The market’s current trend is to develop more and more hybrid models. Apparently Mercedes is going to follow this trend, but its current V-12 engines will still be offered for at least five or six years.
According to Mercedes-AMG Chairman Ola Källenius, AMG is going to unveil hybrid models, but not until the market is really ready for it. Until then it will work on improving fuel consumption by at least 20 percent by the company’s 50th anniversary in 2017. AMG is still unsure about the hybrid powertrain because the battery needed to provide power to the electric motor is very heavy and will add unnecessary mass to the car’s total weight.
As a result, until AMG will be ready to offer a proper hybrid model, it will work on getting more power from the current gasoline engines and has no intention of offering a powerful diesel engine anytime soon.
On the other hand, Källenius confirmed that the current V-12 engine is EU6 (emissions compliance) and is offered with start-stop technology, so it’s absolutely safe for years to come.
History of the V-12 Engine
The V-12 engine arrived in the Mercedes family back in 1991 when it was used on models like the CL600, S600 and SL600. Between the 1990s and the 2000s, this engine - codenamed M120 - was offered in three different power levels: 389,402 and 408 horsepower.
This version of the V-12 engine also saw use in the original Pagani Zonda C12.
Between 1998 and 2002 the M137 took the reins as the V-12 leader in Mercedes’ lineup. This version was lighter than the previous V-12, but it only delivered 367 horsepower.
As no surprise, the M137 was replaced very quickly by a new-generation V-12. Codename M275, the new version of the V-12 engine added structural reinforcements to the engine block for improved rigidity and delivered 493 horsepower. This engine saw use on models like the S600, CL600 and SL600.
AMG tuned this version of the V-12 engine by increasing bore and stroke, and up to 22.1 psi of boost. In most AMG models, the M275 delivered a total of 604 horsepower.
Another update for the V-12 engine occurred in 2011. It received an updated electronics, an enlarged spiral cross-section, new manifolds and wastegate channels optimized for airflow to deliver an additional 17 horsepower. As a result, it delivers a total of 621 horsepower in the CL65 AMG and the S65 AMG, while the SL65 AMG remained at 604 horsepower.