Mercedes development chief Thomas Weber has said he expects to see a big trend towards smaller engines in coming years, in response to higher petrol prices and tougher emissions laws.

He also told the dpa-AFX news agency at the Detroit motor show that diesel engines were already downsizing, but that there is much more room for petrol engines to go in the same direction.

“We will strongly force the trend in downsizing,” said Weber, adding that smaller engines used in the A- and B-class, would also be used in the C-class. He said that the trend towards larger, more powerful engines that has been taking place recently would be sharply reversed.

Weber said Daimler is aiming to reduce engine cylinder size, and, for example, add turbocharging to boost performance. “The first step is definitely small four-cylinder engines with turbochargers, but why not also then move on to a turbocharged three-cylinder engine. It is completely clear that we will consider such solutions.”

Weber said that although Daimler could develop such engines itself, it is still talking to potential partners about a joint entry-level diesel engine, with 1.6 or even 1.4 litres capacity.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Rival German automaker VW last year introduced a turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-litre petrol engine.