With Audi and BMW bringing diesel engines to the U.S. market, Mercedes-Benz has decided to bring a new model in the market also with its top of the line model. Mercedes-Benz has just announced that the S350 turbodiesel will be coming to the U.S. The luxury car will pack a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel that will put out 241 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, a bit more output than the European version with its 235 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. It will be the only S-Class diesel to be sold in the U.S.
The S350 will bear the BlueTec badge and will use AdBlue urea injection technology to clean the exhaust. The S350 will get the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and will be capable of around 37 mpg. That is a huge gain over the S550, S600 and the S400 hybrid that get 19 city and 26 highway.
Mercedes-Benz says it will not release pricing until closer to the car’s launch in the first quarter of 2011. If the S350 BlueTec sells well, Mercedes-Benz might just have a leg up on the competition. This vehicle will improve the automaker's overall fuel economy and the smaller engine will coincide nicely with the "green" movement currently snowballing into the future.
What remains to be seen is if the heavy S-Class car can be driven like the gas-engined S550. When a customer with the means to purchase a car as expensive as the S-Class wants to merge into traffic, pass a loitering 18 wheeler, or just beat the guy next to him from a stoplight, he expects instant gratification. I don’t know if 241 horsepower is sufficient to satisfy an S-Class customer used to the instant thrust of the gas engined motors of past S-Classes.