No Smoke No Poke

Africa to England on one tank of Diesel in a two-tonne Mercedes E Class, Can it be done?

2nd July 2014 | BY Adam

Mercedes e300 BlueTEC

On the eve of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the folks at Autocar teamed up with Mercedes to take on an MPG marathon of epic proportions. The challenge was to drive the new E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid from Tangier in Morocco all the way to Goodwood in England, a 2,200km (1,400 miles) journey…all on a single tank of fuel.

Hit the jump for the road trip video and more info on the BlueTEC Benz…

So how is it possible drive 1,400 miles on one tank of fuel in a 2-tonne, 3 liter luxo-barge? You could go the way of Trident and fit a fuel tank from a cruise liner, but Mercedes opted to install a teeny 20bhp electric motor between the engine and gearbox. That motor is powerful enough to take care of speeds up to 22mph and also maintain cruising speed when on the motorway, as long as you’re on a flat stretch of road. The diesel motor will then take over should you wish to overtake. This low tech / high tech marriage results in a staggering 67.2mpg combined consumption, a figure typically seen in teeny tiny 1.0l 3 cylinder fuel sippers like the VW UP. But the behemoth E 300 is still capable of 150mph and 0-60 in 7.5 seconds, plus you don’t have to sit with your knees around your ears to fit inside.

Porsche and Ferrari are balls deep in hybrid development for their super cars, the 918 and LaFerrari are both stunning examples of what is possible (with petrol). Now isn’t it time Audi pic up the gauntlet and give us that long-ago-promised diesel hybrid super car we’d sell our first born child to drive?