Bernhard Heil, the head of powertrain development of Daimler, revealed that Mercedes-Benz will be using three-cylinder engines in its future compact hybrid cars designed for front-wheel drive.
According to Automotive News, some Mercedes engineers are skeptical about the idea of putting three-cylinder engines. However, Daimler pointed out that smaller engines carry a lot of potentials.
Heil said that it is needed for transverse-mounted hybrid powertrains. It will also address the limitations posed by four-cylinder engines in terms of packaging at the front end of a compact hybrid car.
The Daimler official noted that Mercedes will still use four-cylinder engines it its rear-wheel drive vehicles, including their hybrid versions. He reasoned out that these cars have more space for bigger engines, thus, equipping them with four-cylinder engines is not an issue.
Heil revealed the plan of Daimler to develop small gasoline-based engines too. He said that this will be made in partnership with Renault. This will be in addition to the enhanced 1.5-liter turbodiesel engines already offered by Renault for Mercedes cars in Europe.
The powertrain head of the parent company of Mercedes stated that three-cylinder and four-cylinder engines co-developed with Renault are for the compact variants of the GLA, CLA, A and B classes.
When asked when will the new compact engines make their way in the market, Heil answered that it might be two years from now. The report noted as well that the new engines will unlikely make their way to the US market. This is because models that are shipped in the US usually carry powerful engines.