Mike Stevens | Oct 27, 2011

More than a decade since the last example in its line-up was retired, Mercedes-Benz is reportedly developing new petrol and diesel straight-six engines.

Mercophiles will remember the carmaker's long history of straight-six powerplants. However, with the phasing out in 1997 of the M104 engine in favour of the M112 V6, rival BMW has become the better-known Euro brand for the straight-six design.

Now, according to Britain's Car magazine, Mercedes is understood to be planning a mid-decade debut for its new straight-six engines, including single- and twin-turbo versions.

The report adds that the arrival of the straight-six engines will signal the end of Mercedes' V6 offerings.

An unnamed source also pointed to a run of turbocharged 4.0 litre V8 engines to replace the larger units - although it is unclear if the still very-new 5.5 litre and 4.6 litre V8 engines will remain on duty.

An entry-level four-cylinder engine for "most" of the brand's large cars is also expected.

With a 2015 debut expected for most of these engines, it's likely that the upcoming 'MLC' SUV will be among the first cars to feature the new powerplants.

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