Mercedes plots three-cylinder diesel engine

Exclusive: Modular engine range in new E-Class could lead to efficient three-cylinder diesel

Mercedes E-Class - show front quarter

Mercedes has expressed an interest in introducing downsized three-cylinder engines as part of its new modular diesel family, Auto Express can exclusively reveal.

Bosses at the company had previously ruled out launching the three-cylinder turbo due to concerns surrounding refinement. However, the new modular diesel which debuted in the new E-Class as a 2.0-litre four-cylinder could be developed to overcome this issue.

“Diesel is our weapon for the future, to help us reduce CO2 emissions,” Bernhard Heil, head of powertrain development at Mercedes, told Auto Express. “We will see different variants of the four-cylinder, you will see a lot more to come, but you will also see more cylinder numbers.

“We could also derive a three-cylinder from this [engine] family, no doubt. It could be an option – because in future there might come electrification where it might make sense to have a three-cylinder. Depending on the installed electric power, you could avoid [having to fit] an additional balancer shaft.”

Heil also hinted that following the introduction of the modular diesel engine family will be a modular petrol engine range, too. “I don’t want to tell the entire story,” he added, “but if we are talking about an engine family that covers all our engines for our C-Class, B-Class, S-Class and M-Class [GLS] cars, and all that stuff then…”

Mercedes has invested over 2.6billion Euros (£2.01billion) in development and production of its new modular diesel engine family, plus 500million Euros (£388m) in a new lithium-ion battery factory in Germany.

Bosses also confirmed a new plug-in hybrid diesel will be introduced to the E-Class range, to sit alongside the petrol-electric E 350e.

What do you think of Mercedes' three-cylinder engine plans? Let us know below...

Recommended

Geneva Motor Show 2021 cancelled
News

Geneva Motor Show 2021 cancelled

The 2021 Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled due to financial hardship and poor manufacturer response
30 Jun 2020
New 2021 Mercedes EQS: new specs confirm 478-mile range
Mercedes EQS - front
Mercedes EQS

New 2021 Mercedes EQS: new specs confirm 478-mile range

The new all-electric Mercedes EQS luxury car will be available as two different models from launch, and will feature two different battery sizes
7 Apr 2021
Mercedes-AMG reveals 804bhp plug-in hybrid power for future models
Mercedes AMG PHEV
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG reveals 804bhp plug-in hybrid power for future models

Electrified V8 and four-cylinder powertrains under E Performance badge for next AMGs with more than 804bhp on offer; all-electric Mercedes AMG models …
31 Mar 2021
Facelifted Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe spied again
New Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door
Mercedes

Facelifted Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe spied again

Plug-in hybrid power on the cards for revised Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door - due on sale later this year
9 Mar 2021

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car
Nissan Juke EV - front (watermarked)
Nissan Juke

Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car

The new Nissan Juke-sized electric car will sit below the Ariya, and our exclusive images preview how it could look
8 Apr 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed

The new all-electric Kia EV6 gets two batteries, 4WD and even a rapid sporty GT version. Prices start from £40,895
30 Mar 2021