It appears that we won't be seeing diesel-driven Mercedes-Benz cars in the future as the company is reportedly planning to replace the 'oil burners' with plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Speaking to AutoBlog, a company product planner said hybrids will become more favorable when it comes to long-term ownership than traditional diesels. The proven diesel engine may as well be replaced in the long run when costs and development on hybrid powertrains become cheaper and simplified.
“Yes, diesel is technically complex, and very expensive. The additives to reduce particulate matter are very costly. You'll see more hybrids to meet the changing regulations,” said the source.
With more and more concept vehicles being categorized as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVS), the change may happen sooner than most would think. Gas-powered hybrids now frequent more while diesel-driven hybrids are also on the rise. But with diesel's bad reputation of having more complex parts and emission of 'soot', it seems that plug-in hybrids might just be the next best thing.
On a side note, the product planner also stated that the next-generation GLE will have an 'active chassis' that easily adapts to the terrain or road surface. The closest technology that the GLE currently has in terms of damping are hydraulic pumps on the roll bars and the option of fitting the crossover with an air suspension.
In addition, a smaller crossover is on the way and may be underpinned by the GLA platform. Aside from being used on the GLA crossover, the architecture is also used on the A-,B- and CLA- Class. Nothing is solid yet but the upcoming crossover many not be offered in every market according to the product planner.
Note: Pictured above is the current Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid