The new B-Class model range from Mercedes-Benz benefits from the company’s BlueEfficiency philosophy to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, which embraces subtle aerodynamic improvements, weight saving, reduced rolling resistance, and intelligent control of ancillary units.
BlueEfficiency now also includes an ultralow-friction cylinder surfacing technology called Nanoslide. First used in 6.3-L AMG gasoline V8 engines from MY2006 onward (75,000 units total built to date), the heavily patent-protected Nanoslide technology features a twin-wire arc-sprayed coating. It is now being introduced into series production for V6 diesels, bringing an added benefit of a 4.3-kg (9.5-lb) engine mass saving compared to the previous V6.
Producing what the company describes as a “perfectly smooth” cylinder barrel, Nanoslide is said to cut friction losses in the area by up to 50%, contributing to some 3% lower fuel consumption for the new V6 diesel and significantly reducing wear, Mercedes engineers claim.
The Nanoslide procedure includes iron-carbon wires being melted in an electric arc. A gas flow is then used to spray the melted material onto the cylinder wall. It is deposited as a layered, ultrafine-to-nano-crystalline coating.
An intensely fine finishing process then creates the ultrasmooth, mirror-like surface. However, the finishing—or honing—process exposes minute pores in the material’s surface that retain oil to further reduce friction.
Although the technology is likely to be applied to Mercedes’ engines beyond the V6 and V8, a company source could not confirm that it might eventually be used for four-cylinder diesel units such as those in the B-Class.
At present the B-Class offers a 1.8-L diesel engine scaled down from the highly efficient and widely used OM651 2.1-L fitted to the SLK and C-, E-, and S-Class models. It produces 80 kW (107 hp) and delivers 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) from 1400 to 2800 rpm, or 100 kW (134 hp) and 300 N·m (221 lb·ft) from 1600-3000 rpm.
A best fuel consumption of 4.4-4.6 L/100 km, depending on specification, is provided by the manual B180CDI BlueEfficiency.