B-class based model will get performance variant with supercharged V6

Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division is planning to launch an indirect successor to the classic 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II by the middle of the decade.

The new four-door, which will rival the forthcoming Audi RS3 and BMW M1, will become the range-topper for a new model based on the next B-class. The car’s size and proportions were previewed by the F800 Style concept (pictured) at the Geneva show.

See pictures of the Mercedes F800 concept car

Set to slot into the AMG line-up below the next-gen C63 AMG, the new saloon, codenamed C117 EVO, will itself be influenced by the next CLS. It will have a coupe-like profile, taut surfacing overlaid with prominent crease lines, four frameless doors and a separate boot.

Overall length shouldn’t be more than 4500mm, placing it in the same-sized class as the 190E Evo II from 1990.

But while that car used a 2.5-litre four-cylinder motor fettled by Cosworth, the new car will get a supercharged 3.2-litre V6 that is already undergoing bench testing at AMG’s headquarters.

The new engine is based on the new M276, a turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 which will power the new CLS350. Instead of a turbocharger, the AMG version uses an electrically operated pressure wave supercharger. Insiders hint it will make close to 400bhp in production trim.

Also under development at Volkswagen, the pressure-wave blower uses pressure waves from the exhaust gas to boost the induction. AMG intends to use this idea in larger V6s and possibly V8s.

Up until now the pressure-wave process has been used mainly in large earth-moving and marine diesel engines, although Ferrari did look seriously at applying it to its Formula One engines in the early 1980s.

The transmission for the AMG model is unknown, although all of the other versions of the car will be available with a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox.

While less powerful versions of the saloon will be front-wheel drive - the car’s platform is based on the MFA chassis that will also be used in the next A-class - Mercedes insiders have confirmed to Autocar that four-wheel drive will be available as an option on selected models.

It is expected that AMG will use that four-wheel drive system to provide a rear- biased power split, giving the hot version the feeling of a true rear-wheel-drive car.

Like the CLS estate, the saloon is part of Mercedes’ drive to attract a new, younger generation of buyers to its models. The firm is hoping that the AMG version will serve the same purpose for the performance brand.

Greg Kable

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Mercedes reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
15

23 March 2010

Given the extraordinary high prices of Volkswagen's Golf GTI, R and Audi's S3, a hot hatch from Mercedes-Benz can't come soon enough. I like the A-Class, but it really is dull and boxy. So if Merc can make a hatchback that's good looking as well as practical and reasonably frugal, it should definitely appeal to a wider audience. I'd like to see Mercedes-Benz embrace the concept of the DSG box and I'd like a modern touch screen satnav instead of one controlled by steam and valves. Most of all, i want Mercedes to get a grip of its styling. The F800 is interesting and attractive, so if this does genuinely preview things to come, hopefully we won't all be disappointed.

23 March 2010

Looks interesting, good around the front and rear but seems to have more than a hint of 1 series flame surfacing along the sides, not good.

It will be interesting to see how close the production version is to the one pictured.

23 March 2010

[quote Autocar]Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division is planning to launch an indirect successor to the classic 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II by the middle of the decade.

The new four-door, which will rival the forthcoming Audi RS3 and BMW M1, will become the range-topper for a new model based on the next B-class. The car’s size and proportions were previewed by the F800 Style concept (pictured) at the Geneva show.

Read the full article[/quote]

Excellent. I hope, however, that this will prove more than a Merc-badged Mitsubishi Evo, but will make the transition to a shortened C-class platform (thereby allowing the B-class to replace the BMW 1-series in the enthusiasts' affections when the 1 goes FWD). I also think the idea of an entry-level sporty Merc is a great one - they started in the right direction with the new C-class, but the A and B are still dull-as-ditchwater wrong-wheel-drive mini-MPVs which have done a lot of damage to Merc's brand prestige.

23 March 2010

I'd be very very surprised if Mercedes slipped in a new baby 4dr saloon car under the C-Class like this article suggests LOL!

23 March 2010

[quote Jon Hardcastle]

Looks interesting, good around the front and rear but seems to have more than a hint of 1 series flame surfacing along the sides, not good.

It will be interesting to see how close the production version is to the one pictured.

[/quote]

My first thought was "Is Chris Bangle now working for AMG?"

23 March 2010

Yes!

Everybody in FWD!

Fortunately - for now - that my bike is RWD. It will become a collector's item.

23 March 2010

[quote david RS]

Yes!

Everybody in FWD!

Fortunately - for now - that my bike is RWD. It will become a collector's item.

[/quote]

My pushbike is RWD and has a top speed (that I've attained, anyway, on the A25 between Wotton and Westcott, heading East towards Dorking) of 37.8MPH - felt like a million. Soon we won't have any cars that fast, the Greenies will have banned all cars from exceeding 30mph, or from having RWD. Then my bike will become a collectors' item too! I've even found how to get it to oversteer... damn, can't remember the technique, it's been a few months since I've used the bike.

23 March 2010

[quote Rover P6 3500S]I've even found how to get it to oversteer... damn, can't remember the technique, it's been a few months since I've used the bike.
[/quote]

Move saddle forward on rails as far as it will go and increase pressure of rear tyre - find deserted red blaze football pitch - pretend your a M535i. Ahhhhh - the simple pleasures of being 12...

23 March 2010

[quote Challenger440]Move saddle forward on rails as far as it will go and increase pressure of rear tyre - find deserted red blaze football pitch - pretend your a M535i. Ahhhhh - the simple pleasures of being 12...[/quote]

Well, I was actually 17 when I discovered how to powerslide a bike... though I take it you mean you did the same thing at the age of 12.

23 March 2010

Seeing as MB will have to implement a 4WD system from a front drive system, it looks like they will probably make the same mistake VW made and use Haldex to shuffle power back and forth in a unnatural progression of sensors talking. The need a real 4wd system like Audi use on their A4/6/8 cars and like Subaru use. If they can find a real system this car could be the Focus RS we were all waiting for. J

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Hyundai I30 1.4 Turbo prototype
    First Drive
    30 August 2016
    We get early access to the third-generation Hyundai i30 1.4 Turbo. Does this prototype show promise?
  • Citroën C4 Grand Picasso
    First Drive
    26 August 2016
    The Citroën Grand C4 Picasso gets tweaked styling, improved tech and new personalisation options to keep it ahead of rivals
  • Car review
    26 August 2016
    Wolfsburg celebrates the GTI’s 40th with its most extreme version yet
  • Kia Optima Sportwagon
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    New Kia estate looks the part, has good space and handles tidily, but its engine's flexibility and refinement let it down
  •  Kia Optima PHEV
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    Plug-in hybrid Optima is a practical, tax-efficient PHEV that undercuts rivals and fulfils its main remit well, but keen drivers need not apply