrid providing supplemental power for quicker acceleration while more effectively recovering energy to recharge the car’s battery. Of equal note, all vehicles with this new engine also will have a 48-volt on-board power system that also will contribute to enhanced fuel economy. Better able to support all conventional drivetrain functions, it also has greater capabilities when it comes to handling the elevated electrical demands of premium infotainment packages and driver-assist systems.
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