Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce stop/start technology sometime next year on its turbodiesel-powered E200 sedan in Europe, but don't expect to see the fuel-saving bits on models equipped with an automatic transmission for a little while longer. According to Christoph Spengel, a powertrain engineer at the German automaker:
Fitting the system to any engine and gearbox is not a problem, we can get reliability quite easily. Achieving the smoothness of the start is the real problem. Engaging the starter takes a little time, and then firing the engine takes a little time, and it is important that our system does not disturb the driver.
Adapting stop/start to automatic transmissions is a priority at Mercedes-Benz, and the automaker believes it will have the technology ready by 2011. By that time, stop/start could be fitted on nearly every model rolling down the line, including those fitted with massively powerful V8 engines.