For the first time in 17 years, Mercedes-Benz will put an oil burner into the flagship S-Class line-up. And to enhance the appeal, the 2012 Mercedes S350 BlueTec will come with the German maker’s all-wheel-drive 4Matic system.
The return of the diesel suggests that even the most affluent American motorists are beginning to pay attention to fuel economy at a time when petro-analysts are predicting gas prices could soon reach as high as $5 a gallon.
The Mercedes-Benz S350 will use the same clean BlueTec diesel currently found in the maker’s GL- and M-Class SUVs. In the sedan, the oil burner will make a seemingly modest 210 horsepower but a stump-pulling 400 foot-pounds of torque.
Significantly, with highway mileage anticipated at somewhere above 28 mpg, the S350 will not only best the gas-powered S550’s 21 mpg, but even 25 mpg S400 Hybrid.