For decades automakers were looking for ways to fit larger and more powerful engines into their vehicles. Now it seems that most automakers are moving in exactly the opposite direction. They are hard at working making engines as small as possible while still maintaining a decent level of power. That’s exactly the direction that Mercedes Benz is headed with its next set of compact vehicles. The cars are expected to receive an in-line four cylinder engine that’s smaller and more efficient than the 1.2 liter and 1.4 liter engines that it’s replacing.
This smaller engine is designed to help reduce engine emissions while also making a more efficient product. The engines should also shave some weight off of vehicles, making them even more efficient overall. It’s unclear how much this engine swap will enhance efficiency levels, but any little bit helps as automakers battle to create vehicles with increasingly efficient numbers.
Destined for the A-Class First
This smaller engine is likely going to go into the A-Class vehicles before anything else. That means it could be quite a while before anyone in the USA gets a look at the smaller in-line engines. Later on Mercedes will explore putting the compact engines into things like the CLA, GLA and B-Class vehicles. The smaller engine should help improve fuel efficiency throughout the Mercedes lineup and make for better EPA ratings for the automaker. With tightening EPA limitations for vehicles around the world, Mercedes knows that it’s important to start creating more efficient vehicles overall.
Like most of the recently downsized engines, this in-line four will likely come equipped with turbo to give it the added power it needs to be effective. Mercedes will have to achieve the right level of balance between the power of the turbo and the lag it produces, but with a bit of careful engineering it should be able to achieve a nice smooth vehicle that’s a pleasure to drive around.