Report: Mercedes-Benz Looks to the Future With… Inline-Six Engines?

It’s been a long, long time since a Mercedes-Benz passenger car utilized an inline-six-cylinder engine, but a new reports suggests the automaker is working on straight-sixes for a number of its larger passenger cars.

Car Magazine is reporting that Mercedes-Benz is continuing its trend of downsizing its engines for increased fuel economy and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. That trend is already alive and well in the United States, with the introduction of 4.6-liter and 5.5-liter turbocharged V-8 engines to replace the marque’s 5.5-liter and 6.3-liter normally aspirated V-8 engines, respectively.

But the trend is expected to continue even further throughout Benz’s lineup. Car reports that we’ll see a new crop of engines coming in 2015, with a couple of four-cylinder engines, and a 4.0-liter turbo V-8 that can be tuned to replace most of Benz’s larger V-8 options. Perhaps most intriguing is the notion of an inline-six. Car says diesel- and gasoline-fueled straight-sixes are under development, and will feature between one-to-two turbochargers, depending on the application and the desired output. Quite interesting, especially when rumors suggest Daimler could be sharing V-6 engines with new teammates Renault and Nissan.

If true, it’ll be the first gasoline-powered straight-six to grace a Benz passenger car since 1999, and the first diesel-sipping inline-six offered since 2006. It also spells a brighter future for the inline-six engine, especially after straight-six stalwart BMW is replacing its normally aspirated 3.0-liter engines with a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4.

Source: Car Magazine

The reason that Mercedes Benz is going back to straight six is to get more space on the side of its engines to accomodate room for turbo chargers whether one or two and ease of maintenance to service them. With the inline six, the turbos are on one side of the engine against both sides because of twin exhaust ports. Turbos are the way Mercedes Benz is going nowadays due to the fuel saving and power of turbochargers.
Car Magazine is wrong. The last diesel in line 6 engine sold in north America was the E320 CDI, 5 years after 2001. I drive one.

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