Inline sixes have always been favored over V6s by enthusiasts for their unparalleled refinement, mechanical balance and simplicity. However, over time, companies who only produced straight-six engines have resorted to the “Vee” configuration to help cut costs and cater to a more space-conscious market, especially from the growth of longitudinally placed engines for front-wheel driven cars. Some of these brands include ones from General Motors, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz.
And only a few select brands have stayed loyal to the inline six such as BMW. But now, word is that Mercedes-Benz has just signed off a new family of engines, which includes a series of new three- and four-cylinders, smaller displacement V8s, and most all, a new family of straight-sixes. Yup, you heard right.
It’s been over 14 years since Mercedes-Benz produced their last inline-six: the 3.2L M104, or the same engine in my 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320. It is highly regarded as the best six-cylinder ever produced by the brand for its long lasting and rugged durability, its unrivaled refinement and modernity. Replacing the M104 in 1997 was Mercedes-Benz’s first ever V6, the M112 and as most of us know, that was about the time Mercedes-Benz took a huge dive for the worse.
Supposedly an insider within Mercedes-Benz’s engineering department disclosed this information. If it holds to be true, Mercedes-Benz could very well be back on the road to tradition. And with me being a diehard Mercedes guru, I couldn’t ask for more. I’ve always prayed that Mercedes-Benz would reintroduce the straight-six. But then again, I am slightly biased.
– By: Chris Chin