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New Benz engines to debut in S-Class

Fuel for thought: All of the new engines gain power over their predecessors but are more fuel-efficient.

Refreshed 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class to usher in more fuel-efficient engines

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Mercedes-Benz logo1 Nov 2016

MERCEDES-BENZ will roll out a suite of more powerful, yet fuel efficient powertrains next year, with the updated S-Class limousine set to be the first model to benefit from the new engines.

The engine rollout is part of a wider powertrain strategy described by the German car-maker as “the biggest strategic engine initiative in the history of Mercedes-Benz” and will include a new family of petrol and diesel modular engines in four-, six- and eight-cylinder guises.

Benz’s overall strategy is costing the company €3 billion ($A4.3b) and it kicked off with the new four-cylinder diesel engine, codenamed OM 654, this year with the new-generation E-Class large car range that launched in Australia in August.

The first application globally for the new suite of engines is set to be the S-Class sedan that is due for a mid-life update and facelift next year.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific manager of public relations and product communications Jerry Stamoulis told GoAuto that it was “too early to comment on spec of new S-Class for Australia”, but added that the company was “aiming to bring the latest technology to the Australian market as soon as possible”.

Daimler board member with responsibility for Group Research at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development Thomas Weber said the new powertrains provide a pathway to even more efficient engines in the future.

“More powerful, more economical and cleaner – the new modular family of engines from Mercedes-Benz offers the right powertrain for every vehicle,” he said.

“The systematic optimisation of our high-tech engines plays a crucial role in the road map towards sustainable mobility. They also need to be designed with a view to all current and future requirements. A key success factor in this regard is the extensive electrification of the powertrain.” The new inline petrol six-pot codenamed M 256 showcases Benz’s ‘systematic electrification’ of internal combustion engines and includes a 48V electrical system and turbocharging with an electric auxiliary compressor (eZV) and an Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG) that the company says ensures zero turbo lag.

According to Benz, systematic electrification means there is no need for a belt drive for ancillary components at the front of the engine, helping to reduce the powerplant’s overall length.

Thanks to the narrow construction and the physical separation of intake/exhaust, there is more room for “near-engine exhaust aftertreatment”.

Meanwhile the 48V electrical system provides power for elements such as the water pump and air-conditioning compressor, as well as the ISG, which supplies energy to the battery through efficient energy recovery.

Benz promises that the six will offer “the same performance as an eight-cylinder machine, while being much more fuel efficient”.

The M 256 will pump out 300kW and more than 500Nm, which is about the same as the current eight-cylinder petrol unit but more than the 245kW/480Nm of the V6 in the S400 that it will likely replace, while CO2 emissions have dropped by 15 per cent.

It offers 500cc per cylinder, the same displacement as the new-generation diesel and petrol engines revealed last year.

A new flagship inline six-cylinder diesel engine dubbed OM656 is the “most powerful diesel engine in the history of Mercedes-Benz,” according to the company.

It gains power over the 3.0-litre V6 from the S350d it replaces, increasing from 190kW to 230kW –it is unclear if there is an increase in the 620Nm torque figure – and it consumes more than seven per cent less fuel.

The new six-pot oil-burner is designed to comply with future emissions legislation – the Real Driving Emissions rules – and features a stepped-bowl combustion process, two-stage exhaust turbocharging and Camtronic variable valve timing.

A new 4.0-litre biturbo V8 codenamed M 176 will replace the 4.7-litre V8 unit in the S500 and will pump out 350kW and 700Nm compared with the outgoing engine’ s 335kW/700Nm.

It will consume 10 per cent less fuel than the outgoing unit, which Benz says makes it “one of the most economical V8 petrol engines in the world”.

Like the unit in the Mercedes-AMG GT, the turbochargers are positioned in the V between the cylinder banks. Via the Camtronic valve timing, the engine shuts off four cylinders when operated at part load to aid fuel efficiency.

A new 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, called M 264, will produce about 100kW and features twin-scroll turbochargers, a belt-driven 48V starter-alternator (BSA) and an electric 48V water pump.

Benz says the BSA is also responsible for fuel-saving hybrid functions such as a “virtually imperceptible” starting and acceleration of the engine, a boost in the engine-speed range up to 2500rpm, energy recovery up to 12.5kW, shifting of the load point and coasting with the engine off.

The car-maker has also confirmed it will roll out its petrol engine particulate filters to some of the new engines next year after positive feedback from the S500 that has the unit.

Part of Benz’s investment includes an expansion of its Technology Centre at the home of AMG, Sindelfingen. A new driving simulator, wind tunnels and an aero-acoustic wind tunnel are already in operation there, but by 2018 there will be a tech centre for vehicle safety, an electronics testing centre and a computer centre.

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