Mercedes expanding use of particulate filters to gas-powered cars


2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (S500)

2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (S500)

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Mercedes-Benz says it will equip particulate filters not only on vehicles powered by diesel engines, but those that use gasoline as well.

The move applies for now only to the European market, which will see new and more stringent emissions regulations on gasoline vehicles in place by the end of next year. The automaker has been testing the current European-spec S500 (an S550 in the United States) with particulate filters, but it said this week that additional versions of the S-Class with gasoline engines are to be equipped with this new technology with "the next model upgrade."

Just which engine variants will be the first to utilize the filters, designed to trap solid particulates, has not yet been announced. The S500 was the first gas-powered car to ever be equipped with a particulate filter. Mercedes started fitting them to the cars in late 2014, though this was considered a trial run.

Mercedes also indicated that the rest of its lineup powered by gasoline engines will begin to use particulate filters as the automaker updates them.

Particulate filters have been a part of the automotive vernacular for more than 30 years, but it is only within the last decade and a half that they have become commonplace on diesel engines as an effort to curb emissions more effectively than a catalytic converter.

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