In what’s termed as the “biggest strategic engine initiative” in its history, Mercedes-Benz has announced the expansion of its powertrain range with the addition of four new engines. These include six-cylinder in-line engines in both diesel and petrol versions, a new four-cylinder petrol engine and a new biturbo V8. This new line-up of engines will bring with them “ground-breaking” technologies such as Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG), a 48-volt electrical system and an electric auxiliary compressor (eZV).

"More powerful, more economical and cleaner - the new modular family of engines from Mercedes-Benz offers the right powertrain for every vehicle," says Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management with responsibility for Group Research at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The largest of the new motors, the M176 4.0-litre biturbo V8, will replace the 455bhp V8 currently in use in the flagship S 500. While it’s more powerful, putting out 476bhp and 700Nm of torque, it’s also billed as one of the most economical eight-cylinder petrol engines in the world, as it apparently consumes 10 per cent less fuel than its predecessor.

The inline six-cylinder petrol engine, which is codenamed M256, comes equipped with a 48-volt electric system and a turbocharger with electric auxiliary compressor, along with an integrated starter-alternator. The carmaker says ISG will provide functions such as boost or energy recovery, allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. This engine, which will also see use in the S-Class, will offer the same performance as an eight-cylinder mill, while being much more fuel-efficient.

The third engine, also for use in the S-Class, is an inline-six diesel good for 313bhp, making it the “most powerful passenger-car diesel engine in the history of Mercedes-Benz”, is also seven per cent more fuel efficient.

And the last, and the smallest of the lot is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a specific output of around 134bhp. The new four-pot, codenamed M264, boasts twin-scroll turbochargers, a belt-driven 48-volt starter-alternator and an electric 48-volt water pump.

All these new engines will join the Mercedes line-up in 2017.