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Mercedes prepares a slew of efficient new gas engines for 2017

New tech additions include an inline-6 engine layout, electric compressors and 48-volt electrical systems.

There's nothing quite as fascinating as a good engine cutaway.


Mercedes has a whole new family of gas engines coming next year, and they're promising big things.

Gas engines aren't going anywhere for decades to come, which is why automakers are still hard at work maximizing efficiency instead of throwing everything into the waste bin in anticipation of electric cars.

On two of the three new motors coming to the US, the starter and alternator have been replaced with beefier units. This means smoother operation for stop-start systems, and it opens up the potential option of turning off the engine while coasting. An electric compressor acts as a secondary turbocharger, helping build boost pressure at lower engine speeds. All these parts operate on a new 48-volt electrical system.

A new gasoline inline-4 is slated to arrive next year. It will take into account all the technologies mentioned above, which should increase its efficiency over the outgoing four-banger. Twin-scroll turbochargers help deliver low-speed boost, which means this engine will offer some serious power in any future AMG trim.

Gone is the old V6, and in its place is a new inline-6 with the same 3.0-liter displacement. This engine offers V8 performance (output can rise north of 408 horsepower) with V6 efficiency. It offers a 15-percent carbon dioxide emissions reduction over the old V6, and it's capable of working alongside the aforementioned tech updates.

Finally, we've got the big boy, the twin-turbocharged V8. Mercedes believes this new V8 will be capable of more than 476 horsepower, while consuming 10 percent less fuel than the older, 455-horsepower V8. This engine will feature cylinder deactivation, as well. It will be first offered on the refreshed Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which is set to debut in 2017.

The gas engine is far from dead, folks, and automakers are doing their damnedest to squeeze every last bit of efficiency from them. After all, mass-market EV ownership is still years away, and fuel economy targets will just keep rising between now and then.

Get ready for some stonkin' power output once this twin-turbocharged V8 hits dealerships.