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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Mercedes-Benz A Class 160 CDI
Image: © Daimer AG 2008

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY - 4.5 L/100 km

Mercedes-Benz's engineers are working long hours at developing extra efficiency in their new cars, and a good example of this is the effort they have put into the recently launched 2009 A Class 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel model. For Mercedes-Benz, BlueEFFICIENCY is a trademark branding the company is using on their passenger cars for models that have been optimized for efficiency and minimised for their impact on the environment.

The new A160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY became available in Europe in September 2008 and has a diesel engine, 5-speed manual transmission, and comes in a 3-door coupe body configuration. The A160 CDI diesel engine with BlueEfficiency technology delivers as much as 4.5 L/100 km (52.3 U.S. MPG / 62.8 MPG) on the European NEDC mixed urban/highway test and as low as 3.9 L/100 km (60.3 U.S. MPG / 72.4 Imp MPG) in the pure highway cycle and 5.6 L/100 km (42.0 U.S.MPG / 50.4 Imp MPG) in the pure urban cycle of the NEDC test. Carbon output is quite low on the A160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model with its emissions stated by Mercedes-Benz as 119 grams CO2/km.

Mercedes-Benz is working on new sustainable materials that are lighter and recyclable in their car development programmes, and BlueEFFICIENCY also means optimizing the vehicle weight and improving the aerodynamics in their new models. The A-Class 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY has had the suspension lowered by 10 mm (just under 1/2 an inch) in order to reduce ground-effect turbulence under the chassis, and expose a smaller frontal area to the wind force. Additionally, the radiator grill has been enclosed to limit the amount of air that flows into the engine compartment, which reduces overall drag (Cd) on the car.

The 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY also has a Mercedes-Benz's new ECO start-stop feature, which cuts the engine out at idle and rapidly re-starts the motor when it is needed when the brakes are disengaged or the clutch is engaged from an idle position. The ECO start-stop feature saves considerable fuel in city driving conditions when the A-Class is stuck in traffic, and it will also be an available feature on other A-Class models. The new ECO start-stop system uses a combined starter/generator unit that is incorporated into the belt drive of the powertrain with a direct connection to the crankshaft for instantaneous starts.

Another engineering efficiency enhancement in the A-Class 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel model is that the generator for charging the battery is a new smart system, that monitors the charge capacity and reduces generator output electronically, thus reducing engine horsepower drag and improving the cars overall fuel economy. We will give the new A-Class 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel model a test drive in an upcoming road test and upgrade this article accordingly.

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