Mercedes-Benz Not Interested in Three-Cylinder Engines for Larger Cars

By | March 10, 2014
While many automakers may be implementing three-cylinder engines in their larger cars to boost fuel savings, Mercedes-Benz has decided against it. The C-Class and larger rear-wheel drive models will not be receiving the technology, but smaller models like the CLA-Class may see it in the near future. Bernhard Heil, head of engine development, said at the Geneva Motor Show that vibration and loss of refinement at low speeds are too much of a sacrifice for slightly better fuel economy. "We have looked at three-cylinder engines, but there are too many compromises, such as refinement and the savings aren't that significant," he said. As an alternative, Mercedes-Benz will be implementing a new strategy referred to as 'Down-Speeding.' This new system will gear the engine to operate at low, practical speeds. Added to that, the German automaker will develop a new family of smaller-capacity diesel engines that will offer either a 1.9 or 2.0-liter capacity. Although the large rear-wheel drive models won't be seeing the three-cylinder, front-wheel drive models would benefit from the technology. The systems will require balancer shafts that increase weight and cost, but Mercedes-Benz is confident that it will offer packaging advantages and be applicable for future hybrids. Source: Autocar UK