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Mercedes-Benz to downsize V8s next year, add turbos

by Drew Johnson

Following BMW's lead, Mercedes-Benz will reportedly downsize its performance engine lineup in the coming year. BMW has already made the shift to smaller turbocharged V8 engines in its M performance range, and Mercedes' AMG division will soon be following suit.

Speaking with Edmunds, Daimler board member Dr. Thomas Weber revealed Mercedes-Benz' AMG division will ditch its 6.2L V8 next year in favor of a more fuel efficient twin-turbocharged 5.5L V8. The new engine is expected to produce about the same horsepower as the current 6.2L, but Weber failed to give an exact horsepower rating.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is the latest recipient of the 6.2L mill and, in all likelihood, could be the last. The V8 in the SLS generates 563 horsepower.

Additionally, Weber revealed that all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars with V8 engines will be turbocharged for the 2011 model year. Once again no details were revealed, but expect a bent-eight displacing between 4.5L and 5.0L. Mercedes' new range of turbo engines are expect to debut at next year's Paris Motor Show.