The future of the internal combustion engine: "Environment Grand Prize" for the innovative DIESOTTO engine concept by Mercedes-Benz

The future of the internal combustion engine: "Environment Grand Prize" for the innovative DIESOTTO engine concept by Mercedes-Benz
February 2008
Paris – The DIESOTTO engine developed by Mercedes-Benz, which combines the best attributes of the petrol and diesel engine, was awarded the "Environment Grand Prize" in Paris. The sought-after environmental award was received by the Head of Mercedes design, Prof. Peter Pfeiffer, and Reinhardt Lyhs, President of Mercedes-Benz France, during the 23rd "Festival Automobile International". The award is presented for technological achievements in the fields of environmental protection and safety, as well as their integration into vehicle design.
As powerful and responsive as a V6 petrol engine and with the high torque and excellent economy of a modern diesel, accompanied by extremely clean emissions: these are the specific advantages of the two different engine types that Mercedes-Benz has combined in the pioneering four-cylinder DIESOTTO power unit. "The DIESOTTO concept provides an important basis for the future of the internal combustion engine. It assures personal mobility into the future and demonstrates the great innovative strength of the automobile industry," was the verdict of the jury for this internationally important award. The award itself was presented at the "Les Invalides" hotel in Paris by four-times Formula-1 champion Alain Prost and Franz-Olivier Giesbert, former editor-in-chief of the well-known magazine "Le Point".
The innovative technology package in the DIESOTTO engine includes direct fuel injection, turbocharging and a variable compression ratio. The centrepiece of this innovation is homogeneous charge compression ignition, a highly efficient combustion system similar to that of a diesel. The result is a four-cylinder unit with a displacement of only 1.8 litres, which combines the strengths of a low-emission spark-ignition engine with the fuel economy of a diesel. Despite a significantly lower displacement – "downsizing" is a fundamental precondition for the desired reduction in fuel consumption – this compact drive unit delivers superior performance and a level of refinement worthy of the luxury class. An output of 175 kW/238 hp, which is supplemented by a 15 kW/20 hp hybrid module, and a maximum torque of at least 400 Nm are developed with a petrol consumption of just 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 127 grams per kilometre. What is more, these figures do not refer to a small or compact car, but to a fully-appointed luxury car the size of the current S-Class with a full complement of first-class safety features.
Another advantage is a very low level of nitrogen oxide emissions by virtue of homogeneous combustion at lower reactive temperatures. Exhaust aftertreatment in the DIESOTTO power unit is by a conventional closed-loop catalytic converter.
Features such as direct fuel injection are already used in current Mercedes-Benz models, for example, the Mercedes-Benz E 350 CGI and Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 CGI. Other DIESOTTO modules will gradually enter series production during the next development stages.
The environmental award was received at the "Les Invalides" hotel in Paris on February 6 by Head of Mercedes Design Professor Peter Pfeiffer and Reinhardt Lyhs, President of Mercedes-Benz France. In thanking the jury, Professor Pfeiffer said that this environmental award once again showed the great development potential inherent to the internal combustion engine and also referred to the wide range of innovative drive concepts with which Mercedes-Benz and smart are addressing the mobility requirements of the future.

Press Contact


  • D268923
  • D268924