Merc bends green code

Mercedes-Benz is working on a new kind of engine that combines features of petrol and diesel motors to generate 238 horsepower while using less than 6-litres of standard petrol for every 100km.

Mercedes-Benz is working on a new kind of engine that combines features of petrol and diesel motors to generate 238 horsepower while using less than 6-litres of standard petrol for every 100km.

It plans to roll out the new DiesOtto engine "in the medium term", the world's fifth-biggest carmaker said yesterday, eager to polish its green credentials as pressure builds to reduce the emissions that contribute to global warming.

"This figure by no means relates to a small or compact car, but to a vehicle the size of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class," it said.

The move reflects efforts by carmakers to make petrol and diesel engines more efficient and less polluting to ensure they remain in broad use even as alternative drive-trains such as hydrogen-fuel cells arrive.

The name DiesOtto combines the German words for diesel and petrol engines.

The idea is to use a spark plug to ignite the fuel and air mixture when starting the engine or at high speed. At low and medium speeds, it works like a diesel engine, which does not use spark plugs.

Volkswagen is working on something similar. - Reuters

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