The push by governments around the world for stricter emissions regulations for new cars has all carmakers, from mainstream makes like Toyota and GM all the way up to exclusive brands like Mercedes Benz and even Ferrari working on new methods to clean up their act.One trend we’ve already started to see is the downsizing of engines. Both Ford and GM, for example, are starting to place less emphasis on their big V8 engines in favor of more economical V6 engines, and this trend is being repeated at BMW and Mercedes Benz.
Mercedes is developing new technologies to boost the output of its compact four-cylinder engine range – the Diesotto being the most recent development.
While the Diesotto sits at the lower end of the engine spectrum, Autobild is reporting that Mercedes has cancelled plans for a future V12 engine codenamed M295 and will instead develop a new twin-turbocharged V8 powerplant. The M295 would have replaced the current M275 family of V12s but instead Mercedes will launch two new turbocharged V8s, with four different power levels.
Not only are the V8 engines more fuel-efficient, they are also lighter and smaller and develop similar power bands when equipped with turbochargers.
Mercedes development chief Thomas Weber expects to see the trend towards smaller engines continue. Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show back in January, Weber said Mercedes “will strongly force the trend in downsizing” – for both diesel and petrol models. He went on to claim the past decade’s trend for larger and more powerful engines would be sharply reversed.
One of the first steps, Weber revealed, will be the use of A- and B-Class engines in the larger C-Class range. After that, three-cylinder turbocharged engines ranging from 1.4 – 1.6L in capacity are a very real possibility.
Late yesterday another report emerged claiming that BMW’s sacred M Division was also planning to phase out its traditional high-rev, naturally aspirated V8 and V10 in favor of forced-induction six-cylinder and V8 units.