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4 Cylinders Only for the Next Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The 2022 model-year will bring a new generation of C-Class at Mercedes-Benz, and for the occasion, we're going to see a major change in philosophy. Indeed, we will only find 4-cylinder engines under the hood. No more V6 or V8 symphonies.

Currently, the C-Class is offered with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine as standard, but 3.0L V6 and 4-litre V8 engines, also benefiting from a turbocharger, are also available. In the latter case, this guttural-sounding powerplant presently propels the family's ultimate sporty variant, the C 63 S AMG.

If that model is on your shopping list, better make haste, because it's about to become a rare commodity on the market.

Car and Driver magazine spoke with Christian Früh, Chief Engineer of the 2022 C-Class, to find out how the company plans to develop the new version of its popular sedan. While the platform will remain rear-wheel-drive based, the V6 and V8 powertrains of the AMG variants will be abandoned in favor of 4-cylinder hybrid systems. According to the publication, the new C 63, despite the loss of half of its cylinders, will still offer more than 500 hp.

The power will be there, but we'll clearly miss the sound and unique thrust supplied by the V8 engine. I was at the launch of the model in 2015 and we were given the opportunity to test drive it on the Algarve circuit in Portugal. Let's just say that the experience was memorable.

Mercedes-Benz will also abandon the manual transmission that was always offered with some variants in Europe. That's significant, considering that this type of transmission is still quite popular on the Old Continent. It doesn't change anything here, as all models get the company's 9-speed automatic transmission, currently and in 2022.

The car will also be equipped with a huge touchpad on the centre console and all the latest technologies that the automaker has to offer, much as we saw with the recently introduced S-Class.

The new C-Class is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of this year, with sales expected to begin in late 2021.

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Mercedes A 45 AMG: The most powerful 4-cylinder turbo engine in the world

Version française Car Engineer

Two figures show that the newly developed AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world:

  • A maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Nm of torque are unmatched by any other mass-produced turbocharged four-cylinder engine worldwide.
  • The power density of 133 kW/l (181 hp/l) is also unrivalled. In this discipline, the new AMG high-performance turbo engine even outstrips the most powerful super sports cars.

A Class 45 AMG Powertrain

The high power and torque output and the combination with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard lead to enhanced dynamic performance: the A 45 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its top speed stands at 250 km/h (electronically limited). The specially developed AMG engine is also tailored for efficiency – the A 45 AMG leads its segment on this front, with fuel consumption of 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers in NEDC combined mode. This is accompanied by particularly low exhaust emissions: the A 45 AMG already complies with the EU6 emissions standard, combined with the limit for the particle count per kilometer of 6 x 1011 which will be mandatory from 2017.

The AMG 2.0l engine key data at a glance

Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG
Displacement1991 cc
Bore x stroke83.0 x 92.0 mm
Compression ratio8.6 : 1
Output265 kW (360 hp) at 6000 rpm
Max. torque450 Nm at 2250 – 5000 rpm
Engine weight (dry)

148 kg

Maximum engine speed6700 rpm
Power density133 kW/l (181 hp/l)
Peak cylinder pressure140 bar
Maximum boost pressure1.8 bar
Fuel consumption NEDC combined6.9 – 7.1 l/100 km
CO2 emissions161-165 g/km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h4.6 s
Top speed250 km/h*

*electronically limited

The basis for these figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG. As a high-performance engine belonging to the BlueDIRECT family, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injections and multiple spark ignition improves fuel utilization and increases thermodynamic efficiency substantially, leading to lower exhaust emissions. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimized crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimized piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder wall technology, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.

Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap

Mercedes-AMG addresses the essential challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. The twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure (at a maximum of 1.8 bar), making effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse. This results in a swifter build-up of torque right from the lower rev range. As a positive side-effect, the twin-scroll technology also benefits fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, which is familiar from the SLK 55 AMG, reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamism and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The flap is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. The two striking tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emit a full engine sound which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration. An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap and featuring a dedicated tailpipe trim design is optionally available for the A 45 AMG. This provides for an even more emotional and striking engine sound when the throttle is open and during gear shifting. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the reserve of engines with more than 4 cylinders.

