Kestas is right. MBUSA doesn't care about the guy who is dying for the company to build another 240D. They are after the yuppies in silicon valley who think they need a 350hp ML.
Now, the problem is not DBAG! It is the people who buy MB's in the US. You can still buy stripped E class diesels from Mercedes in most other countries, just not here. American car buyers just dont want that. They are image conscious. They want toys. They want luxury, not utility. They aren't true Mercedes enthusiasts, like most of us. MBUSA knows this and brings the appropriate cars over the pond.
THIS, is the problem. You dont believe me, just check out the options list on a german spec E class.
You still can buy the modern equivelant of the 240D! Just not here!
IF mercedes imported stripped E220 CDi E classes, we would all be happy with our non-gizmo new Mercedes.
Things are VERY different in Europe when it comes to MBZ. From color combinations to engine choices, it is almost as if they are a different car company in many respects. 6 speed manual 5 Cylinder CDi engine in a w211 car that gets 40mpg? With a red exterior and blue interior? You can order it in Germany. But not here!
Great, now I am all fired up.