Here's Why The New Mercedes C-Class Won't Have Six-Cylinder Engines

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That includes the AMG variants.

Mercedes-Benz is set to reveal the next-generation C-Class on February 23, but there will be no straight-six engine option at all. The V8 option on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class going away was never a surprise, but the Mercedes straight-six engine is a fairly recent addition to its piston-powered range. It's a smooth and torquey lump, seemingly perfect for the BMW 3 Series rival but not even the AMG version will have six-cylinder power. In an interview with Automotive News, the C-Class's chief engineer, Christian Fruh, said that if Mercedes had designed for the 3.0-liter engine, the front would have to have gained around two inches in length.

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In addition, a higher axle load and the larger engine's extra weight would harm the C-Class's dynamics, which wouldn't be balanced out by extra power. "Performance-wise, we have more than made up for the difference between the four- and six-cylinder engines through the plug-in hybrid models," Fruh explains. "Besides a slight increase in smoothness, these engines have significantly better efficiency." Add these reasons to the tougher CO2 emissions limits in Europe and the US, and the decision to keep the C-Class as a four-cylinder vehicle makes sense, even though its main competitor, the BMW 3 Series, is standing by its six-cylinder engines as an option.

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Fruh also confirmed that Mercedes is working on an all-electric C-Class, but it's not going to show up in the immediate future. "Why not? Because the current MRA matrix cannot be easily electrified," he explains. "We could have packed batteries into the existing floor assembly, used larger wheel diameters and raised the vehicle. But that would have distorted the DNA of the C-Class and we would have had to make compromises with the rear axle and packaging."

He also points out the Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) platform is perfect for the E-Class and S-Class, but it won't work within the dimensional or budgetary restrictions of the C-Class.

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Source Credits: Automotive News Europe

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