High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG

The high driving dynamics of the A 45 AMG call for a highly effective cooling system. On the basis of the components belonging to the SLS AMG, a low-temperature circuit is additionally deployed for air-water charge air cooling of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The large cooler section at the front level of the cooling module is supplemented by an additional cooler in the wheel arch. Together with the charge air cooler which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance. Cooling of the transmission oil is integrated in the water cooling circuit for the engine. The water cooler positioned behind the front apron is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.A Class 45 AMG cooling system

Source: Mercedes AMG

Romain’s opinion:

I’m quite surprised by the results engineers achieved with this engine. The compression ratio is very low, which means that the engine might not be very efficient even if spark advance can be increased to get more output. It seems that the engine output was favored compared to fuel efficiency in development phase. But how could we explain that the homologated fuel consumption is lower to other 2.0l engines (e.g. Mégane 3 RS, 8.4l/100km) with a higher output?

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This Mercedes Engine Is The Most Powerful Turbo 4-Cylinder In Production

Engines have always fascinated the automotive world. From the dawn of the internal combustion engine to the Bugatti Veyron’s massive 16-pot unit, the automotive fraternity has embraced every facet of its transition. Since the days of gasoline engines are numbered it’s imperative we embrace the best of the motoring world.

There were times when four-pot engines were loathed due to their lackluster character and appalling performance. While the American market has only ever entertained the idea during the oil crisis and meeting emissions targets, Europeans on the other hand were exploring its full potential.

One such engine that could literally give a Chevy small-block V8 a run for its money is the Mercedes-AMG’s latest and greatest 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. Internally called the M139 motor, this engine is featured in the latest AMG CLA45, GLA45, A45, and the GLB45.

Mercedes-Benz has done its homework and the AMG M139 is currently the most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine in production. However, the Gemera's three-pot camless motor tops them all!

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Mercedes-AMG M139: The Pinnacle Of Four-cylinder Series-production Engines

Folks at Affalterbach have created a gem of an engine with the M139. Aside from the ridiculous amounts of power, the level of engineering that went on to create this masterpiece is truly astonishing. Let’s talk numbers. The M139 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four is gonna be available in two states of tune; Base and S. In the bast tune power is rated at 382 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 354 lb-ft from 4,750 to 5,000 rpm, while the S puts out its 416 horsepower at 6750 rpm and 369 lb-ft from 5,000 to 5,250 rpm, thanks to increased boost pressure. The M139 as opposed to its predecessor revs to a 7,200 rpm redline, which is 500 more than the unit it replaces.

The M139 is still transversely mounted however, it’s reverse inclined. This means that the intake system is at the front (next to the bumper) while the exhaust manifold and turbocharger are at the rear (ahead of the passenger compartment). This results in a flatter front section whilst being able to design shorter air and exit ducts for the intake and exhaust respectively. The twin-scroll turbocharger now comes with roller bearings to quickly spin by reducing mechanical friction.

Minute details like the ducted engine cover borrowed from the AMG GT’s V8 help to keep the turbo housing cool by acting as a wind deflector in addition to oil and water cooling. The M139 utilizes a close deck structure and a cast aluminum block that’s denser and stronger thanks to an innovative production process. As a result, the M139 can withstand higher peak combustion pressures.

The engine houses forged steel crankshaft and forged aluminum pistons. The cylinder linings have little to no friction thanks to AMG’s Nanoslide cylinder coating that allows for a mirror-like finish. The M139 uses both Direct and Port fuel injection necessary for achieving the high specific-output figures. In the first stage, direct injectors supply fuel to the combustion chambers and when needed, solenoid-operated port injectors supplement the system. Like all AMG flagship engines, the M139 is handbuilt at AMG's engine factory in Affalterbach, Germany. The all-new powertrain will find its way into the AMG A45 sedan, CLA45, GLA45, and the new GLB45.

RELATED: Mercedes-AMG Announces Hybrid 2.0-Liter Engine More Powerful Than A V8

But Wait, There’s A Twist

This high-specific output engine plan from Mercedes could backfire. It’s evident that the idea was chosen to reduce the environmental impact, however, there’s a possibility that the M139 could be killed sooner than you think. As per the EU regulation, Euro 7 supposedly restricts the use of small-displacement engines that produce a large output. For instance, engines like the M139 2.0-liter turbo with its high specific output of 104 horsepower per cylinder could see an end with Euro 7.

