by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

FUTURE PLANS: Mercedes-Benz going from V6 to I6 engines in 2015

An interesting news appeared these days: Mercedes-Benz is said to launch a new series of 6-cylinder engines in 2015 which will reportedly switch from the current "V" architecture in favour of the in-line solution. The information was revealed by a company engineer at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

If it happens to be true, the introduction of I6 diesel and petrol units into Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles will entirely be an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise. Even though such powerplants need some extra space in the engine bay, issues regarding a smooth and efficient functioning don't pose serious challenges for the engineers as the V6s do. With the use of state-of-the-art materials and casting technics, the unit's kerb weight can be further optimized. Moreover, the new straight-six engines from Mercedes-Benz will feature turbocharging, which brings extra advantages related to fuel economy, CO2 emission levels, maximum output, high-end torque and dynamic performance compared to the current direct injection found in the 3.5-litre gasoline V6 with 306 hp.

It will take time to digest this report and even more to convince Daimler officials to reveal, little by little, the secrets behind the future I6 engines, if they will eventually be launched. The Blue Efficiency Power units developed specially for the new generation of the Actros truck make use of the six-cylinder in-line arrangement and could serve as a solid knowledge basis to develop similar engines for Mercedes-Benz cars.

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