• Dec 15, 2009
2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG – Click above for high-res image gallery

While Audi and BMW have embraced turbocharging, Mercedes has -- by and large -- stuck with large displacement, naturally aspirated engines. However, If a recent report is to be believed, that's set to change late next year.

Insideline quotes Daimler AG Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development board member Dr. Thomas Weber as saying the big 6.2-liter V8 powering Mercedes' AMG lineup will be replaced by the end of next year by a twin turbocharged 5.5-liter V8. And that's not all. Under Mercedes' reported plan to downsize its powertrains, all V8s will shrink in size for 2011, with turbocharging making up for the power deficit. If true the move to smaller displacement engines would help increase efficiency while also reducing CO2 emissions.

While the report only mentions V8 engines, we're guessing there's a good chance Mercedes could use more turbos in its V6 product lineup as well. The move will help the German automaker meet more strict emissions laws in both Europe and the U.S., while giving the torque-craving masses what they need.



Photos by Chris Paukert / Copyright ©2009 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Insideline]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      the next S series will be powered by 4 cylinder.
      (diesotto)

      the v8 will die in a few years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am all for it, they have less weight so they are not as nose heavy. power to weight ratio is the name of the game. I wish everyone would embrace turbo land, especially Honda.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, I guess more accurately what I am trying to say is the torque created from the turbos boost efficiency so pound for pound better solution. Fuel to torque should be lower on regular driving but probably a wash under heavy load.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Are you really sure a 5.5L V8 with two turbos will be lighter than a naturally aspirated 6.2L V8?

        If they were replacing the V8 with a force-fed six, I'd buy this line. When they are replacing it with an only marginally smaller V8, I don't.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know where people get the idea that turbo engines are a lightweight alternative to N/A engines, all the additional plumbing, cooling, and the weight of the turbos themselves means they're generally a heavier option. Yet I've seen several people talk about the weight savings lately. The real advantage is efficiency, not weight savings.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given the other comments (about the previous AMG X55 models (and current G55)), is this back to the future?
      • 5 Years Ago
      great, another expensive MB part prone to failure... this isn't good news.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One more try, this time with feeeeeeeling

      @montoym
      "I think the majority of the mpg difference comes from part-throttle usage and just cruising." Right. Two comments:

      1) If you've got an engine that makes a nice round 500hp while you only need
      • 5 Years Ago
      high displacement = high fuel consumption
      so everyone needs to find other routes to big HP
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ThreePedals
        I agree, but if you combine a decent HP petrol lump, with a decent HP electric lump(s) - then you can get high combined HP, with less fuel consumption than just a high HP petrol lump!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @montoym

        "If you want to reduce the fuel consumption, reduce the power level."
        - OR........ add some electric motors and a batt pack!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, due to stratospheric gearing and minimal drag created by a slick body, a 436hp Corvette can achieve an EPA rated 26mpg highway. However, if you step on the throttle and use all 436hp, your fuel consumption will be significantly less than that. My brother owns a 2008 Corvette, when he drives it like its meant to be driven, single digit fuel economy isn't a stretch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        quote from ThreePedals:
        - "If you compress the air fuel mixture going into an engine with a turbo/supercharger and are therefore cram more air into the engine, you will also require that more fuel go into the cylinder as well." -

        Agreed. I've tried explaining that to a number of people before. Basiacally, a 3.0L engien running under boost is no longer a 3.0L engine.

        Take for instance 2 engines, one a 6.0L N/A engine and ones a 3.0L turbocharged engine which has a maximum boost of 1bar(14.7psi). The N/A one takes in 6.0L of air with every 2 revolutions(considering normal 4-stroke operation), the turbocharged engine also takes in about 6.0L of air under maximum boost since the intake air is being compressed to double the atmospheric pressure. Consequently, it takes a similar amount of fuel to ignite the similar amounts of air so their fuel economy won't be dramatically different.

        I think the majority of the mpg difference comes from part-throttle usage and just cruising. However, when being pushed to their limits, I wouldn't expect a smaller FI engine to post dramatically better mpg figures than a similarly powerful, larger, NA engine.

        It's a wonky comparison, but about as good as I could come up with on short order. Since it's hard (read: nearly impossible) to find a single model of car which has 2 engines that have similar power levels with one being N/A and the other FI, I had to bounce around a bit.

        Below, all are 2010 models with the available automatic trasmission and the engine which is rated at about 300hp.

        Cadillac CTS (3.6L DI V6) - 18/27/21
        BMW 335i (3.0L twin-turbo I-6) - 17/26/20
        Ford Mustang (4.6L V8) - 17/23/19

        Granted, vehicle size and aerodynamics, not to mention technology, play a large role in the vehicles chosen, but nonetheless, their mileages are still fairly close with the hwy mileage of the Mustang being the outlier.

        The closest comparison I could think of would be the previous-gen M-B SL which had 2 engine options with the same HP levels. One option was for the SL55 AMG which had a 493hp supercharged 5.4L V8, the other was the 493hp 5.5L V12 in the SL600. Looking at the EPA figures, their mileage is virtually identical with the exception of the SL600's city mileage being 1mpg lower.


