November 20, 2006

Paris-to-Beijing diesel marathon ends successfully

The 36 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans that participated in the Paris-Beijing diesel marathon
The 36 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans that participated in the Paris-Beijing diesel marathon. Click image to enlarge

Beijing, China – A trek that Mercedes-Benz calls “the longest diesel marathon of all time” ended successfully in Beijing on Friday, after leaving Paris on October 21. The 36 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans covered about 14,000 km in a test of emissions, fuel economy and reliability. The victorious “Ebay” team won the fuel economy contest with an average of 7.1 L/100 km; the best result on a daily leg was as low as 5.5 L/100 km. The total average consumption over the 36 vehicles was 8.3 L/100 km; in total, the fleet consumed about 40,530 litres of low-sulphur fuel, or about 10,000 litres less than originally estimated. Rear-wheel drive models averaged 8.0 L/100 km, while 4MATIC all-wheel drive models averaged 8.5 L/100 km.

“During this endurance test for a total of more than 500,000 km, the 33 E320 CDI and three E320 Bluetec impressively showed the potential of our high-tech diesels,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG. “They proved that driving enjoyment, great fuel economy and environmental compatibility are not mutually exclusive.”

During the five legs of the journey, more than 360 drivers from 35 countries took turns at the wheel. In 25 driving days, they passed through nine countries, with an average daily driving distance of about 560 km. All participating cars were standard production E-Class models, loaded with up to three passengers and their luggage; due to weather and bad road conditions, all were equipped with winter tires and a suspension raised by five cm. Two of the vehicles were E-Class taxicabs; their drivers ran the meters throughout the trip and racked up nearly 40,000 Euros.

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