SU­PE­RIOR

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

nine airbags, Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram ( ESP), ac­tive bi-xenon head lights, LED in­di­ca­tors and tail lights, rear air­con­di­tion­ing and alarm.

The V6 turbo-diesel is a beauty, de­vel­op­ing 190kw from a 3.0-litre V6, 10 per cent more than the pre­vi­ous en­gine with a 15 per cent boost in torque to an im­pres­sive 620Nm.

Benz says with a com­bined con­sump­tion of 7.0 litres of diesel fuel per 100km, the S350 BLUETEC beats its pre­de­ces­sor by nearly 1 litre or 9.1 per cent, as well as de­liv­er­ing much-im­proved per­for­mance.

The CO2 emis­sions like­wise have fallen by 8.4 per cent, from 202 to 185g/km.

Yet de­spite the ef­fi­cien­cies, it can reach 100km/h in 7.1 sec­onds with a top speed limited to 210km/h.

The Bluetec ranks among the world’s clean­est diesel mod­els with tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped by Mercedes-benz to re­duce emis­sions from diesel ve­hi­cles, in par­tic­u­lar ni­tro­gen ox­ides.

Adblue, an aque­ous urea so­lu­tion, is in­jected into the ex­haust flow, re­leas­ing am­mo­nia, which con­verts up to 80 per cent of ni­tro­gen ox­ides into harm­less ni­tro­gen and water.

Benz says as a re­sult, the S350 BLUETEC al­ready com­plies with 2014 emis­sion lev­els.

THE DRIVE

There is noth­ing like an S-class with its aloof­ness and pres­ti­gious ap­pear­ance in­side and out. It is re­strained, not quite turn­ing heads, yet car­ries a sub­tle mes­sage of wealth.

While it is ex­tremely eco­nom­i­cal, we are talk­ing small four cylin­der fru­gal­ity, the V6 tur­bod­iesel is also sat­is­fy­ingly quick, surging to 100km/h from rest in only 7.1 sec­onds.

In­cred­i­bly, with the en­gine idling I thought it was the petrol V6. It’s only from the out­side that there is a hint of diesel clat­ter.

It zips around the rev counter with such smooth­ness and si­lence that it is ex­tremely un­likely any­one would pick its en­gine type.

It gets a seven-speed au­to­matic with pad­dle shifters for those who need some­thing ex­tra.

De­spite its near two-tonne weight, it is ag­ile and re­spon­sive. Throw it into a fast turn in the coun­try and it will sit down on its air sus­pen­sion and pick a line with a flat body stance and firm yet sat­is­fy­ing steer­ing feel.

Im­pres­sive is the way the 620Nm of torque can be fed through to the rear wheels at mid corner, pro­duc­ing a force­ful push as the car ex­its.

The torque peak ar­rives at a mere 1600rpm and starts to drift down­wards only from 2400rpm, leav­ing

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