Mercedes’ all-new M-class, shown here in official pictures for the first time, will get a four-cylinder diesel engine in a bid to give the upmarket SUV class-leading fuel economy. It will appear at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
The base ML250 Bluetec’s presence in the UK line-up when it is launched in April 2012 is still to be decided, but its economy and CO2 figures would most likely make it a best-seller.
The ML250 is powered by a twin-turbo 2.1-litre diesel engine with 201bhp and 369lb ft. A seven-speed automatic gearbox with stop-start and brake energy recuperation help it to achieve 47mpg — a figure that betters the outgoing six-cylinder ML300 CDI’s economy by 28 per cent.
That also means overall CO2 emissions of 158g/km and provides a theoretical range of over 900 miles on the new M-class’s optional 93-litre tank.
Confirmed UK models at launch include the ML350 Bluetec, which uses a 254bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel, and the ML63 AMG, which will be powered by a 536bhp twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8. A diesel-electric version, called the ML300 Hybrid, is set to be launched late next year and will run the ML250’s 2.1-litre engine in combination with a 20bhp electric motor. Autocar sources indicate the ML300 Hybrid brings a further 7.2mpg improvement over the ML250 Bluetec, with claimed combined average fuel consumption of 54.3mpg.
Visually, the new M-class, codenamed W166, retains the same basic proportions and design elements as its predecessor but in a more contemporary and updated form.
At 4804mm long, 1926mm wide and 1796mm tall, the BMW X5 rival is 24mm longer, 16mm wider and 19mm lower than its forerunner.