New modular engines will make the next Mercedes-Benz E faster and more efficient

Mercedes-Benz w213 body-in-white
A new report coming out of Germany sheds valuable insight into the brand new family of modular engines that will be inaugurated in a couple of weeks by the next generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Expected to power nearly every member of the Mercedes lineup, the engine family will grow to include three-, four-, and six-cylinder engines that will share a long list of components because they’ll all have a cylinder capacity of 500 cubic centimeters. In other words, Mercedes engineers can add a cylinder to the 1.5-liter three-pot to turn it into a 2.0-liter four-banger, and they can graft on three extra cylinders to create a 3.0-liter straight-six.

Unsurprisingly, the E (which is known as the W213 internally) will not be offered with the aforementioned three-cylinder engine. Instead, the entry-level E200 model will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to make 184 horsepower. Next up will be the 211-hp E250, and the E300 will bump the turbo four’s output to 245 ponies.

Buyers who want more grunt will be asked to step up to Mercedes’ first straight-six engine in nearly two decades. The 3.0-liter unit will make 333 hp in the E400, and 367 hp in the E450 AMG Sport. The only gasoline engines we’re likely to see in the United States are the 250-hp turbo four and the two straight-sixes, and all three of them will ship with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Mercedes-Benz w213 body-in-white

A new 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine will be offered with either 150, 194, or 231 hp. The current 3.0-liter V6 will soldier on for a bit longer, but rumors indicate it will be replaced by a 2.9-liter oil-burning straight-six later in the E’s production run. Both gasoline- and diesel-electric hybrid drivetrains are believed to be in the cards, though we’re unlikely to see them until the 2018 model year.

Finally, the range-topping Mercedes-AMG E63 will surf the auto industry’s downsizing wave and use a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine derived from the mill that powers the C63 and the Porsche 911-fighting GT. It will be tuned to make about 600 hp, a figure that represents a 25-pony increase over the currently E63, and it will spin all four wheels via AMG’s first-ever nine-speed automatic transmission.

Stay tuned, the next Mercedes-Benz E-Class will be presented to the public next January at the Detroit Motor Show. It will go on sale in its home country of Germany on January 18th, and it’s expected to land in U.S. showrooms in time for the 2017 model year.

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