Although the 2009 Mercedes-Benz C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Prime Edition limited edition compact sedan sports an extensive list of interesting features, the German brand’s PR department currently focuses on the new diesel engine that motivates the vehicle. The reason behind the decision is fairly self-explanatory: for decades diesel engines were perceived by American customers as dirty, smelly and not particularly fun to drive. On a market where gas was always dirt-cheap (well, at least compared to Europe where fuel is traditionally a subject of heavy taxes and costs a lot more,) the heavy fuel’s only advantage -higher efficiency- never managed to become a key factor when choosing a next car. Well, it is clear that Mercedes-Benz wants that to change.
In their press release, the German car manufacturer focuses on two key features: efficiency and power. Consuming only 5.2 liters of diesel fuel per 100km (that roughly converts to impressive 45.2 mpg), the relatively small 2.2-liter oil-burner that powers this new 2009 Mercedes-Benz C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Prime Edition delivers impressive 204hp and 500Nm of torque (both available at relatively low rpm, as usual with diesel engines) and takes only 7.0 seconds to accelerate the compact sedan from zero to 100km/h.
This is definitely not a supercar-like performance, but, first, the vehicle now can easily compete with “sporty” gas-powered compact sedans like BMW 3-series powered by gas engines of similar displacement and, second, does that while saving you a healthy pile of cash if you happen to put more miles on your odometer than an average motorist. Also, it is interesting to see that the Mercedes-Benz C320 CDI, which is equipped with a bigger 3.0-liter V6 diesel, takes only 0.7 seconds less to reach the 100km/h mark and delivers only 37.7 mpg (6.24 liters per 100km) of fuel economy.
And, with its 199 grams/km of CO2, it is 61g/km dirtier, too.
According to the brand, Mercedes-Benz plans to use the 2.2-liter diesel as a replacement to four of its current oil-burners. The compact four-pot will soon be available to all C-Class, E-Class, future E-Class Coupe and the 2009 GLK-Class compact crossover SUV. Frankly, yours truly would probably prefer a car with a larger engine and similar performance simply because it would mean more reliability in the long run, but, hey, we live in a world where a car is traded-in as long as warranty is expired and is exchanged for a new one with more high-tech gizmos and better design, so, for most customers a less impressive dependability may not be a serious issue.
The Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Prime Edition delivers these high performance numbers with a help of the new diesel engine technology that includes a lot more efficient engine control unit (it still may be reprogrammed if you are willing to trade efficiency for power,) as well as some minor aerodynamic improvements over the base model.
The car, for example, comes equipped with new, better-shaped exterior-mirror housings that also happen to produce less aerodynamic noise, smoother under-body cladding, low rolling resistance tires and adaptive energy efficient power steering pump.
Pricing to be revealed closer to the vehicle’s debut on the North American market.