US Gasoline Not Clean Enough for New Merc Engines

Kharl Prado March 21, 2011

Mercedes-Benz is among the world leaders when it comes to automotive powertrain technology, from the performance front to the greener side of things. Recent developments have led to lean-burn technology aimed at reducing a vehicle’s emissions as well as improving its fuel efficiency. This is something that the United States won’t be able to take advantage of, simply because the gasoline there is too dirty for the engines.

According to Ward’s Automotive, Daimler powertrain development VP Bernard Heil stated that US gasoline contains 95 parts per million of sulfur, which is around double the amount that the new engines can handle. This is an excessively high amount and will lead to clogging in the new engines’ nitrogen oxide traps.

This is just the latest evidence that the US is falling behind in terms of filtering sulfur from its gas. Of course, Heil is quick to note that African and Asian gasoline also has too much sulfur in it, which will make those gasolines unusable by the new lean-burn engines.

Daimler’s new lean-burn engine technology will be first seen in the Mercedes-Benz C350 sport sedan as well as the pictured SLK Roadster. Of course, given the conditions outlined above, only European variants will be able to use the new technology—at least for now.

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