MATS REPORT: Detroit Diesel announces ’07 Mercedes-Benz engines

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Detroit Diesel Corp. says its Mercedes-Benz MBE 900 and MBE 4000 diesel engines will hit the road to meet EPA 2007 emission standards next January with a full range of ratings.

At a press event during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, executives from Detroit Diesel, Freightliner, and their parent company DaimlerChrysler announced the standard displacement on the 2007 MBE 900 medium-duty diesel engine will grow to 7.2-liters and will be available in ratings from 190 hp to 300 hp and 520 to 860 lb ft of torque.

The ’07 MBE 4000 uses DDEC VI electronics

The new emissions standards require engine makers to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 50 percent and particulate matter emissions by 90 percent for all on-highway diesel engines produced in 2007. The engines will employ EGR technology as previously, plus a diesel particulate filter.

In 2007, customers can choose between a standard-power version of the MBE 900 featuring ratings of 190 to 250 hp and 520 and 660 lb ft of torque and a high performance version with 260 to 300 hp and 800 to 860 lb ft of torque.

The MBE 4000 heavy-duty diesel engine also has new torque ratings along its power range, which runs from 350 to 450 hp with 1250 to 1650 lb ft of torque. One new rating offers 370 hp with 1250 lb ft of torque. For customers with weight-sensitive applications, the MBE 4000 now offers a 450-hp rating with 1650 lb ft of torque.

Both the MBE 900 and MBE 4000 engines, like DDC’s Series 60, will use the DDEC VI electronic control unit. By offering the same electronic platform across all of Detroit Diesel’s on-highway engines, fleet managers will be able to streamline diagnostic tools, technician training and parts availability, the company says.

The ’07 MBE 900, now 7.2 liters

The two Mercedes-Benz engines will also feature an electrostatic breather to address crankcase emissions requirements. The device will take oil out of crankcase vapors and return the oil back into the sump. Unlike other 2007 on-highway diesel engines, DDC’s solution to crankcase emissions does not use a filter and will not require routine maintenance.

(Be sure to click the link below in Related Articles to read an exclusive test drive account of the MBE 4000 by Today’s Trucking.

Meanwhile, Detroit Diesel’s parent company Freightliner LLC issued a pricing prediction for its 2007 heavy-duty engine lineup — somewhere in the neighborhood of $7000-$10,000 for DDC’s Series 60 and MBE 4000 engines and between $4500-$6000 for medium-duty Cummins and Mercedes offerings.

DaimlerChrysler also announced that it is preparing to create a common global engine platform across all its markets. Commercial vehicles chief Andreas Renschler said the engine can be fitted for each region’s own emissions standards. It will be introduced in the U.S. and Canada next year and other markets in 2008. Full production ramp-up will start in late 2008, Renschler added.

In North America, like all engine OEs other than Cat, Detroit Diesel is committed to EGR technology with a DPF to meet EPA regulations. In Europe, DaimlerChrysler uses its proprietary BlueTec SCR technology solution to meet emission standards.

The global engine platform will likely continue on both respective paths in the short term, but the company most probably will fully commit to an SCR solution for 2010, when the next — and toughest yet — round of EPA-mandated emission cuts take affect. DaimlerChrysler and other truckmakers, including Volvo, have said many times recently that as of right now SCR looks like the most cost-effective 2010 engine solution for the North American market.

The new global engine will coincide with a brand new chassis and truck lineup, which the company will announce in more detail early next year.

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