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Home » Green Car News » Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC

10 June 2011


mercedes ml bluetec




The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class sets a new benchmark in the SUV world. Its enhanced fuel consumption and emission figures are especially impressive. Across the range, fuel consumption is improved by an average of 25 per cent over the previous model. Particularly noteworthy in this respect is the ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC, which has an NEDC consumption of 47.0 mpg (158 g CO2/km). Yet for all this efficiency, the M-Class retains its combination of agility with superior comfort. Further impressive features of the ML include 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive, new developments to the chassis and innovative driving dynamics systems, all of which improve performance in both on-road and off-road situations. Its active and passive safety features are typical for the brand. A characteristic body design, together with a versatile interior that is highly conducive to its occupants' wellbeing, enhance the driving experience in the new M-Class.

Long-distance runner: high efficiency ensures extensive range

State-of-the-art engines, a clear policy of engine downsizing, a best-in-class Cd value of 0.32 and a comprehensive range of BlueEFFICIENCY measures all contribute to delivering superb energy efficiency. BlueTEC diesel engines and the new generation of BlueDIRECT petrol engines provide the basis for the excellent economic efficiency and outstanding environmental performance of the new M-Class. As far as the diesel models are concerned, now only available as BlueTEC units with SCR emissions technology, the focus is firmly on downsizing and on the new version of the V6 CDI engine.

In the ML 250 BlueTEC, the 3.0-litre V6 of the previous model is replaced by the thrifty four-cylinder EU6-standard unit already familiar from, for instance, the S-Class.

The ML 350 BlueTEC uses a completely reworked 3.0-litre V6 engine, which also more than meets the EU6 emissions standard and delivers far better performance, yet with considerably reduced fuel consumption. The efficiency improvements have been achieved, above all, through the use of the innovative TWAS (twin-wire-arc spraying) technology already used with great success since 2005 in AMG's high-performance engines. The positive results here have led Mercedes-Benz to adapt this cylinder wall coating technology for use in the V6 diesel engine as well. The process reduces internal friction in the engine significantly. At the same time, the weight has been reduced by 4.3 kg, as there is no longer any need for the grey cast iron cylinder liners that, until now, had to be pressed into the engine block. The benefits are striking: with these measures alone, fuel consumption could be reduced by around 3 percent.

A comparison of the data with the corresponding predecessor models:

  ML 250
ML 300 CDI
ML 350
ML 350 CDI
Number of cylinders 4 6 6 6
Displacement               cc 2143 2987 2987 2987
Rated ouput                 hp 204 204 258 231
Max torque                Nm 500 500 620 540
NEDC combined
CO2 / km

43.4 - 47.0

31.4 - 33.6

38.1 - 41.5

30.0 - 31.8
0 - 62 mph                     s




Top speed                 mph 130 130 139 136
Emissions standard EU6 EU5 EU6 EU5

The ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY petrol-engine model, on the other hand, delivers a convincing performance thanks to the technical details of the new BlueDIRECT engine generation. The key here is the third-generation direct petrol injection system with spray-guided combustion and new piezo injectors that have an injection pressure of 200 bar, together with fast, multi-spark ignition and a new stratified combustion process. A comparison of the data:

Number of cylinders 6 6
Displacement                  cc 3498 3498
Rated output                   hp  306 272
Max torque                   Nm 370 350
NEDC combined
consumption l/100 km
                         g CO2 / km

32.1 - 33.2

23.5 - 24.7
0-62 mph                         s


Top speed                     mph 146 139
Emissions standard EU5 EU5

The range calculated for a full tank of fuel is particularly impressive. With an NEDC consumption of 47.0 mpg, the ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC with standard 70-litre tank can cover around 720 miles before needing to stop for fuel. If the vehicle is fitted with the optional 93-litre tank, a distance of up to 930 miles is possible between refuelling stops.

Attention to detail: a fine finish adds efficiency

The excellent fuel economy is underpinned by a comprehensive package of BlueEFFICIENCY measures as well as by this state-of-the-art engineering. In addition to the ECO start/stop function that comes as standard, these measures include the new seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission with a new fuel-economy converter, friction-optimised bearings and a transmission oil thermal management system. Low-friction axle drives, electric steering and tyres with low rolling resistance also play their part in reducing fuel consumption.

The optimised belt drive system with decoupler, together with on-demand control of all ancillary components and pumps, also helps to reduce the energy requirements of the new M-Class. The oil and water pumps in the engine, as well as the fuel pump in the rear section of the vehicle, are only activated according to actual need. The same control logic is used in the THERMATIC and THERMOTRONIC air conditioning systems. In these, the coolant compressor only runs when necessary. A key factor in the diesel engines is also the optimisation that has been undertaken of the flow and counterpressure in the exhaust system with its SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) emission control technology.

A consistent use of lightweight construction techniques has enabled the development engineers to keep the weight of the M-Class on a par with that of its predecessor, despite more equipment. The control arms of the front and rear axles, for example, and also the bonnet and wings, are made out of light and yet very strong aluminium alloys, while the cross member for the instrument panel is made of magnesium.

At market launch of the new M-Class, there are three models available: With fuel consumption according to NEDC of 47.0 mpg (158 g CO2/km), the extremely fuel-efficient ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC delivers an output of 204 hp along with 500 newton metres of torque. It can accelerate from a standing start to 62 mph in 9.0 seconds, while its top speed is 130 mph. The ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, is almost as frugal, returning 41.5 mpg. With a maximum output of 258 hp and ample torque of 620 Nm, the V6 diesel can accelerate to 62 mph in 7.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 139 mph. With 306 hp, the petrol-engined ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY has an average consumption, according to NEDC, of 33.2 mpg, with a top speed of 146 mph.

UK Pricing and Specification are still to be confirmed.  The M-Class will go on sale in spring 2012.


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