Engine sizes are continually shrinking as automakers seek improved fuel economy, and now one German luxury car maker is considering using a three-cylinder engine in its high-end cars.
Mercedes-Benz powertrain chief Bernhard Heil told Car & Driver that a three-cylinder unit could work well thanks to its compact size and ability to be transversely mounted to power front-wheel drive vehicles. However, Heil is not a huge fan of the three-cylinder engine by itself, citing noise, vibration and harshness as issues with the small powerplants.
That’s where the hybrid part comes in. Mating the small engine to a hybrid powertrain would help negate many of those problems. If produced, the three-cylinder hybrid setup would only power front-wheel drive vehicles, which means it could end up in the CLA, GLA, A-Class or B-Class models.
[Source: Car & Driver]
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