While most other automakers have been backing away from plans to introduce new diesel engines to the U.S. market in recent months, the big German makers - VW-Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz - seem fully committed to oil burners. That's probably because the modern diesels provide the performance levels needed to maintain the premium image those brands have cultivated for themselves while at the same time providing the levels of fuel efficiency that are needed to meet current and upcoming fuel efficiency standards. With that in mind, Mercedes Benz appears set to drop a diesel engine into the SLK roadster when the next redesign appears in early 2010. The recently-introduced 2.2L four will likely provide power for the SLK250. In dual turbo form, the engine generates 204 hp and a massive 369 lb-ft of torque which is plenty for the little SLK. The C250 sedan that just launched in Europe with the same engine gets a combined rating of 45.3 mpg (U.S.) and should be able to achieve real world mileage in the upper 30s with ease.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]