The 2012 M Class was originally scheduled to be unveiled at this years Frankfurt Motor Show. The new M Class now packs fuel saving technologies including brake energy recuperation and start-stop which has become a must have on most modern cars. Secondly, the diesel engines are much cleaner and greener as well as all the more efficient than those of the past. The 2012 ML250 gets a 2.1 litre turbocharged diesel engine with 201 bhp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
The engine coupled to Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic transmission in conjunction with start-stop and brake energy recuperation returns a respectable 47 mpg. CO2 emissions have also come down to 158 gm/km. Other engine options include ML350 Bluetec with a 3.0 litre V6 diesel with 254 bhp. A diesel electric version has also been added to the line-up. The ML300 Hybrid uses the same 2.1 litre diesel engine from the ML250 in combination with a 20 bhp electric motor which further improves fuel efficiency. The ML300 Hybrid could be launched in the second half of 2012.
The looks of the 2012 M-Class were criticized by fans for being too bland upfront after the first images of the SUV leaked onto the interweb. The overall proportions of the SUV remain the same but its longer and wider than the BMW X5 which is the main rival of the big Merc. The SUV seats five and the interior now adheres to the latest Mercedes Benz design philosophy. The rear end especially looks fresh with those E-Class inspired tail lamps.