Mercedes-Benz makes another step in what they say is their biggest strategic engine initiative.

It involves several new engines, including inline 6-cylinder engines using both diesel and gas. This marks a switch from V-6 engines, which Car and Driver reports began 15 years ago.

Mercedes-Benz says the new arrangement under the hood will allow their 6-cylinder engines to offer the same performance as an 8-cylinder engine, with better fuel efficiency.  The company says the new engines can produce 408 horsepower.  They addressed eliminating turbo-lag with an electric auxiliary compressor and an Integrated Starter-Alternator.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber is responsible for Group Research at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.  He points out besides the improved performance, the new inline configuration provides space for components on either side of the engine. 

The gasoline version of the new inline 6-cylinder engine will be launched in the new S-Class in 2017.