Yenra : Autos : Mercedes 2005 E320 CDI Diesel : High-torque diesel engine and electronic fuel injection results in both low emissions and good performance

Mercedes CDI

Mercedes-Benz is introducing a new diesel-powered car for the U.S. market. The company will debut the E320 CDI, a highly fuel-efficient diesel version of its successful E-Class sedan. The E320 CDI is scheduled to make its market introduction in the US this spring as a model year 2005.

The new high-torque diesel engine is quiet and gets impressive fuel mileage, also achieving lower exhaust emissions than previous diesels. The turbocharged six-cylinder powerplant will feature full electronic fuel injection, considered technically impossible on a diesel until only a few years ago. CDI stands for Common-Rail Direct Injection - a term denoting the fuel line loop supplying constant, very high fuel pressure (up to 23,000 psi) to each of the six solenoid injector valves. Relying purely on the heat of highly compressed intake air to ignite the fuel, diesel engines operate without spark plugs or other ignition parts.

The leap to electronic fuel injection means that the E320 CDI engine can be cleaner, quieter and more powerful than conventional mechanically injected diesel engines. Diesel powerplants inherently produce 20 to 30 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions and significantly lower carbon monoxide than gasoline engines, but historically, diesels have produced more oxides of nitrogen and soot or particulates. However, with precise electronic control of fuel delivery, hand in hand with an oxidation catalyst, the E320 CDI can pass current 45-state emissions standards. When low-sulphur diesel fuel becomes available in the U.S. late 2006, Mercedes-Benz engineers are optimistic that the CDI diesel can meet emissions standards in all 50 states.

Mercedes-Benz debuted the world's first diesel passenger car - the 260D - in 1936, and globally diesel engines power about 40 percent of Mercedes cars. In the 1980s, more than 75 percent of the Mercedes-Benz cars sold in the U.S. market were diesel-powered, but in the 1990s diesel cars became a smaller and smaller part of MBUSA‘s product mix. Mercedes-Benz last offered a diesel car - the E300 Turbodiesel - in 1999.

Sure, like any diesel, the E320 CDI will get improved fuel mileage and have increased cruising range over a gasoline-powered car, but more importantly, it'll do that without sacrificing performance. The E320 CDI gets 27/37 mpg for city and highway driving respectively, compared to the E320 gasoline engine fuel economy of 19/27, while still outperforming the E320 gasoline engine in some disciplines. The CDI can reach 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, 0.3 of a second faster than the gasoline engine.

The latest generation of electronically injected CDI engines is likely to change consumers' dated perceptions about diesel engines. With surprisingly good performance, low exhaust emissions and great fuel economy, electronic control of diesel fuel injection even makes it possible to soften the power pulses and help make the diesel nearly as quiet as a gasoline engine, even during idle conditions.

CDI diesel technology will help expand the company's already broad product portfolio in the U.S. market. In addition, Mercedes-Benz' pioneering role in alternative powertrain development means that its modern diesel engine is likely to play a key role in the company's future products that could include hybrids, fuel cells, and advanced piston engines.