        Basically, it comes down to this; it takes a certain amount of fuel to produce a certain level of power. If you want to reduce the fuel consumption, reduce the power level.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @zamafir

        I'm sure that AMG would prefer to ignore fuel consumption, but the EU bureaucrats happen to disagree...
        • 5 Years Ago
        no, no one does. and that's exactly what several of AMG's top people said when asked this exact question in LA.

        Basically someone asked 'well are you thinking of dabling in bi-turbo' and the reply was

        "we already have been, and supercharging, and NA. We choose the powerplant that matches the character of the car".

        The guy had a follow up question 'what about fuel economy'. AMG guys survey the crowd of a few hundred owners with AMG bands on their wrists and asked

        "how many of you who've purchased your AMG because you enjoy the thrill of driving would rather be driving a prius and are seriously concerned about fuel economy? none? Sounds consistent. Until AMG's core stops buying fast ridiculously powerful cars, we'll keep making them that way"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, high horsepower = high fuel consumption. We can pretend that we can have it all, but really, if you want to reduce fuel consumption, reduce the peak horsepower.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @montoym
        "I think the majority of the mpg difference comes from part-throttle usage and just cruising." Right. Two comments:

        1) If you've got an engine that makes a nice round 500hp while you only need
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ naturally shocked:

        Displacement and fuel consumption do nott directly correlate. If you are talking about a standard 14.7:1 stoichiometric ratio, it is just the ratio of mass of air to mass or fuel that enters each cylinder for combustion for each combistion stroke. If you compress the air fuel mixture going into an engine with a turbo/supercharger and are therefore cram more air into the engine, you will also require that more fuel go into the cylinder as well. What we are really talking about when we talk about power or fuel consumption is the rate of consumption, so any high revving engine, when revved to a high rpm, will slurp in a bunch of fuel as well.

        Listen, I like a whole crap load of power as much as the next guy. But if you want to achieve better fuel economy, less superfluous power is the most effective way of doing it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Better buy up those SL63s now before they change.

      twin turbos add more complexity, costs, and weight.

      How about they lighten these cars up? 5500lbs for an s-class is ridiculous!
      • 5 Years Ago
      No. I love the roar of the current motor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will they continue the tradition of exaggerating the displacement by calling the new models -56 AMG's?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The reason 6.2L V8s were classified as 6.3 was for two reasons:

        1. Engines in Germany, even if the displacement is a miniscule amount over the limit must be rounded up to the next Litre, and I believe that is for tax and emissions reasons though don't quote me on that.

        2. It is a tribute to the M100 engine used in the original Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3, and as far as I know that's the only instance where that has been done so I doubt it will happen again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Maestro1 , engines in Germany are not measured like that. a 1.2l and a 1.4l engine would be considered a 2l engine by that logic.

        an engine size is rounded up or down in 0.05l intervals. for example , the Audi V8 has 4163cc , it's rounded up to 4.2l . the E46 M3 has 3246cc , it's rounded down to 3.2l .

        tax values are calculated depending on real cubic centimeters, not the rounded amount.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "While Audi and BMW have embraced turbocharging, Mercedes has -- by and large -- stuck with large displacement, naturally aspirated engines. However, If a recent report is to be believed, that's set to change late next year."

      Odd... given what many higher ranking AMG folks mentioned in LA but whatever.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Up until 2007, AMG's primary V8 was the supercharged 5.5L. Since then it has been the wonderful naturally aspirated 6.2L.

        Both are complete barn burners. The 6.2L IMNSHO is marginally better but not markedly better than the 5.5L

        So switching to a turbo-charged, slightly smaller displacement shouldn't be shocking. It makes these AMG XX63 units even more classic in the long run. Better go out and get one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let me get this straight...

      MB went from supercharged 5.5 liter V8s, to NA 6.3 liter V8s, and now they wanna go back down to 5.5 liters with a set of turbos?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's what I was thinking. I love the old Kompressor 55 AMGs, but the 63 is a bad ass motor. Compared to the 65 AMG twin turbo v12 and the 55 AMG, the NA 6.2s are way nicer to drive casually. I think it suits the character of AMG muscle cars to be naturally aspirated. And why scrap such a recent and successful motor so quickly anyway?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 6.2(63) engine was created so that AMG models could use the 7 speed tranny. The 7 speed couldn't handle the torque coming off the supercharged 5.5L. So that's why all the AMG 55's come with the 5 speeder vs the 7 speed. Also, the 6.2 has a higher redline than the old 5.5. Gives a little more top end in exchange for the off idle torque.

      I've never driven the older 55s, but I have driven a AMG E63. Its still got plenty of huff, and it pulls....FOREVER it seems. Depending on the type of turbochargers they go with, they should be able to recreate the same kind of driving dynamics. GDI and turbos work very well for low end torque applications, and thats exactly what MB engines are know for. But it will be said to see the 6.2 go. That is a BEAST of an engine.
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