Some automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, and Volvo are getting ready to retire the much-criticized diesel engine, but Mercedes is confident this type of powertrain still has a future. Case in point, the company’s smallest car will be available beginning with this month with a newly developed four-cylinder, 1.5-liter turbodiesel offered in the A180d. The model powered by a "state-of-the-art" diesel engine starts off at €31,398 at home in Germany.
Codenamed “OM 608,” the new unit is an evolution of the previous “OM 607” and packs an extra 7 horsepower (5 kilowatts) for a grand total of 114 hp (85 kW) at 4,000 rpm. Being a diesel, many people will be interested in finding out the amount of torque available: 260 Newton-meters (192 pound-feet) from 1,750 rpm. It’s enough punch to grant the A180d with a sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) in 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 126 mph (202 kph).
As far as fuel consumption is concerned, the diesel-powered A-Class sips just 4.1 liters / 100 km (57.3 mpg) in the combined cycle, with corresponding CO2 emissions of 108 g/km.
Mercedes promises the new diesel is cleaner than its predecessor by using a compact exhaust-gas aftertreatment system located next to the engine, which corroborated with high and low exhaust gas recirculation, these drive down nitrogen-oxide emissions well below the limits. The A180d marks the first time when an A-Class model boasts an SCR catalyst with AdBlue exhaust fluid, so the three-pointed star is now offering the tech across its entire range.
Not only is it more eco-friendly than its predecessor, but the new OM 608 is also quieter as the engine’s sump has received a polyurethane foam cover while the engine cover comes with an interior foam lining. As you are probably aware by now, the 1.5-liter diesel has been developed in collaboration with Renault, but with a series of Mercedes-specific components: engine mounting, dual-clutch transmission (7G-DCT), bespoke two-mass flywheel, start/stop function, tailor-made ECU, as well as a different alternator and air conditioner compressor.
The launch of the OM 608 follows Mercedes’ introduction of two other new diesels, the OM 654 in the E-Class and the bigger six-cylinder OM 656 in the S-Class, thus showing that in Daimler’s vision, the diesel engine will not be retired in the foreseeable future.