Neutral test drive captured on camera: Mercedes-Benz A-Class undercuts NEDC fuel economy figures in practical test

Contrary to the expectations of the testers of Auto Club Europa e.V. (ACE), a Mercedes-Benz A-Class has achieved significantly lower fuel consumption than the manufacturer's specification in a neutral test drive witnessed by reporters of Stern TV. As a result, the practical test has demonstrated that the meticulously detailed work of the Mercedes-Benz developers in the area of efficiency is not only reflected in the low standard values, but also makes an even bigger difference in everyday use out on the road.

On completion of the 200-km test drive, which lasted four hours and centred on the RTL studios in Cologne, the drivers of Auto Club Europa e.V. (ACE) had expected a consumption figure of at least 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres. This is the average consumption figure for the diesel-powered A-Class vehicle which they had used, according to the manufacturer's figures, and is measured in line with the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is mandatory for all vehicle manufacturers. At the end of the test drive, however, it was established that the dynamic compact car from Stuttgart had consumed only 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres on its practical outing. As such the A-Class undercut the certified NEDC values.

For the Mercedes-Benz developers, the result is somewhat less of a surprise. This is because in achieving optimum efficiency, the NEDC cycle is not the only focus of their attention. Instead, real-world consumption of vehicles takes high priority at Mercedes-Benz. The world's oldest automotive manufacturer therefore consistently invests in numerous measures aimed at increasing efficiency and/or reducing consumption. These include measures which admittedly may have no effect on reducing consumption as measured in the NEDC cycle, but in real-life customer applications can result in very significant savings.

One such area is vehicle aerodynamics, for example. Mercedes-Benz sets the pace in this discipline and delivers cars with the best values in almost all vehicle classes. Current examples include the CLA which boasts the world's best Cd value for a series production vehicle of 0.22, and the new S-Class with a Cd value of 0.24.

Also making a contribution to reducing consumption in everyday practical use on the road is the "energy-transparent vehicle" development tool, created in-house by Mercedes-Benz. Using its approximately 300 measurement points, Mercedes-Benz development engineers are able to carry out a precise and meticulous examination of the flow of energy throughout the vehicle (tank to wheel). This enables them to optimise the energy efficiency of even the most minute component and therefore significantly improve the overall efficiency of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Credits: Daimler AG

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