Currently reading: Mercedes plots the return of its straight-six engines
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
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1 min read
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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405line 19 December 2013

Not the only thing phased out

"Long regarded as a defining characteristic of the brand, its straight sixes were phased out in the mid-1990s"....I wonder if this is when they phased out traditional build quality as well.
507 23 December 2013

Quality phased out?

Up to a point you are right about the quality of recent mercs, but unfortunately this can be said for more or less the entire Automotive industry.

Talking of sixes, I can´t think of a single good V6. To name one of many, the number of V6 Insignias with HGF is diabolical! There again the new leader of GM confirms that GM has only made "crap cars"!

geed 10 November 2013

We run a 2002 W210 with a

We run a 2002 W210 with a 3.2L I6 Diesel. I think you will find that 2002 is not the mid 90's.
Smilerforce 10 November 2013

Petrols were discontinued in

Petrols were discontinued in the 90s, which this article is about. Downsizing petrols in favour smaller blown units. Not as relevant to the diesel market.
WarrenL 25 March 2014

geed wrote:We run a 2002 W210

geed wrote:

We run a 2002 W210 with a 3.2L I6 Diesel. I think you will find that 2002 is not the mid 90's.

Autocar missed a vital distinction. The last PETROL Merc straight six was produced in 1999, but the dervs kept going until about 2005 or 2006, IIRC.

david RS 10 November 2013

BMW should make L6 as

BMW should make L6 as before. Come back BMW spirit! Come back...

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