AMG Joins Engine Downsizing Trend

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
amg joins engine downsizing trend

Motor Authority reports that AMG is ditching its 6.2-liter V8 and 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12s in favor of a new 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8. As with Audi's recently-announced downsize from V8 to V6 in the S4, Mercedes claims they're losing the big bore mills to increase fuel efficiency. Not only do Merc's massive 12-pots struggle to break 15 mpg in typical (for a V12) driving conditions, but they lack the low-end shove of previous AMG engines (notably the old supercharged 5.5-liter V8). The "entry-level" version of the new V8 twin turbo– replacing the normally-aspirated 6.2 unit (called a 6.3 for nostalgic reasons)– will boast 570hp and 665 lft.-lbs. of torque. A higher performance unit will get turbo upgrades to create 700hp and 885 ft.-lbs. of torque (to replicate turbo V12 shove). Apparently a "BluePower" (not a Smurf racist group, it turns out) version will offer epic hybrid performance from the same V8. If you just have to have yourself a V12, fill out a pre-order now for the SLC Gullwing, launching in 2010. The tasty retro-coupe will be the last application for Ye Olde 6.2, cranking-out over 600 horsepower, mated to an 8-speed automatic.

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  • Doctorv8 Doctorv8 on Apr 29, 2008

    V12s lacking low end shove? Seriously? Well, maybe because the ESP yellow light keeps flashing as the tires struggle to deliver 738 ft lbs to the rear wheels at 2000 rpm.... Just to demonstrate, try cruising at 60 mph, lock the trans in manual mode, make sure tap the right paddle until you're in 5th gear (around 1500 rpm), and floor the throttle without tripping the kickdown switch. In about 5 seconds, you will be going well over 100 mph, all in 5th gear. Now that is low end torque, uncontaminated by traction issues. The "5.5" you mentioned is actually 5.4L, and while it has a ton of torque's 200 ft lbs shy of the V12, even if it does come in fractionally earlier in the rpm range, it's conservative tuning that keeps both motors from annihilating the tires in stock trim.

  • Gaazmon Gaazmon on Apr 29, 2008

    I like the 5-speed better. Just my personal prefernce. I have the 5-speed on my car, sister has the 7-speed on hers. Driven both, like the 5 better. To each his own. Doctorv8, yes you are correct the supercharged engine is 5.4. The 6.2L natural V8 does have less low end shove than the 5.4 supercharged V8, but once both cars start reaching the higher rpm range, the 6.2L V8 beats the 5.4 supercharged. Also, I prefer the supercharged 5.4L V8 over the 6.2L natural V8.

  • Doctorv8 Doctorv8 on Apr 29, 2008

    gaazmon, Yes, clearly the blown 5.4 has more low end than the n/a 6.2. However, the author compared the 5.4 to the V12s, which have copious low end; in fact, far more than even the mighty 5.4 Kompressor, since MB hasn't built a V12 without twin turbos since 2002.

  • Gaazmon Gaazmon on Apr 30, 2008

    Ya, the V12s are monster engines. I also remember that the V12s from 2000 to 2002 were non-turbo and had some kind of valve shut-off system where it cut the operation to 8 instead of 12, but I guess they had some really big problems maintenance wise with those engines, or so I hear from my mechanic. He also said the V12s in general had a lot more problems than the V8s and he doesn't recommend anyone to buy them. But I'm really likeing the sound of these new engines especially with the numbers they are throwing at us from an engine that is a lot smaller.