Mercedes-Benz has become one of the first brands in the UK to offer a ‘next generation’ RDE2 clean diesel engine that escapes the 4 percent company car tax surcharge introduced in March 2018. The new Mercedes-Benz A 200 d and A 220 d are on sale now.
First announced in the 2017 Budget, the surcharge saw existing company car diesel taxes, which added 3 percent onto the CO2-based Benefit in Kind bill of fleet car drivers, increased by another 1 percent.
But ultra-clean new diesels that met so-called RDE2 emissions tests, due to come into force from 2020, escaped the surcharge entirely.
Both the new 150hp A 200 d and 190hp A 220d are RDE2-compliant. They’re also going into the new B-Class, further broadening the range of RDE2 Mercedes-Benz.
For the A-Class, the savings are modest, but still welcome: around £150 a year for a 40 percent tax payer, compared to the old, non-RDE2 car.
Private car buyers will also get a one band saving in the first VED road tax payment upon registration.
The new 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, codenamed OM654, is offered as an A 200 d Sport for £28,805, and a A 220 d AMG Line for £30,005.
What is RDE2?
RDE2 is part of the Euro 6d emissions regulations that come into force from January 2020 for newly-launched cars, and 2021 for all new cars sold. It stands for ‘Real Driving Emissions 2’, or the second stage of the new real-world testing regime for NOx emissions.
Real Driving Emissions compares NOx emissions on the road with those from the regular WLTP laboratory tests. Since September 2019, RDE has been mandatory: it requires new cars to emit no more than 2.1 times their lab-tested NOx emissions in real-world driving.
RDE2 cuts the allowance to 1.5 times lab tests.
The ultimate aim is to reach parity with laboratory tests by around 2023.
But enough of this RDE2 excitement; how do they perform? The 150hp A 200 d does 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, and has a top speed (interestingly, it’s electronically limited) of 137mph. It also averages a WLTP-approved 67.3mpg and emits 110g/km CO2.
The 190hp A 220 d does 0-62mph in a speedy-sounding 7.0 seconds, and will run to 146mph. It averages a still creditable 65.7mpg and emits 114g/km CO2. Both engines have a standard eight-speed DCT automatic gearbox.
Ordering is open now and deliveries begin in Spring 2019.