New straight-six engines to debut in 2016 E-class and 2017 C-class, three and four-cylinder engines based on the same architecture expected to follow
9 November 2013

Development of Mercedes’ new in-line six-cylinder engines is well underway, Autocar has learned.

Long regarded as a defining characteristic of the brand, its straight sixes were phased out in the mid-1990s.

The engines are part of a new modular powertrain architecture that will spawn three and four-cylinder units as well as the six-pot versions. The new engines are expected to be launched in 2016 under the bonnet of the next-gen E-class, codenamed W213.

The forthcoming C-class is likely to receive the new engine family in 2017 as part of a mid-life makeover. The engine line-up will include the new three-cylinder unit that is said to boast enough refinement to satisfy Mercedes customers.

What’s being dubbed ‘Autobahn Pilot’ is also likely to arrive in 2016 on the E-class and in 2017 on the C-class. Company insiders say the system is an “autonomous driving assistant with an overtaking function”.

For the short term, sources have now confirmed that the new C-class AMG model will get a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine. It will drive a seven-ratio Speedshift automatic transmission and have the option of all-wheel drive. A nine-speed Speedshift is also under development and is expected to appear during the 2017 mid-life refresh.

Development work on the C-class plug-in hybrid is in its final stages, too, with Mercedes hoping to achieve a CO2 rating of 60g/km when the vehicle’s certification process is completed.

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21

9 November 2013
A new old skool straight six engined Aston would be fantastic! Offer a suitably powerful version of this as an option in the next Vantage, making it slightly cheaper to buy and a lot cheaper to own and run, and it would boost Aston sales considerably. Could help Aston compete more effectively with the 911 and F-Type, increase volumes without sacrificing image by doing another Cygnet type car and reduce the average emmissions of their range.

9 November 2013
The C180 is the creamy pick of the bunch. My Dad has one and I'm in it every day on the way to school.

9 November 2013
[quote=Ray6O]The C180 is the creamy pick of the bunch. My Dad has one and I'm in it every day on the way to school.[/quote] Good for you, but I'm surprised you say the C180 is the best car in Mercedes portfolio, have you been a passenger in all of them I wonder?

9 November 2013
[quote=MikeSpencer][quote=Ray6O]The C180 is the creamy pick of the bunch. My Dad has one and I'm in it every day on the way to school.[/quote] Good for you, but I'm surprised you say the C180 is the best car in Mercedes portfolio, have you been a passenger in all of them I wonder?[/quote] No and I haven't eaten dog shit either. I know it tastes awful though.

9 November 2013
Never driven a Merc straight six but if the BMW is anything to go by... What it doesn't say tho is diesel or petrol? I'm sure great news for many if it's the latter but in the real world will it work? Surely there can be few 'new car ' buyers for these. Had the pleasure of driving a 1.0cyl Focus this week. Sure it's smooth enough, sure the low road tax is great and yes it does sound OK (from the inside at least) under acceleration. But whoever gave it engine of the year award obviously didn't have to fuel it - under 50mpg at very best, and that was driving like Ms Daisy ie no more economical than the 1.6 it replaced. Add to that there is little benefit in price over the 1.6 diesel... Easy decision, even as a sub 10k miles a year car, we stuck with derv. Nice thought a straight six + 3 cyl, but Merc needing technological miracle if petrol version going to sell in any numbers.

9 November 2013
[quote=scotty5]Nice thought a straight six + 3 cyl, but Merc needing technological miracle if petrol version going to sell in any numbers.[/quote] Very few people buy diesels outside of Europe, so they should have no problems selling them. Just curious to know if these engines will be part of the same engine family that they're developing with Renault. And another +1 on the Aston idea.

9 November 2013
Having been running a straight six in my BMW (petrol - not the devil's oil) I find it much smoother than a four pot. All my cars prior to that were four pots. However, try a V12. It's amazing how smooth the engine is. You don't realise how unrefined a four pot is until you try a V12. It feels like an electric motor is driving you along, not an internal combustion engine. +1 to the Aston comment. Although the current V8 in the Vantage is rather nice.

9 November 2013
It is following in BMW's footsteps. Although there is nothing wrong with that. The BMW straights are ultra smooth and for the size of engines fairly good overall economy. Especially when you cruise at high speed. Glad I've spent a few years driving them. Hopefully Merc will produce the same.

9 November 2013
[quote=Smilerforce]It is following in BMW's footsteps. Although there is nothing wrong with that. The BMW straights are ultra smooth and for the size of engines fairly good overall economy. Especially when you cruise at high speed. Glad I've spent a few years driving them. Hopefully Merc will produce the same.[/quote] Have a word, Jaguar where winning Le Mans with straight 6 engines whilst BMW were still building single cylinder bubble cars, and Mercedes have been producing them since the early 1900's.

9 November 2013
They have just found their way again! Having had a W123 280E many years ago and an early C280 some time later I would say their straight sixes were great, but as the article says they abandoned them during the 90s and came out with V6s instead. There is a good engineering reason why a straight six is smoother than a V6 (something to do with the balance of the firing pulses I think) and the same applies to a V12 because it is like 2 joined-up straight sixes, but sadly I am unlikely to be able to try a V12 any time soon! It also makes modular versions like straight triples or fours much easier to produce which is what BMW were doing until recently but now they are making smaller 4 cylinder engines with a turbo in some of their petrol engines. I think most of the BM diesels share the same bore & stroke, so there is a 2 litre 4 pot in the 1, 3 and 5 series models ending in 18d and 20d and a 3 litre 6 pot in the 3, 5 and 7 series models ending in 25d, 30d and 35d. It must surely be cheaper than making loads of different capacities, so I suppose that is why Mercedes are doing it. Having said all that I don't remember the only V8 I have owned (in a Rover P6) being anything other than smooth either! Maybe a Mercedes could be an option for a future purchase if they keep it rear wheel drive and offer a manual gearbox!

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