Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan to downsize engines, will use 1.2- and 1.4-liter powerplants

Article by Christian A., on May 24, 2017

You guys are probably aware of the collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan. Knowing this, you would expect that both companies will come up with something impressive. Sources say that the partnership has been working on some new gasoline four-cylinder engines. However, rather than developing a more powerful engine, they seem to have come up with 1.2- and 1.4-liter engines instead. Why small engines, you might want to ask?

The reason behind the downsizing is because the German company aims to lower emissions while increasing the efficiency of the new engines. The new 1.2- and 1.4-liter units will benefit from direct injection, and will be a standard in the next generation base variants of the A-Class and B-Class lineups, according to reports from Autocar. There are currently eight cars lined up for Mercedes’ compact models for 2018 including: the A-Class hatchback, A-Class Sedan, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, B-Class, GLA, a rumoured GLB, and an unknown model that has yet to be announced by the company.

The new four-cylinder units, which currently go under the codename M282, are being engineered exclusively for transverse applications. Therefore, these engines will not be available for use in larger Mercedes-Benz models. These new units will be joined by an updated version of the “M274” which will soon be given a codename that is “M260”. The M260 will be bigger and is going to be available in two versions: 1.6- and 2.0-liter units.

Meanwhile, the 381 horsepower (280 kilowatts) and 350 pound-feet (475 Newton-metres) of torque M133 that currently houses in the “45” models will be replaced by the upgraded 2.0-liter unit - which will now serve as a foundation for the range topping models of the following models: A45, CLA45, and GLA45. The 2.0 liter engine can produce a total of 400 horsepower.

Some of you may think that the 1.2-liter engine is too much of a downsize. But let’s not be biased, take note that there is actually a much larger Ford Montero somewhere in the world that only carries a minute three-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. So you shouldn’t complain if your future compact will have a four-cylinder 1.2-liter under its hood.

But don’t worry if you think that all future cars will be having tiny engines. Renault-Nissan made it clear that this will not be a trend as going under 1.2 liter for gas engines won’t allow them to meet emissions standards. The partnership added that they are “reaching the limits of downsizing” with their new project. Having said that, it is unlikely for both companies to have a diesel engine smaller than a 1.5 - which is often found in the base models of the A- and B-Class models.


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