Mercedes-Benz is moving even more into the U.S. consumer diesel market by offering a diesel GLK later this year.
The CUV will sell under the 2013 model year, probably with a 2.1-liter diesel engine making 204 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The engine, which is already approved under U.S. emissions standards, is almost a third smaller than what the company offers in the rest of its diesel lineup: the E, S, M, R and GL Class models. The news about Mercedes' latest diesel decision was confirmed to Automotive News at the recent Detroit Auto Show. The new GLK will come with a host of new features and smoother lines than the previous model (pictured above).
Diesel engines are proving to be a popular choice for German auto manufacturers. Volkswagen has long been known for offering a diesel variant on many of their cars. Porsche, which they own, will also be sending a diesel Cayenne stateside. BMW also already sells a diesel 3-Series and X5.
Thanks to higher compression ratios, cars burning diesel can offer significantly better mileage, and have especially noticeable torque. That means they pull hard from a stop sign or traffic light. The downside is that they have a relatively low top speed and comparatively weak horsepower, though neither of those things are particularly relevant to most daily drivers. The only other problem is that diesel is more expensive than gasoline, lightly offsetting the cost-to-benefit ratio.
Nonetheless, Mercedes is proving that they have faith in the technology and so far that faith seems well founded. They are expecting sales figures for the GLK to reach the "high 30′s" compared to last year's 24,310 units, according to Mercedes' U.S. chief Steve Cannon.
More: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK Diesel Confirmed For Fall