With this in mind, Porsche is planning on introducing larger displacement engines that make relatively less horsepower. Possibly through electrification, the folks from Stuttgart can find a way to do get it done. For now, they’re starting the gig with their mid-engined 718 Cayman (the GTS 4.0) and would likely be expanding to the 911. Even the Cayenne GTS is now using a V8 instead of the V6 it previously had. This is a positive sign for enthusiasts across the globe as forced induction could take a back seat and manufacturers would start embracing naturally-aspirated engines although with electric assistance.

RELATED: These Are The Most Powerful 5-Cylinder Engines Ever Made

Things Could Take Time

While the goal is for a carbon-neutral environment, we have more ground to cover for now our mission is largely in its infancy. Judging by how things are going, the end result is achievable although time, cooperation, and infrastructure are important variables that should be considered.

Every carmaker has been burdened with carbon-emission targets that each of them has to meet in order to sell their cars. With its successful run, the regulatory agencies are now stepping it up. As a result, we have Porsche experimenting with the idea of larger displacement engines, and a host of other manufacturers pushing EVs like never before. No matter how it ends up we’re happy to welcome them as long as there is innovation and excitement.

Sources: Caranddriver, theDrive

NEXT: 5 Best Four-Cylinder Engines On The Market In 2021 (And 5 Worst)


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About The Author
Kiran Menon (254 Articles Published)

A relatively naive bloke in every aspect other than cars. Ever since he was a toddler, cars fascinated him so much that he only ate when there's a magazine beside him. Although comprehension was a bit far-fetched, pictures were the focal point. Fast forward a few years, he graduated with a degree in automobile engineering and now pens down on all things motoring.

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How Mercedes Made The Most Powerful 4-Cylinder Engine In The World

With up to 421 hp, Mercedes-AMG's M139 is the most powerful four-cylinder production-car engine in the world. Right now, the M139 is available in 45-series AMG models—we get the 382-hp CLA 45 and GLA 45 in the U.S.—but it will soon arrive in the successor to today's C63. Yes, the beloved AMG C-Class is getting a 2.0-liter turbo-four in place of a V-8, but thankfully, there won't be a sacrifice in power. AMG has managed to squeeze 442 horsepower out of its turbo-four, and in the C63, it'll be paired with a plug-in hybrid system.


Four-hundred forty-two horsepower is scarcely believable from a four-cylinder, but AMG managed it with the adoption of an electric turbocharger. In operating principle, this is the same thing as the Motor Generator Unit-Heat (MGU-H) used in Formula 1. In this instance, AMG installed a 6kW electric motor that spins the shaft that connects the turbine and the compressor up to 156,000 RPM. This effectively eliminates turbo lag, as the electric motor can get the compressor forcing more air into the combustion chamber far more quickly than the exhaust-gas-driven turbine on its own. Transient response is also improved because when the throttle is closed, the electric motor keeps the turbo spinning even though there's less air flowing out the exhaust. AMG engineers say this new system allows for much more precise control of boost levels, too, because the electric motor provides exact information on turbo shaft speed.

AMG's 53-series cars use what's called an electric auxiliary compressor, where an electric motor spins up a compressor wheel to feed air into either the turbocharger or the engine directly. The difference between the electric auxiliary compressor and this electric turbocharger is that the compressor doesn't take in any exhaust air to spin the compressor. Think of it as a turbocharger that uses an electric motor instead of a turbine and a shaft. An electric auxiliary compressor is great at providing quick hits of boost to improve transient behavior, but it doesn't do much at high engine speeds. The MGU-H installed in the M139 provides similar benefits in transient response and at low engine speeds, but it also provides good power when you get higher up the rev range. Plus, the packaging is simpler here because you're using one device (the MGU-H) instead of two (the electric auxiliary compressor, and a traditional exhaust-gas turbocharger).


