Bucking the trend towards forced-induction powerplants, Mercedes has announced that the hot version of its new C-Class coupe will carry the 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated engine, and not the 5.5-liter biturbo unit that performance division AMG is starting to favor.
Mercedes squelched all rumors regarding the coupe’s engine by introducing the two-door at the Geneva Auto Show with the 6.3-liter unit. As Mercedes diehards all know, the 6.3 V8 produces 457 horsepower, with 30 more available once AMG works its engineering magic into the equation. With this announcement, Mercedes has put the C-Class coupe squarely into the segment dominated by the BMW M3, with its 420 horsepower engine, and the Audi RS5, with an engine output similar to the 6.3, at 450 horsepower.
This interesting development presages what looks like another horsepower and performance war between the dominant German automakers. Although the three manufacturers are already battling it out in the DTM championship, most spectators know that the racing cars hardly bear any components that make it to the road cars. The battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers will be fought out in the mindspace of diehards who will discuss the merits and failures of each marque over blogs and forums in the internet.