By Ronan Glon
Friday, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 4:34 am
 
When Mercedes-Benz launched the facelifted GLK-Class at the New York Motor Show earlier this month, it also announced that the crossover will be available with a turbodiesel engine in the United States for the first time ever.

A report published by Ward's Auto suggests that the German automaker could offer the oil-burning mill in several other models in the U.S. These would include the entry-level C-Class, the SLK-Class, and the E-Class sedan.

"We brought a 4-cyl. gasoline engine to the U.S. Why shouldn't we do that with a 4-cyl. diesel? Our competitors do it," said Gunter Fischer, a Mercedes executive, in an interview with Ward's Auto.

Fischer is mainly referring to rival Audi, whose TDI-powered A3 will be complemented by a diesel-burning A4 in the near future.

The turbodiesel that Mercedes plans on offering throughout its lineup is a 2.1-liter four-cylinder that makes 190 horsepower and 368 foot-pounds of torque. The EPA has not yet released the motor's fuel economy ratings, but it returns 37 miles per U.S. gallon in a mixed European cycle when bolted in the engine bay of a GLK-Class.

All automakers in the United States are required to have a fleet-wide average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, and Mercedes-Benz sees downsized turbodiesel engines as a good way to achieve that target.

In Europe where gas prices are considerably higher than in the United States, Mercedes-Benz offers downsized turbodiesel engines in almost every single car in its lineup. Even the S-Class is available in S250 trim with a 2.1-liter four-cylinder.