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It can certainly get out of it's own way. http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=245954 and http://green.autoblog.com/2009/12/21/report-mercedes-to-add-four-cylinder-diesel-to-s-class/
The current Mercedes S-class will receive an eco boost with the arrival of a four-cylinder diesel version next year.

Called the 300 CDI, the new model is expected to be powered by the E250 CDI’s 201bhp turbodiesel, pushing out 384lb ft of torque.

Mercedes' R&D boss Thomas Weber admitted that downsizing the S-class diesel was an engineering challenge.

"The issue is NVH [noise, vibration and harshness]," he said. "Getting refinement to S-class levels was difficult and we had to change engine mounts and add body stiffness".

If Autocar is correct, Mercedes-Benz will impose some serious downsizing in the engine compartment of the S-class next year. Six cylinder engines are nothing new in European-spec versions of the big Merc. However, Daimler is now set to install its latest 2.2-liter four cylinder diesel in the S.

In dual turbocharged form, the little oil burner produces 201 hp and an ample 384 pound-feet of torque. The new model is expected to be badged as the S300 CDI and equipped with Mercedes' 7-speed automatic. It should perform reasonably well thanks to its ample torque. The biggest problem is apparently ensuring the smooth operation that S-class drivers expect. Don't count on ever seeing this version come to the U.S., though.
 

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Nice. I'd much rather have this than a V8 hybrid Lexus. I think the average S-class buyer couldn't take the stress on their bones from all that acceleration, but 200 bhp is enough and I'm sure that amount of torque is enough. It's certainly about as much as their V8 and I never see S-classes drag racing anyways.
 
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I would love an S-class diesel. It must feel like a train. Not that fast to get up to speed but one you're there you must feel unstoppable.
 
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