WASHINGTON -- DaimlerChrysler AG executives on Tuesday unveiled a four-passenger, diesel-powered concept car that they say would earn a fuel economy rating of 70 mpg and would meet tough new U.S. tailpipe emission standards.
The inspiration for its design is an odd undersea creature called the boxfish, which engineers and designers found has some of nature's best streamlining and a structure that is lightweight but strong.
During development, the project was codenamed Boxfish.
But the concept car is officially called the Mercedes-Benz Bionic Car. Bionics is the term used for the combination of biology and technology.
The unveiling was an attention-getting feature of an unusual three-day program of exhibits, symposia, demonstrations and social events that DaimlerChrysler is hosting in Washington D.C. this week.
The multi-million-dollar program is called Impact on America and is intended to remind and inform hundreds of policy makers and opinion shapers about the company's employment, investments, products and services in the United States.
DaimlerChrysler AG says the Mercedes-Benz Bionic Car concept is a diesel-powered vehicle that can offer fuel economy of 70 mpg and would meet tough new U.S. tailpipe emission standards.
In a sneak preview Monday evening, the Bionic Car was added to the show.
While it was developed in Germany, DaimlerChrysler Chairman Jurgen Schrempp said it is further evidence of the company's intention to sell more diesel-powered cars and trucks to Americans.
The Bionic Car is powered by a 2-liter, four-cylinder, common-rail, turbocharged diesel that makes 140 horsepower. Executives said the fuel economy rating of 70 mpg would be about 30 percent higher than that achieved by a production vehicle. Emissions standards would be met in part with a particulate filter and with DaimlerChrysler's "selective catalytic reduction" system -- the injection of urea solution into exhaust.
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