As the car industry keeps progressing, car manufacturers are finding different ways of extracting lots of power from smaller engines through using forced induction and electrification. These means of propulsion are favorable for the environment as well.
With such a philosophy in mind, plus the emissions regulations, Mercedes also caught up with the downsizing and turbocharging trend. Because of this, most modern-day Mercedes offerings come with turbochargers as standard.
Mercedes turbocharged gas engines
Modern-day Mercedes models offer a couple of turbocharged 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines. An entry-level Mercedes gas engine like the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo found in the C220 is capable of producing a healthy 203hp. Mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission, this engine is capable of returning 25MPG US.
However, if you want a 6-cylinder turbocharged gas engine, the engine found in the 2021 E450 might suit you better. This 6-cylinder engine can be found in many different Mercedes models, including the SUVs, and it pushes out a punchy 362 horsepower.
This engine is also offered with a 9-speed transmission and is able to return as much as 23MPG US. However, if you want the biggest turbocharged Mercedes gas engine, you have to go through the AMG division and opt for the 4.0-liter BiTurbo V8 that’s offered in many AMG models.
This engine produces upwards of 600hp in many models and is considered the highest tier engine in the entire Mercedes lineup. The 4.0-liter BiTurbo V8 can be found in a $78k C63 AMG and a $300k+ AMG GTR Black series supercar. But don’t expect this engine to return favorable MPG results, as it is being used for the most powerful AMGs.
Mercedes turbocharged diesel engines
Mercedes also offers a couple of turbocharged diesel engines in many models. The entry-level 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine can be found in the latest E220d. This engine offers an acceptable 192hp, but a fairly commendable 40-ish MPG US.
If you want a 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, Mercedes also offers a 3-liter inline 6-cylinder turbo in the E400d and many other models. This engine is capable of producing 330hp, and the MPG results are in the 30-35MPG US region.
The most powerful Mercedes diesel comes equipped with the newly released Mercedes S400. This is just a different variation of the aforementioned engine found in the E400, but in this instance, the engine produces 340hp and an impressive 700Nm of torque.
This 6-cylinder diesel engine found in the S400 is the most powerful Mercedes diesel engine of all time, and it also is fairly economical with a 30-35MPG US fuel efficiency result. It’s also worth mentioning that Mercedes does not offer an 8-cylinder diesel engine at all.
Why are all Mercedes models turbocharged?
It’s fairly obvious that every newer Mercedes model is being offered with a turbocharged engine, and there haven’t been any new naturally-aspirated Mercedes engines for a few years now. This is mostly due to the fact that Mercedes is able to produce a smaller, lighter engine that is just as powerful as a heavy naturally-aspirated V8.
For example, the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged gas engine found in the new CLA 45 AMG produces as much as 412hp. It wasn’t long ago when Mercedes used a naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 that was capable of producing those same numbers. At the same time, the V8 was heavier, a lot less efficient, and more harmful to the environment.
That’s basically why all the newer Mercedes models are turbocharged. Modern-day emissions regulations, especially the ones in Europe, don’t allow big block naturally-aspired engines as they can’t meet the emissions standards.
Things to know about turbocharged engines
Which is the most powerful turbocharged Mercedes engine of all time?
The most powerful turbocharged Mercedes engine is the one found in the brand-new Mercedes AMG GT Black Series supercar. The GT BS is powered by a 4.0-liter flat-plane crank V8 BiTurbo engine that is capable of delivering an astonishing 720 horsepower or 800Nm of torque.
This engine enables the AMG GT BS to sprint 0-60 in less than 3 seconds, and the top speed of this super sports car is rated at 200mph+. The 4-liter engine found in the BS is a similar engine to the ones found in many other AMG models, except for the fact that this one is offered as a flat plane crank construction.
What are the attributes of a turbocharged engine?
There are many different attributes a turbocharged engine offers. First and foremost, a turbocharged engine is a lot more powerful than a bigger naturally-aspired engine. Turbocharged engines can also be smaller and lighter compared to a similarly powered naturally-aspirated V8.
Furthermore, a turbocharged engine is also a lot more fuel-efficient, and a lot less harmful to the environment. Unfortunately, turbocharged engines sound worse, and they don’t offer a linear powerband when you accelerate. A linear powerband makes the car a lot smoother, which is beneficial for both sports and non-sports cars.
Turbocharged engines are a lot more complex, but the modern car industry has come a long way and making such engines reliable as a NA engine is not a hard task like it once was.
Are there any naturally aspirated (not turbocharged) engines still on sale today?
European and Japanese car manufacturers are moving away from naturally aspirated engines, and the US car industry still tries to hold onto the naturally aspirated V8. In Europe, some manufacturers like Porsche, Lamborghini, or Ferrari still offer NA engines because such engines are a hallmark of these brands.
In the Japanese car industry, you will be unlikely to come across a non-turbocharged engine, as the Japanese were the first ones to switch towards turbocharged engines. In the US, there are a few NA engines still on sale, and most likely there still will be in the future because US fuel regulations have not yet been as strict as the ones in Europe.
The use of the naturally aspired engines is coming to an end in favor of heavy turbocharging, as well as downsizing, electrification and hybridization.