Mercedes-Benz will make a return to the inline-six-cylinder engine game, according to a report from the UK's AutoCar. It's not clear what's prompting the phasing out of the current array of V6s.

We'll see the first inline-six from Mercedes in next-generation E-Class, set to debut in 2016. Following that, it'll arrive as part of a mid-cycle refresh for the C-Class in 2017. What's particularly special about the new inline-six is its modular nature, which will allow Mercedes to eventually spinoff three- and four-cylinder options, with the three-pot arriving alongside the new inline-six.

In other news, AutoCar uncovered some details on the next C-Class AMG, which will ditch its excellent 6.2-liter, AMG V8 in favor of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, although we've already told you about that. What we didn't know at the time, though, was that the 4.0-liter would be paired first with a new, seven-speed AMG Speedshift transmission and offer all-wheel drive. AC also reports that a nine-speed Speedshift is in the works.

While the AMG news is exciting, the three-cylinder is the big news. So far, the premium brands have largely been limited to turbocharged, four-cylinder engines. If Mercedes makes a move to three-pots, it could mean big things in the push to downsize powerplants. Is a three-cylinder C-Class something that you'd consider, or should Mercedes just stick to what it knows? Have your say in Comments.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Love i6s! So smooth. The old Benz i6s were great. I wish Jag had not dropped the AJ16. With modern Trannys, injection it would be awesome. . 3 cylinder Benz? No thanks
      • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      inline sixes rule, great news. I was always a bit sad about the V6-ing of the universe.
      • 1 Year Ago
      This move makes sense. If MB is using a common format to make the Inline 3, 4, and 6 cylinder engines, I'm sure it'd cut costs which is the ultimate goal. V6s are great, but it's nothing like a smooth inline 6 cylinder motor. I even remember as a kid my dad's Jeep Grand Cherokee back in the early 90s and how smooth it was, even for a 4.0L Inline-6.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stop calling it three pots that sounds stupid
      • 1 Year Ago
      Straight 6: yes, thank you. But frankly, most consumers don't understand that technical stuff. Note all the advertisements on Craigslist and similar for BMWs with V6. You would think a seller would make a minor effort to know something about the product he is selling, but obviously not.
      • 1 Year Ago
      If an inline-three would tip the economies of scale towards an inline-six, then yes, I would absolutely buy a Mercedes inline-three. How about an SLS AMG successor with a tri-turbo or twin-charged inline-six? Now THAT would be a modern Gullwing!
      • 1 Year Ago
      I remember reading the exact same news exactly two years ago on every uk car magazine and on auto blog. MB I6 can't come any sooner, bmw no longer offers NA 6, this move from MB might make bmw stand more supporting to there I6, jaguar might want to join too!
        • 1 Year Ago
        I would much rather have a dohc NA i6 than any other engine. Smoothness, reliability, durability and power are the reasons.
      Rob Gomes
      • 1 Year Ago
      Remember that TV show "Sliders", where they would visit parallel universes? I would like to visit a parallel universe where gasoline is plentiful, and the M156 6.2L V8 from the C63 is standard in every C-Class, and every new car purchase comes with a puppy.
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a fan of GM cars, I fully support MB going back to I6 configurations. As good as a V6 can be, an I6 just makes more sense IMO.
      Joe Liebig
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW is said to plan for 3 cyl in the new 5 series...
      • 1 Year Ago
      The M112 V6 (the first V6) and M113 V8 were clossely related, the V6 sharing the V8-typical 90 degree internal angle. This was continued on the M272. The newest M276 uses a V6 appropriate 60 degree angle, but is closely related to the Chrysler Pentastar engine. Depending on how the split/sell-off of intellectual property went, it may be costing them licensing to produce it. Also, without continued synergy with the V8's, it is not as attractive. A modular engine program that covers a small 3-cyl up to a twin-turbo I6 may well be the ticket for their passenger cars.
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