In order to make this electric turbo work, however, you need a high-voltage electrical system. AMG's upcoming E-Performance models have an Electric Drive Unit (EDU) on the rear axle, which consists of a 6.1-kWh battery and an electric motor that drives the wheels via a two-speed gearbox. (You can read more about this system here) The electric motor spinning the turbocharger shaft gets power from that rear-mounted battery.

AMG says that this 442-hp four-cylinder can be combined with an EDU offering up to 201 hp for short bursts, and 94 hp of continuous power. That doesn't mean that the C63 successor will have 643 horsepower, though because AMG might further limit the power of the electric motor. All Mercedes will say is that the next AMG C-Class equipped with this E Performance powertrain will offer better power and torque figures than the V-8 it replaces. But, Mercedes also seems to imply that future models beyond this upcoming C-Class will use this four-cylinder hybrid powertrain as well, perhaps approaching that 643-hp figure.


When we first heard the next AMG C-Class would go four-cylinder, we weren't thrilled—and reportedly, neither was former AMG CEO Tobias Moers—as the V-8 gave the C63 a wonderful personality. We'll miss the V-8. How can we not? But, this new four-cylinder powertrain should provide much fascination, to use a word Germans love. And it's proof that even if AMG is downsizing, it's not done chasing horsepower.

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Turbo cylinder mercedes 4 benz

New Mercedes-Benz 4-Cylinder Engine Packs Up To 416 HP

Mercedes has worked tirelessly over the years to wring every last drop of power from its four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and now the company claims it has the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever—the M 139. It’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 416 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque in its top S spec. The standard M 139 mill produces 382 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.

Mercedes will put the engine in a variety of models ranging from the A45, which won’t come to the U.S., and the CLA 45, which will. Both are performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG modes that blend performance and luxury into one package. The engine could end up in other Mercedes vehicles, too, such as the GLB-Class crossover.

The engine makes its impressive power numbers through a variety of mechanical means. The turbocharger makes 30.5 psi in the S engine compared to 27.6 psi in the standard powerplant. The engine features both indirect injection into the intake manifold and direct injection into the cylinder. The engine features dual overhead cams, 16 valves, and a twin-scroll supercharger.

Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder engine

It’s not like Mercedes had a slouch of an engine before the new M 139. The previous turbocharged 2.0-liter made a still impressive 375 hp. Other potent four-cylinder engines include the turbo 2.3-liter Ford Focus RS making 350 hp, The 2.5-liter turbo engine in the Porsche Cayman S that produces 350 hp, the turbo 2.3-liter in the Ford Mustang that makes 310 hp, and the Honda Civic Type R’s turbo 2.0-liter making 306 hp. The Mercedes engine outperforms them all.

As automakers search to improve efficiency, they’re downsizing engines while adding forced induction to compensate for the smaller engine displacement size. In this guise, the purpose isn’t so much about fuel efficiency. Instead, it’s about packing a lot of power into a small package, and it looks like Mercedes was successful.

See Mercedes-Benz's current lineup »

The Mercedes-AMG M139 - The Most Powerful 4-Cylinder Turbo In The World!!!
  • Mercedes-AMG has revealed its new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, and it's the most powerful series-production four-cylinder in the world.
  • It makes 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque in top trim, giving it a specific output of 208.9 horsepower per liter.
  • The new engine will be put in the A45, the CLA45, the GLA45, and the GLB45.

Mercedes-AMG has released full technical details on its brand-new M139 four-cylinder engine, and its headline specs are fairly insane. The turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four makes a maximum of 416 horsepower, giving it a specific output of 208.9 horsepower per liter. That makes it the most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production, and its specific output is higher than pretty much every modern supercar. And the best part? It will be put in a host of new compact Mercedes-AMG models, almost all of which will come to the United States.

Before we get totally into the weeds with technical stuff, a little bit more on the basic specs. The engine will come in two trims, base and S. The base version makes maximums of 382 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 354 lb-ft from 4750 to 5000 rpm, while the S puts out its 416 horsepower at 6750 rpm and 369 lb-ft from 5000 to 5250 rpm. (The S generates a bit more boost.) It's a whole lot more powerful than the turbo four in the current CLA45, which makes 375 horsepower and 350 lb-ft, and the new engine's 7200-rpm redline is 500 rpm higher. Wet, the engine weighs a claimed 354 pounds.


