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Next generation C-Class to break 100g/km barrier

Date: 01 April 2011   |   Author: Tristan Young

Mercedes, which has recently changed its motto to 'the best or nothing', is still a year away from matching BMW's low-CO2 320ED at 109g/km, according to the firm's top engineer, but the next-generation C-class will break the 100g/km barrier when it goes on sale in 2014.

Speaking at the launch of the facelifted C-class, Roland Kemmler, powertrain boss for Mercedes, said rivalry between the prestige German car manufacturers was always strong. He added: "A sub-110g/km C-class is still maybe a year away. We have to fight for every g/km of CO2."

The facelifted C-class's lowest CO2 model, the C220 CDI, produces 117g/km while the 109g/km BMW dips into the 100% capital allowance band, which cuts in at 110g/km.

"The next-generation C-class petrol will be between 110g/km and 120g/km. The next generation C-class diesel will be sub-100g/km," Kemmler said.

Commenting on how Mercedes would tackle ever-tougher emissions legislation, such as Euro6, Kemmler said a mix of engine technology and weight-saving would be used.

"Losing 100kg gives you between 0.1 and 0.2 litres per 100km saving," he said. This is equivalent to a saving of 0.7-1.4mpg.

However, the cost of reducing weight will mean most of the improvements come from engine changes. Kemmler explained: "Weight saving is more expensive than powertrain fuel-saving for the same amount. This is because weight saving is about using expensive materials."

Meanwhile, Mercedes' UK sales director Mike Whittington joined the growing debate within the fleet industry about long delivery times for certain brands and models.

Singling out one of Mercedes' rivals, he said: "We are picking up sales on the C-class due to long delivery times on Audi."

The revised C-class goes on sale at the end of March priced, on average, £1800 more than the outgoing version, but with a higher standard specification.

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