Sindelfingen, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Technology (MBtech) has unveiled a compressed natural gas (CNG) sports car study, based on a Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class. The car combines sporty performance and driving pleasure with substantially reduced CO2 emission.

MBtech said that the innovative technical solutions developed for the demonstrator, including the injector concept and exhaust system, can be transferred to other vehicle applications, and could make CNG even more attractive in the future.

“With the CNG demonstrator we have realized an uncompromisingly sporty and powerful vehicle engine with substantially reduced CO2 emission,” said Andreas Biemelt, head of the project.

The vehicle accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds, with a top speed of 244 km/h, producing 195 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. The team made several changes to the combustion process, including a fifth injector that injects gas into the central air intake, enabling fuel delivery required for high cylinder performance even in the event of strongly fluctuating gas quality. The CNG SLK also contains an innovative sensor/actuator unit, along with pistons specially adapted to the specific characteristics of CNG fuel.

The CNG SLK requires only 5.6 kg of CNG per 100 kilometres, and its CO2 emissiion of 150 grams per kilometre is comparable with current compact cars.

“With the CNG demonstrator based on a Mercedes-Benz SLK, we have intentionally given ourselves a challenging task,” Biemelt said. “No one would have seriously attempted to adapting a sporty vehicle model to CNG operation with the previously available know-how. However, the solutions which MBtech has developed demonstrate that the economy of natural gas as an automotive fuel can definitely be combined with the dynamics and emotions of a sports car. This gives this form of alternative fuel new perspectives for a better market penetration.”

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