With anticipated CO2 figures well below 200gms per kilometre and fuel consumption figures close to 40mpg the M-Class hybrid should form the advanced guard for greener Mercedes.
While Mercedes will not confirm plans for the hybrid diesel SUV a European source said: “I would bet our first move into hybrids will come with the M-Class within two years, harnessing the low emission Bluetec diesel engines, probably a 3.2-litre V6 unit.”
Mercedes maintains that matching Bluetec and the two-mode hybrid system developed with BMW and General Motors offers superior green credentials to Lexus’s hybrid applications on the GX400h.
Mercedes maintains that introducing diesel-hybrid powertrains in a 4x4 SUV helps counter mounting environmental concerns while the additional costs are less market sensitive.
Announced in April last year the two-mode hybrid system involves an electric motor incorporated in transmission systems to save weight, improve mechanical efficiency and reduce power absorption.
Last year Lexus’s 400h accounted for nearly 63% of RX sales while the RX’s fleet factor was 42% against 24% for the combined Mercedes M-Class range. Lexus sold 4,287 RXs against 6,018 M-Class.
M-Class hybird in shorooms 2009.