Mercedes is next: Phasing out the V12 engine

Others | December 3rd, 2008 by 9
800px mercedes benz m275 engine

Just a couple of months ago, we reported that BMW is cutting the V8 engine production to focus on smaller, cleaner and more efficient engines. We also …

Just a couple of months ago, we reported that BMW is cutting the V8 engine production to focus on smaller, cleaner and more efficient engines. We also mentioned that the larger V10 and V12 engines might have a similar faith, and we also anticipated other car manufacturers to do the same.

Three months later and during one of the biggest economic crisis, the Stuttgart based competitor, Mercedes-Benz is looking to phase out their V12 engine.  Autobild is reporting that the M295 engine(V12) will be replaced by a new twin-turbo V8 engine. The M295 was the replacement of one Mercedes most powerful and acclaimed engines: M275, an engine that powered models like the S600, S65 AMG or the SL65 AMG. 

800px mercedes benz m275 engine 498x334

As we have seen in the past few years with BMW and other carmakers, the turbocharged engines is the direction everyone is going towards to, with a focus on twin-turbo versions. Mercedes will launch a new V8 turbo with four different power levels, which will most likely go across several of their models.

Thomas Weber, MB Development Chief speaks of the trend towards smaller engines, the reverse of the era where large engines were king.

He also mentioned that several engines from the A and B-Class models will move into the C-Class range, similar to BMW’s plans to bring four-cylinder engines in their 3 Series

We are definitely traversing difficult times and I am glad to see the carmakers becoming more responsible and acting accordingly. Their R&D departments must be a busy place these days.

9 responses to “Mercedes is next: Phasing out the V12 engine”

  1. Lee says:

    This makes me very, very sad.

    They don’t have to cut the large-displacement engines… There are other ways of obtaining better fuel economy. Aerodynamics, higher gearing, lighter construction methods (you wouldn’t believe how much of the weight in each car is nothing but huge bundles of wire). We’re likely going to end up with the same result we had after the fuel crisis in the 70’s: a bunch of under-powered cars because there was no real effort put into alternative methods of saving gas mileage.

    It is possible to “have your cake and eat it too”. Chevrolet, of all people, has been able to show that with the last two generations of Corvettes (even with 5.7L, 6.0L, 6.3L and 7.0L V8’s).

  2. Gragop says:


    Give it 5 to 10 years to let lighter weight parts catch up and become more affordable for manufacturing. I think when carbon fiber slowly becomes cheaper you’ll start to see it used across a variety of cars. Did Mercedes produce V12’s in the frugal mid-1970’s fuel crisis? Nope, but they did when the economy came back around in the afluent 1980’s. Give it time and you’ll eventually see one of the major German manufacturers proudly displacing a huge displacement V12 again.

    If Merc or BMW were really worried about efficient engines then they would scuttle the AMG and M branches as they ONLY produce high displacement (for the # of cylinders) engines that chug gas.

  3. Lee says:

    It’s going to take a lot more than slapping a carbon fiber roof and bumpers on a car.

    It’s no secret that we’ve gained roughly a thousand pounds of added crap in our cars over the last 20 years. A base model 3’er used to weigh in under 2400lbs. Now we’re looking at 3400-4200lbs.

    The 3 Series alone (E30 vs E90) has only grown by 70mm in length (an increase of 1.6%), 171mm in width (10.4%) and 41mm in height (3.0%). Do these alone justify a 33.05-35.98% (comparing lightest e30 to lightest e90 and heaviest e30 to heaviest e90) increase in weight? Hell no!

    Lighter cars = less fuel consumed, less brake pads consumed, less materials needed to manufacture the vehicle, less energy needed by the machines assembling the cars, less fuel needed to transport those materials to and from the factories, less fuel wasted delivering the finished cars to dealerships…

  4. clara says:

    Most people need much more efficient, lighter cars. Most people do not buy V12s. The market for top-end gas cars should be unaffected by all of this.

    What we need…. is a v12 engine block machined from titanium billet. If they can machine bulkheads for the joint strike fighter this way, they can make an engine block for a $500k car.

  5. miles says:


    i dont believe the amg models cost 500k besides the slr lol

  6. clara says:

    Well… I really meant that give or take an order of magnitude.. or so :)

    I’m trying to defend the use of V12s by proposing that the weight factor can be mitigated by approaches not out of proportion to a supercar’s expected price (however, the 500s and 750s will probably never see a v12 again).

  7. Haroun says:

    i love the bmw gesign

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.