From the world's first diesel car to the C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY

The diesel engine has been regarded as the epitome of durability for many
decades: staunch and reliable of course, but also associated with a touch of sluggishness. "Brisk progress" was the term used to circumscribe this lack of dynamism in brochures from the 1970s. Over time this characteristic has completely disappeared, making way for a totally new image. Sportiness, agility, ride comfort, driving pleasure and, not least, environmental compatibility are attributes to which modern diesel engines can nowadays lay claim. Engineers at Mercedes-Benz have been actively contributing to this progress for more than 70 years:



The model 260 D (W 138-series) was the world's first series-production diesel passenger car. The 2.6-litre engine had a compression ratio of 1:20.5 and delivered 33 kW / 45 hp at 3200 rpm.


With the model 170 D (W 136-series), Mercedes-Benz again included a four-cylinder car diesel engine in the model range. The 1.8-litre
OM 636 L generated 28 kW / 38 hp at 3200 rpm.


The diesel models 180 D (W 120-series) and 190 D (W 121-series)
appeared on the roads in the outfit of the 'Ponton' design presented in 1953.


In the "Tailfin" design (W 110-series) the diesel car emancipated itself even further from its commercial vehicle origins: the two-litre diesel introduced in 1961 was still called the 190 D, but when Mercedes-Benz presented the new model 200 in 1965, the diesel variant was also renamed the 200 D. Overall displacement and output (44 kW / 55 hp at 4200 rpm) remained unchanged.


In the W 115-series, two new diesel models were introduced together for the first time in 1968, the 200 D and the 220 D. In 1973 the 240 D was added to the range, to be followed in July 1974 by the top-of-the-line 240 D 3.0. This model was powered by the world's first five-cylinder car diesel engine. With an acceleration of 19.9 seconds from
0 to 100 km/h, the new diesel model was the fastest diesel car in the world.


At the 1977 International Motor Show (IAA), a further diesel model specifically designed by Mercedes-Benz for the American market attracted great attention: the 300 SD was the first S-Class (W 116-series) and the very first luxury class model anywhere to be equipped with a diesel engine. An appropriate performance for the luxury saloon was ensured by a turbocharger, which increased the output of the five-cylinder diesel to 85 kW / 115 hp.


In 1982 Daimler-Benz introduced the compact class as its third car model series. In 1983 the compact Mercedes known as the 190 D was given a new 2-litre diesel engine (53 kW / 72 hp at 4600 rpm). This unit was designed to be particularly light, economical and responsive. Above all though, the engine was fully encapsulated to reduce noise by one half.


For the first time in a Mercedes-Benz passenger car, the medium-class 124-series fielded a model with an in-line six-cylinder diesel engine: the 300 D (80 kW / 109 hp at 4600 rpm).


From autumn 1992 the S-Class (W 140-series) powered by a 3.5-litre turbodiesel also became available in Europe: the diesel engine had finally established itself internationally in the automotive luxury segment. This model delivered 110 kW / 150 hp, with a turbocharger and emission control system using an oxidising catalytic converter included in the standard equipment.


Four-valve technology was introduced by Mercedes-Benz as a world first. Using four instead of two valves per cylinder made it possible to achieve a higher torque and output over a considerably wider engine speed range, while also reducing fuel consumption under full load by up to eight percent.


The E 290 Turbodiesel in the E-Class with the new twin-headlamp face attracted great attention. For the first time in a Mercedes-Benz, its OM 602 DE 29 LA in-line five-cylinder engine offered a combination of diesel technology and direct injection.


In the C 220 CDI, Mercedes-Benz presented direct injection according to the new "Common Rail Direct Injection" (CDI) principle.


Easily the most powerful diesel engine in a Mercedes-Benz car was
introduced into the S-Class in 2000. The light-alloy OM 628 DE 40 LA V8-engine generated 184 kW / 250 hp at 4000 rpm from a displacement of four litres.


As the first manufacturer in the world, the company introduced diesel cars complying with the Euro 4 standard, with a maintenance-free
particulate filter.


The world's highest-torque V8 car diesel engine (OM 629) entered
series production in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in autumn 2005. This 231 kW / 314 hp V8 power unit already made a maximum torque of 730 newton metres available at 2200 rpm.


Mercedes-Benz equipped all its diesel passenger cars from the A to the S-Class with a diesel particulate filter as standard in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland.


Mercedes-Benz introduced the world's first diesel models with AdBlue injection in America (R 320 BlueTEC, ML 320 BlueTEC and GL 320 BlueTEC).


A new generation of four-cylinder diesel engines celebrated its debut in the C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY. Features: two-stage turbocharging and fourth-generation common-rail technology with a rail pressure of 2000 bar, as well as a new piezo-electric injector design with direct nozzle needle control