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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Rumorpile: What's In Store For The Next-Generation Mercedes E-Class

      The Inline-Six Engine Family is a big Part

    Car Magazine has some new intel on the upcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class, expected to go on sale in 2016. They report the next-generation model will use the MRA (modular rear-wheel drive architecture) which currently underpins the current S-Class. The next E-Class will also use much more aluminum which Car reports cuts around 70 to 150 kg (about 154 to 330 lbs) from the total weight.

    But the big story is a return of the inline-six. The report says Mercedes-Benz is going with this design due to how inexpensive they are to build and how closely they are related to Mercedes' family of four-cylinders. The first inline-six is expected to be a twin-turbo 2.9L diesel six with 313 horsepower. Other gas, diesel, and hybrid powertrains are expected to follow from there.

    The model lineup is expected to stay the same with a sedan, coupe, cabriolet, wagon, and the CLS sedan and shooting brake.

    Source: Car Magazine

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    The really big news is the speculation of the quad-turbo inline six, that makes over 400 hp in gas or diesel versions and the torque numbers are over 550.   I really like this move back to the inline six, because they used to make some good ones in the 80s and 90s, and inline sixes are well balanced.  Plus it makes manufacturing easier when the inline four and inline six share common parts, and it drives up the economies of scale.

     

    I personally like the look of the 2010-2013 E-class, it is starting to look a bit too similar in front to the C-class now, I hope they have a 4 light set up even if it is one piece of plastic covering 4 bulbs, the overall shape of the new E-class looks good.  The current car has a boring interior, the new car looks like it will fix that with some more curvy and flowing design, rather than the T-square and ruler designed dash they have now.

     

    I think sometimes people forget this is the bread and butter Mercedes product.  Yes the S-class is the flagship, the SL has been the icon, but the E-class globally is probably their best seller over the past 30-40 years.   It is sort of the glue that holds the brand together, and it seems like they are going all out for the new model.

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    German rwd cars usually have long wheelbases and the firewall way back, and with engines becoming more compact all the time, it makes sense they go back to their strengths (in line design). V6's are actually complex even though in a v design tHey can become almost cube like in total space used.

    Nice to see a manufacturer stick with something that differentiates themselves.

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    "If inline 6 engines were so great, everyone (except boring BMW and hoary old volvo) wouldn't have abandoned them decades ago."

     

    "If an inline 6 was so great, why not build an inline 8?"

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    Because most manufacturers want an engine they can put in a FWD car.  Thus they need a square that can go either way.  BMW and Mercedes don't ever need to transverse mount a six cylinder engine.  Inline six doesn't need a balance shaft, an inline 8 would be too long. 

     

    This move streamlines engine design, production and parts for economies of scale.  The 2.0 inline 4 and 3.0 inline six share something like 75% of their parts, pair two inline 4's for the 4.0 V8.  So the accountants are happy with the economies of scale to lower costs, the engineers are happy that they get smooth running inline sixes.

     

    This is the advantage that BMW and Mercedes have, because Toyota, GM or VW can't copy their strategy.  Because for GM or Toyota to do it would mean no more V6 engine, so every Chevrolet, Buick and Toyota sedan and crossover would have an inline four, while only larger SUVs and RWD luxury cars would have room under hood for a straight six.

    Edited by smk4565
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    "This is the advantage that BMW and Mercedes have, because Toyota, GM or VW can't copy their strategy"

    GM already did the I4/ I5/ I6 thing. Old hat with OLD configurations.

     

    "The 2.0 inline 4 and 3.0 inline six share something like 75% of their parts"

    Atlas I4 and I6 shared 75% of their parts. Old hat with OLD configurations.
     

    Mercedes following General Motors.

     

    - - - - - 

    I looked at a Packard I8 for sale a bunch of years ago, it was an amazing hunk of iron. Should've scooped it up.

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    The Atlas engines would have made even more economic sense if they were in cars and not just the Colorado and SUVs.   But when the GMT360s died in favor of FWD crossovers, there was no point to an inline six anymore.  Mercedes moved away from the inline six during the Daimler-Chrysler cost cutting days of the late 90s, it was easier to chop down their V8 into a V6 and call it a day.   The straight six is the superior engine, but circumstances, packaging and bean counters have made it nearly extinct.  I'm glad Mercedes is going back to it.

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    Public is going to view it as archaic if MB publicizes it. Look how many folk think BMWs use V6s.

    Very True, you go the the car museum here and it is amazing to hear people talk about all the straight line engines and how old, out of date technology it is before they figures V engines were better. I honestly do not see MB going back to straight 6 as a benefit for them and have to think there is something else going on here. Sounds Like MB and BMW are sharing motors to save money due to their high cost of union labor.

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    Mercedes and BMW don't share anything, they are competitors.  The inline 6 does save Mercedes money in manufacturing and development cots.  Inline sixes have always been better, it is just that most cars and SUVs now are front wheel drive and need a V6 for packaging reasons. 

     

    RWD > FWD

    I-6    >  V6

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    Mercedes and BMW don't share anything, they are competitors.  The inline 6 does save Mercedes money in manufacturing and development cots.  Inline sixes have always been better, it is just that most cars and SUVs now are front wheel drive and need a V6 for packaging reasons. 

     

    RWD > FWD

    I-6    >  V6

    You are so WRONG! They have been sharing parts and buying together since it hit the news in 2008!

     

    http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1023247_mercedes-and-bmw-already-making-joint-purchases-parts-sharing-next

     

    You can BING it or GOOGLE it and find plenty of parts sharing between these two companies due to cost reduction efforts that make sense. Even their V12 engines are using core common parts such as the block.

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    They never got to sharing V12s, Mercedes until this year had the SOHC 5.5 liter V12, BMW a DOHC 6.0 liter, and lots of the industry sources the same parts.  It isn't like BMW and Merceres are co-developing cars, why would you want to help your biggest rival?

     

    This is shaping up to be the best E-class ever, the current car suffered with a couple years of the 268 hp V6 in 2010-2011, and now the 302 hp V6 is old news as well.  Finally the E-class will have class leading horsepower and torque and the only 9-speed transmission in the segment.  It should be the fuel economy champion as well, because no one can touch their diesel mpg.  The S-class inspired interior will fix the other problem of the boring interior.  The technology, build quality, ride quality and safety of the E-class is already there.

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    why would you want to help your biggest rival?

    That's easy: money. BMW is finding itself in tighter circumstances than in the recent past, and Daimler is consumed with revenue-grubbing; else they wouldn't be trying to be the 'German Chevrolet' and competing with toyota & Ford. Share some engineering/ parts sourcing & keep it under wraps, and they both save money. 

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    BMW might feel tight, but Daimler just had it's 3 most profitable years in company history, they don't need BMW's help.   Daimler already has a partnership with the Nissan/Renault alliance, so some engineering work and parts sharing goes on there.  BMW probably could use an ally, but Daimler already had one.

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    Daimler may not need such, but such could make them more money, which is obviously why they exist.

    I know I've said this before, but look no further than the corporate choice to exclusively badge the sprinter as a 'MB'. That's a blatant money grab on the coattails of brand image. The Sprinter is like a sucker fish; feeding off the blood of the s-class. For more revenue.

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    But MBUSA MAKES a profit..., but they always want more, hence the CLA, the b-class, the 'sprinter-ette', and the other upcoming FWD appliances.

    Not remotely needed to avoid bankruptcy, but there to make money (and erode brand image at the same time).

     

    The sharing of engine components totally jives with the Corporate mentality there. 

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