Mercedes has announced plans to become the first automaker to widely use particulate filters on vehicles equipped with gasoline engines.

The company has been testing the technology on the S500 for more than two years and has seen positive environmental results.  This has spurred the automaker to add particulate filters to other versions of the S-Class.  Mercedes declined to say which variants will be equipped with a particulate filter but noted the change will occur during the "next model upgrade."  This is a subtle hint that the facelifted S-Class will use the eco-friendly technology when it is unveiled early next year.

Following the launch of particulate filters on the S-Class, Mercedes will gradually implement the filters on other models and new engine families.

Besides announcing plans to widely expand the use of particulate filters, Mercedes confirmed it has invested approximately $3.3 billion into new engine technology.  The money has been used to fund the development of a new diesel engine family which recently debuted in the new E 220 d.  The car's four-cylinder engine is more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly than its predecessor despite having an additional 25 horsepower.

The four-cylinder engine is the first member of the modular engine family and it will eventually be used throughout the Mercedes lineup.  The company went on to say that the new engine family will have "several levels of power output" and that is has been designed for use with both longitudinal and transverse installations.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Gallery: Mercedes four-cylinder diesel engine

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