Never mind Euro2 (SA’s minimum emission standard) 3, 4 or even 5! This one meets Euro6, which is only set to be enforced during 2014!
Basic credentials include 190 kW and 620 N.m with a seven-speed automatic transmission (thank goodness they haven’t made it eight, yet). You hardly ever see seventh gear being selected, in fact, but then it is made for unrestricted autobahns. Never mind all the power and torque for the time being – the important part of this excercise was that we saw a figure of 8,5 litres/100 km during our test drive – impressive considering the corresponding power and torque figures.
The official EU test figure is only 6,8 l/100 km with 177 g/km of CO2. Now that is what we can call efficiency. We are talking 1 800 bar injection pressure with between one and five injections per cycle from the eight injector holes, variable-vane turbocharger (naturally), and it doesn’t stop at the dual catalytic convertors and diesel particulate filter in the exhaust system. There’s also another injector that takes care of the remaining NOx gases by injecting a Aqueous Urea solution called Ad Blue. This reduces the NOx gases to N2 and H2O (nitogen and water) and stores it in a 25-litre tank, situated under the hollow of the space-saver spare wheel. There is enough liquid to last 20 000 km at which point it is refilled, as part of the six-year/120 000 km maintenance plan, by the dealer service crew.
To ensure that full Euro6 standards are always met, an indicator will inform the driver when the level is running low and, if ignored, will eventually prevent the car from being driven once the Ad Blue has fully run dry.
As you can expect, this engine must also be fed 50 ppm diesel to meet standards. An 83-litre fuel tank helps give you a range of over 1 000 km using CAR’s fuel index of 8,2 l/100 km, handy if you get stuck between fuel stations that supply this low sulphur diesel.
The 0-100 km/h sprint should take 7,1 seconds and top speed is limited to 250 km/h.
Apart from all this engineering detail, the S-Class rides like a dream on its Airmatic suspension, is super-quiet (undetectable as a diesel unless you open the windows at idle) and extremely comfy. The sort of car that you could easily handle a one-day trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town, including just one stop for refreshments and to top up the tank.
The price (if you have to ask) is R1 034 880