The Germans have always been regarded as the pioneers of automotive engine development, year after year the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and the Volkswagen Group come out with new engines that provide more power whilst using less fuel. The latest engine that showcases German brilliance is the all-new 4.6-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that puts out 320 kW (435 hp) and 700 Nm of torque. Yes, 700 Nm.
The reason why this engine is worth its own article is its engineering brilliance. To be seen first in the CL-Class, and later in the S-Class from late 2010, the new V8 has gone down 15 percent in capacity whilst going up 12 percent in power. It wouldn’t be much of an improvement if fuel usage hadn’t come down whilst the power had gone up, but it has. In the CL 500, it now uses 9.5-litres per 100km as oppose to 12.3-litres with the previous V8.
CO2 emissions have also come down by 22 percent, from 288 g/km to 224 g/km. Although power figures of 320 kW may not be that high for a V8 these days, the 700 Nm of torque (an increase of 32 percent over previous generation) available from 1800rpm puts the Mercedes V8 in a new league.
Mercedes-Benz says its engineers managed to gain the considerable power and torque figures by using two turbochargers, one for each bank of cylinders. Without the turbos, it would’ve require a naturally aspirated 7-litre engine to produce similar figures, the new V8 delivers 600 Nm of torque between 1600 and 4750 rpm.
The twin-turbo setup means there is no turbo-lag and power and torque is delivered throughout the rev range.
As with its new V6 sibling, the V8 makes use of aluminium crankcases, pistons and cylinder heads.