The Return of the S-Class Diesel

By Jonathan Spira on 8 January 2011
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Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec Unveiled

Mercedes-Benz will debut the S350 BlueTec 4Matic sedan in the U.S. as a 2012 model at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Availability will be in the first quarter of 2011.  The S350 will be the first S-Class diesel offered in the U.S. since 1995, when the S350 Turbo Diesel was last offered.

The S350 will also be the only full-sized diesel-powered luxury sedan available in the U.S.

The new oil-burner features the company’s vaunted V-6 turbo diesel engine, which produces 210 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It will consume an estimated 8.1 l/100 km (29 mpg) when it arrives on these shores.

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With the addition of the S350, Mercedes-Benz will offer more diesel models than any other car maker in the U.S., including the E350 BlueTec sedan, the ML350 BlueTec, the GL350 BlueTec, and the R350 BlueTec.

Audi, BMW, and Mercedes all offer diesel-powered flagship sedans such as the Audi A8 4.2 TDI and the BMW 730d in other markets so it’s not inconceivable that the S350 will have company at some point.

The S350 is the entry-level S-Class and will cost less than the S400 Hybrid and S550 V-8, which should make it a popular choice amongst Mercedes buyers.  In order to meet the stringent U.S. emissions requirements, it will use Mercedes’ BlueTec exhaust treatment system which includes AdBlue urea injection.