Unlike the previous engine (and the engine in the new AMG 35 models), which was mounted transversely, this new one breaths opposite so the exhaust manifold and turbocharger are at the rear (next to the firewall) and the intake system is at the front (next to the bumper). This allows for a flatter front section, which helps with aerodynamics, as well as shorter air ducts with fewer diversions both for the exhaust and the intake.

The twin-scroll turbocharger is new and fitted with roller bearings for the first time, reducing mechanical friction so the turbo can spin more easily. Both the turbine housing and the exhaust manifold are divided so the exhaust flow can be separately fed into the turbine. The wastegate is electronically controlled, allowing for better responsiveness and more precise control of the intake pressure. The turbocharger is cooled by fresh air, oil, and water. Air gets to the turbo housing via a ducted engine cover, which is designed like an air deflector—a technique borrowed from the AMG GT's twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. AMG says the M139 has a power delivery akin to a naturally aspirated engine's and a "dynamically increasing" torque curve.


The engine block is from chill-cast aluminum, meaning molten aluminum is poured into a water-cooled metallic mold that allows quick cooling and solidification. The result is a dense, high-strength structure. AMG says the closed-deck construction is taken from race cars and gives the crankcase an exemplarily rigidity-to-weight ratio and allows for higher peak combustion pressures.

The low-friction, high-strength crank assembly consists of a forged steel crankshaft and forged aluminum pistons. The larger sump has baffle plates to reduce the chance of oil starvation in long corners. Like the old engine, the new one uses AMG's Nanoslide cylinder coating, which results in a mirror-like finish that gives the cylinder linings minimal friction. The coating was first used on the M156 6.2-liter V-8 and is currently used in Mercedes' Formula 1 cars.


Because the spark plugs and injection nozzles have been repositioned in the cylinder head, the exhaust valves have been enlarged, which lets gases out of the combustion chambers with minimal losses. Dual overhead camshafts control the 16 valves, and the engine has Camtronic variable exhaust-valve timing. Like Honda's VTEC, Camtronic uses multiple camshaft profiles, giving the engine full power at high rpm and better response at low rpm in one package.

Another first for an AMG four-cylinder is the use of both port and direct fuel injection, which AMG says was necessary to achieve the high specific-output figure. In the first stage, piezo direct injectors supply fuel to the combustion chambers and when needed, solenoid port injectors supplement the DI system.


A new engine cooling system consists of a two radiators, one in the wheel arch in addition to the big frontal radiator as well as an air-to-liquid intercooler. All three heat exchangers get their coolant circulated by a variable speed electric pump. The air-cooled ECU is mounted on the housing for the air filter, while the transmission oil is cooled by the engine's coolant circuit and is assisted by a heat exchanger mounted on the transmission.

The engine's electric water pump operates separately from the engine speed and allows the engine block to warm up more rapidly by activating late. It also operates on-demand, and is able to be switched on or off at lower engine speeds as needed. AMG says the new pump "ensures full engine output and optimum heat dissipation" across the engine's entire range, and that it also protects against heat damage when idling in hot climates.


Like AMG's higher-end engines, the M139 is handbuilt at AMG's engine factory in Affalterbach, Germany, under the brand's "One Man, One Engine" program. A new production line was built for the engine, and every technician gets followed by a "driverless transport system" that has its own power supply and takes the engines and cordless tools from one station to the next. Every engine gets a plaque with the signature of the technician that built it.

The first car to receive the M139 engine will be the A45 hatchback, which should debut within the next couple of months. While that car won't be sold in the United States, an A45 sedan is a possibility. The U.S. will definitely get this engine in the upcoming next-gen CLA45, as well as the next-gen GLA45 and the new GLB45 crossovers. In all of these new models, the engine will mate to a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and an advanced all-wheel-drive system with a "Drift" mode. Given that the current 375-hp CLA45 rocketed to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds in our testing, we can't wait to see what kind of acceleration numbers the new engine can deliver.

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And he wanted Nicole, not Kolya, and it amused me. I deliberately teased him, as it turned out later - in vain. By the way, I have never been attracted to having sex with a guy. I took it negatively.

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