These days, everyone seems to act like the inline six-cylinder engine is the sole purview of BMW. But tons of other car companies used to make straight sixes only to abandon them for the more packageable V6, including Mercedes-Benz. According to one new report, that might change soon. More AMG straight sixes, please!
The UK's Autocar reports that Mercedes is planning to bring back the inline six as part of a new modular engine series that can have three, four or six cylinders in a row. This new engine could debut as soon as 2016 in the next-generation E-Class, as well as in a mid-cycle refresh of the forthcoming C-Class sedan.
Other upgrades coming to the Benz family include an autonomous highway passing system (I am simultaneously enthralled by and terrified of this) and a twin-turbo V8 for the C-Class AMG, as well as a plug-in hybrid C-Class at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Let's talk about straight sixes for a moment, though. It would be great to see Mercedes return to this engine configuration, one they did away in the 1990s in favor of V6 engines. Before they did, the last of their I6es saw duty in cars like the E36 AMG, pictured above.
I love straight sixes because of their smoothness, their silky sounds, and their increasing rarity in cars. I'd love to see them start to make more of a comeback. A V6 is nice and all, but it's kinda... boring. Straight sixes for life!