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 phase out their big V8 engines in favor of more economical V6 engines. Mercedes on the other hand is developing new technologies to boost the output of its compact four-cylinder engine range – the Diesotto being the most recent development.
Mercedes development chief Thomas Weber expects to see the trend towards smaller engines continue, especially with fuel prices continuing to rise ever steeper. Speaking with AFX reporters during the Detroit Auto Show, 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 – bold statements from an exec whose company seems intent on shoehorning a V8 engine into almost its entire lineup.
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. We suspect if Mercedes can pull it off other luxury makes will follow suit.