March 19, 2004
Diesel Mercedes returns to North American market
San Antonio, Texas – Mercedes-Benz announced it will sell the new E320 CDI, a fuel-efficient diesel version of its E-Class sedan in the U.S. and Canada this spring as a model year 2005 car.
The new 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
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.