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Mercedes-Benz has always had an eye on being a green company. From the vehicles they build to the factories they build them in, Mercedes is environmentally responsible and forward thinking. They have recently updated a portion of MBUSA.com to highlight some of their accomplishments. The Thinking GREEN section talks about the clean-burning diesel vehicles, the flex-fuel capability of the C-Class and the upcoming hybrid models. It also delves into manufacturing process and corporate initiatives. I found this to be very informative. You can visit it directly here.
The S400 will use a “mild hybrid” system that allows the battery to provide a boost to the engine when running and also restart the engine when it shuts off at a stop. Mercedes is using is a Lithium Ion battery pack, which is lighter and more efficient than the usual nickel-metal-hydride battery other manufacturers are using. The German Automobile Association and Europe’s largest car club, the ADAC, awarded its Yellow Angel award for the Innovation & Environment category for the use of this lithium ion battery technology. I thought this article from HybridCars.com was informative.
Fifth Gear recently reviewed a Smart Car that uses this shutting-off-at-a-stop system and said it was seamless. This system is demonstrated at 2:30 min in.
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If you have a 2008 or 2009 S/CL-Class or a 2009 SL/SLK/E/CLS/M/R/GL-Class with a Command head unit your software update should be available mid-October.
If you have a 2008 E/CLS/SLK-Class with a Command head unit the software update is currently being tested and they are hoping to have it available by the beginning of November.
All other 2008 and 2009 vehicles should receive “The Best of XM” without a software update.
Every AMG owner enjoys their car’s hand built motor. Watch this great video to see just how they do it.
Currently, you can connect your iPhone to the vehicle via the iPod connector (Code 057) and control your music through the steering wheel controls. When you get a phone call, the music will stop and you can receive the call. With this new iPhone connector it looks like you’ll be able to toggle between the two functions and see the data on the main command screen rather than just the multi-function dispaly. Also, the antenna connection will help to boost you phone’s signal. Additionally, this cradle will provide charging and a secure mounting location for your iPhone.
The press release from Mercedes doesn’t specifically say that this will only be available for 2009 or newer cars and the fact that they list the CLK as one of the cars it will work with makes me think that it might be available for several models going back a couple years. Mercedes also did not list this cradle being available for the GL, G or SLK Class models. A lot of this press release was specific to European cars and the option code does not show up in my dealer ordering guide yet. More info to come as the 2009′s start to arrive in August!
There was a great article at AOL Autos today about the advances that have been made in diesel technology. Maybe with enough good publicity everyone will come to understand diesel and love it as much as I do!
Highlights from the article…
“One automaker at the forefront of the clean-diesel movement is Mercedes-Benz. The E320 BLUETEC boasts 40 percent better fuel mileage than a comparable gasoline-powered model, and its EPA city/highway rating of 27/37 mpg means it can cruise more than 700 miles on a single tank of fuel, said Patrik Borenius, manager of advanced product planning for Mercedes.
With a city/highway rating of 21/28 mpg, the R320 CDI gets 32 percent better fuel economy, while the ML320 CDI sport utility (rated at 21/27 mpg) provides a 26 percent improvement. Both CDI models have a cruising range of over 600 miles before refueling.”The new clean-diesel engines provide three key benefits,” Borenius said. “It’s a more fuel-efficient technology, so the customer gets better gas mileage; it offers environmental benefits by producing less carbon dioxide and greenhouse gasses, and it’s one of the answers to the energy issue, in terms of reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
In April, the E320 BLUETEC was named the “2007 World Green Car” at the 2007 New York International Auto Show.