January 20th, 2008 by gary
Detroit In an unusual long distance test the all-new smart fortwo and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class demonstrated their top position amongst the world’s most climate-friendly cars. On a trip from Los Angeles via Chicago to the 2008 Detroit Auto Show they showcased outstanding fuel-saving qualities in everyday real-world conditions. On the 4,400 kilometre route the smart fortwo mhd recorded an average consumption of just 4.8 litres per one hundred kilometres. The two smart fortwo cdis were impressed with only 3.9 l/100km, and even the luxurious turbo-diesel E 320 CDI BLUETEC consumed an average of only 5.8 l/100 km.
The journey from smarthouse in Venice, a district of Los Angeles, to Detroit took seven days. A large part of the road trip saw the test convoy, consisting of one smart fortwo mhd, two smart fortwo cdis and an E 320 BLUETEC, along the legendary old Route 66.
Media representatives from Germany, Italy and the USA took turns at the wheel. They had to cope with lonely highways, desert stretches, mountain passes and busy cities. And a severe spell of winter weather with fresh snow and temperatures of down to minus 15 degrees Celsius not only increased the challenge but also made for tough driving conditions.
Despite these adverse conditions, the participants were impressed by the long-distance qualities of the smart fortwo models – cars that are actually designed for urban traffic. However, the high fuel-saving potential of all test vehicles was even more impressive:
With its 52 kW 1-litre petrol engine the smart fortwo micro hybrid drive (mhd) showed that consumption of less than 5 litres per 100 kilometres can be achieved as a real on-the-road figure. What’s more, the mhd carried its passengers 100 kilometres using a mere 4.8 litres. This impressive figure is thanks to a new, sophisticated start-stop function that uses the idling phases to completely shut down the engine for example at traffic lights, level crossings or in stop-and-go-traffic. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal the engine starts automatically and the journey can continue immediately without a perceptible delay.
On Route 66 the smart fortwo cdi proved that it rightly deserves the distinction of being the most economical production car with a combustion engine. Thanks to the world’s smallest direct injection diesel engine the 33 kW two-door consumed just 3.9 litres per 100 kilometres in real-world conditions, and travelled approximately 850 kilometres without refuelling.
With the launch of the E 320 BLUETEC in 2006 Mercedes-Benz ushered in a new era of diesel engines in the USA. On the road trip to Detroit its 165 kW 3-litre V6 engine proved to be at least as economical as a four-cylinder engine in everyday use. Its average diesel consumption was just 5.8 l/100 km. Moreover, thanks to the BLUETEC modular emission control system the popular luxury saloon is the world’s cleanest diesel and undercuts the strictest emission limits worldwide. This is why the E 320 BLUETEC was named “2007 World Green Car” by journalists in the USA.
The E 320 BLUETEC has already won lots of fans in America and a European version, the E 300 BLUETEC is now available to customers in a number of markets. The petrol version of the environmentally friendly smart fortwo will be available in US showrooms from this month.
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