Stuttgart - Fuel-efficient and environmentally-sustainable premium automobiles from Mercedes-Benz, without the need to forego the characteristic brand features- safety, comfort and refined driving pleasure. This is the strategy of the Stuttgart based vehicle manufacturer. One emphasis within the development strategy is on modular powertrain technologies that can be utilized either individually or in combination, depending upon vehicle class, usage profile and customer requirements. With its “Road to the Future” Mercedes-Benz has presented details on the product implementation. Mercedes-Benz offers a tangible outlook into the future of the combustion engine with the innovative DIESOTTO engine in the research vehicle F 700.
World population, and thus the need for individual mobility, is set to grow dras-tically over the next few decades. At the same time, natural resources are be-coming increasingly scarce as well as consequently more expensive for both consumers and vehicle manufacturers. Add to this, legislative requirements for the environmental sustainability of vehicles differ dramatically from region to region across the globe. For example, many European cities have now established environment zones and the state of California has legislated quotas for zero-emissions vehicles.
Individually tailored solutions for diverse requirements:
These developments are already having a noticeable impact on customer behavior. Alongside economic factors- primarily increasing fuel prices- the environmental sustainability of vehicles is gaining importance in the purchasing decision.
Everyday customer requirements are becoming increasingly differentiated and more individualized- those who drive long distances cross country have different vehicle requirements than those who travel largely or exclusively in and around congested urban areas. Therefore, Mercedes-Benz is convinced that, in the future, one single technology will not prevail on the road to sustainable mobility. Instead, to these multi-faceted demands the company is offering equally multi-faceted individually tailored solutions. The benefits of individual technologies in respect of optimal fuel consumption and emissions values are played to their best advantage in specific fields of application. The approach taken by Mercedes-Benz as a premium manufacturer is therefore based on vehicle concepts with modular powertrain technologies that ensure that both customer benefit and environmental sustainability always take center-stage for the brand with the three-pointed star.
The company’s development strategy is centered on securing its leading position within the premium vehicle segment. Thus, three key fields of action were defined in the roadmap for sustainable mobility:
- Optimization of vehicles with the very latest combustion engines- such as downsizing, gasoline direct injection, turbocharging and BlueTEC- as well as specific vehicles optimization initiatives in areas such as aerodynamics, lightweight design and energy management (BlueEFFICIENCY).
- Further efficiency improvements via individually tailored hybridization in a number of stages- from the start/stop function through to the Two-Mode hybrid with full electric drive capability.
- Zero-emissions driving with fuel cells and battery-powered vehicles.
Furthermore, the company is also pursuing the development of clean and alter-native fuels that do not present a competitive threat to food crops- one particular example being SunDiesel made from waste plant material.
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