The ever stringent emission norms are pushing the carmakers to go down the scale and every single manufacturer is investing a good part of their R&D might in eco engines.
The European Union's emission norms for 2020 will set the maximum CO2 emission limit at 95 g/km which is 45 g/km less than the current tail pipe emission limit.
Hence, Mercedes is gearing up for the next decade with a family of eco-friendly four cylinder motors.
Mercedes believes having four cylinder engines compared to BMW's three cylinder engines like the 1.5 petrol would give them an edge in terms of refinement. According to Mr. Jurgen Doring, head of powertrain strategy at Mercedes is confident that the four cylinder engines that are being developed in partnership with Renault will match the BMW's three pots' efficiency.
Next gen K9K?
There will be a 4 cylinder 1.2 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel engines that will power the Mercedes cars based on the MFA platform like the A and B Class, as well as Renault's family of compact cars.
The new 1.5-liter diesel engine is believed to be the next generation Renault K9K diesel engine, that would appear on future Renault-Nissan and Mercedes models.
The K9K has the respect of driving enthusiasts and critics for its consistent torque delivery and the lack of a jerky turbo lag, a nuisance in other engines of the same spec. Besides, the K9K is lauded for its frugality. It helped the Duster record an unseen 20kpl mileage in the ARAI test cycle, and gave the Nissan Evalia, a 40% fuel efficiency advantage over arch rival Toyota Innova.
Successors of popular Renault models such as the Fluence and Duster will eventually use this engine. Can the new motor improve the fuel economy of these brands further?
Mr. Doring also told that the 2020 emissions norms will not hinder big and powerful Mercs as they will make use of plug-in hybrids to lower the emission.
The head of Powertrain Strategy said Mercedes is already well prepared to meet the emission standards and the new family of engines will find their way into production by 2014.