In the modern age many models have been adorned with engines that feature turbochargers or superchargers in the pursuit of greater efficiency and higher speeds . Now with gas hovering close to $4 a gallon Mercedes Benz has carved their own path to introduce emissions reducing methods in addition to raising fuel efficiency . Mercedes Benz’s AMG division latest 5.5 liter V8 follows this automotive pied piper. This engine which makes its debut in the 2012 Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG will feature cylinder deactivation. This system according to Car and Driver" Cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 will deactivate depending on speed and engine load, but we’re told the engine will be able to run up to 3600 rpm in four-cylinder mode; if a changeover is required, it takes just 30 milliseconds to fire up the cylinders again." In order to save further fuel this engine is fitted with a start/stop system. But for don’t think for a minute it will become a sluggish elderly golf cart.
This engine even with all these efficiency adjustments this 5.5 liter V8 power plant pumps out a throaty 422 horsepower and a 398 ft/lbs of torque. This is a healthy 62 hp and 22 ft/lbs of torque increase over the outgoing SLK 55 AMG . The bad news is that if this is slotted into the next C63 it will represent a significant power reduction of 31 horsepower and 45 lbs/ft of torque.
We see this as a step forward for Mercedes and perhaps the beginning of the end for the big engined AMG Mercedes. Perhaps, this is the beginning of a new level of performance that turns away from V17 monster that runs on baby seal towards a more balanced car.