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Your Next Mercedes-Benz Could Have A Mild Hybrid System

In the age of tightening fuel economy and emission regulations, automakers are pulling all of the stops to get ready for it. Case in point is Mercedes-Benz which has a clever idea for their gas engines.
Posted: June 14, 2016 - 8:46AM
Author: Will Maley

During an event at Mercedes' headquarters in Stuttgart, the company announced their new inline-six engine will feature a 48-volt motor-generator unit that will make any model a mild hybrid. The engine, known as M256, will debut in an updated S-Class next year. The motor-generator unit is mounted directly to the crankshaft and can act as an alternator and starter - allowing the inline-six to start up within a fraction of a second. The unit will also provide up to 18 horsepower of assistance and harvest up to 20 horsepower during brake regeneration. According to Car and Driver, this will deliver between 10 to 15 percent of immediate fuel economy gains.

It should be noted that this unit doesn't have any sort of clutch to disconnect it from the gas engine, allowing it to run on electric power only. Furthering this is the battery only having a paltry 0.9 kWh capacity.

Car and Driver believe that the U.S. will not see this new powertrain in the updated S-Class since the current base model is a V8 and that isn't expected to change. But were likely see it in other models down the road. Mercedes says this new inline-six will replace the current V6 engine used in many of their models.

There will also be a version for four-cylinder engines that will use a belt-driven motor generator to provide the same benefits.

Pic Credit: Mercedes-Benz