The ever-increasing eco awareness and the global financial crisis have determined automotive producers to start the downsizing trend, replacing naturally aspirated engines with smaller-capacity forced induction units that are more efficient, in order to improve the fuel efficiency and decrease the amount of CO2 emitted by their cars.

This is a positive thing, as nobody benefited from the wasted energy but the trend does have its limits – the most important one is that a forced induction engine will never have the linear power delivery of a naturally aspirated one. This makes no difference for mainstream cars but is a key element for high performance vehicles.

As, we’ve previously reported, one of the automotive market’s iconic performance divisions, Mercedes’ AMG, has announced that it is making a step on the downsizing road: the company will ditch the current 6.2 liter V8 and will replace it with a twin turbocharged 5.5 liter V8.

According to autocar, the new powerplant, bearing the internal code M157, offers superior power and torque figures than the engine it is replacing, while being less thirsty. The upcoming 5.5 liter V8 engine will develop 544 HP at 5,500 rpm (a 19 Hp increase) and 590 lb-ft of torque (800Nm) available between 2000 and 4500 rpm ( a 126 lb-ft premium).

The powerplant promises to return a fuel consumption figure of 22.4 mpg (10.5 l/100 km) compared to the 6.2 liter’s 16.3 mpg (14.4 l/100km). The engine will have a even more powerful incarnation, delivering 571 HP and 664 lb-ft of torque (900 Nm) – this will come with the AMG Performance Package.

The M157 will make its debut on the S 63 AMG and has been developed starting from another future Mercedes twin-turbo engine: a 4.6 liter V8, bearing the M278 internal code.

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