Last year, Mercedes-Benz announced that it was going all-in on straight-sixes, launching the M256 family of 3.0-liter gas- and diesel-powered motors. AMG also has plans for this engine too. Impre Autos News reports that AMG is developing a 430-hp version of this engine as the basis for a new lineup of AMG 53 models.
This engine and model designation is set to appear first in the next-generation CLS, which is set to make its debut in non-AMG form next year. The E-Class coupe (pictured above) and convertible will also eventually get this engine in lieu of the 4.0-liter V8 offered in the AMG E63 sedan and wagon.
Engines in the M256 family each get an electronic turbocharger in addition to a traditional, exhaust-driven unit, and a “mild hybrid” system with a 48-volt motor/generator mounted to the crankshaft. Mercedes promises this engine will provide V8-level power and torque, with all the silky smooth goodness you expect from an inline-six.
This new family of inline-sixes made their debut in the S-Class, which was facelifted for the 2018 model year. Interestingly, these inline-sixes aren’t offered in US-market S-Classes, at least not initially. Instead, we get the S450, which is powered by Merc’s now-familiar 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6.
In a recent interview with Autoweek, Mercedes R&D boss Ola Källenius said this inline-six will come to the US, but not in the S-Class. Automotive News speculates that the E53 or the CLS53 could be the first US-market car to get it.
We’re just happy this engine is coming to the US at all—AMG version or not. Merc’s 3.0-liter V6 is a fine engine, but cars like the E-Class coupe really deserve something more special, like an inline-six. V8-level performance with the smoothness and great sound of a straight-six is something to get excited about.