• The M156 / M159 6.2 liter naturally aspirated AMG V8 is officially dead - Twin turbo replacement to debut in New York

      Say goodbye to the M156/M159 6.2 liter naturally aspirated V8. The head of AMG Tobias Moers confirmed in an interview with MotorTrend that the motor is officially dead and set to be replaced by the M177/M178 4.0 liter direct injected twin turbo V8. The new smaller and more efficient V8 is set to be officially introduced at the New York International Auto Show next month. This is a bit of sad news as it marks an end of an era for AMG and the continued decline of the naturally aspirated performance motor.


      The M156/M159 V8 powered the 63 AMG models of the past generation and is well known by Mercedes enthusiasts and BenzBoost readers. It remains the most popular modified AMG motor on the BenzBoost Mercedes Performance forums and holds the record for world's fastest Mercedes / AMG.

      AMG pushed the engine to the limit in the SLS Black Series with an output of over 500 horsepower at the wheels as well as revving it to 8000 rpm. With modifications, the engine approached the 600 wheel horsepower range in naturally aspirated form. With boost, the M156/M159 has crossed the 1000 horsepower barrier and is a popular forced induction recipient in the aftermarket.

      Its performance prowess also was rewarded by judges at the International Engine of the Year competition in which the M156 won Best Performance Engine in 2009 and 2010. It also won the best engine above 4.0 liters of displacement category in those same years.

      Goodbye you magnificent beast. You will live on in the aftermarket where you will continue to be the strongest Mercedes / AMG power platform in existence.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: The M156 / M159 6.2 liter naturally aspirated AMG V8 is officially dead - Twin turbo replacement to debut in New York started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 24 Comments
      1. TT C6's Avatar
        TT C6 -
        The 5.5L was a nice compromise for the addition of boost, but when equally tuned engines are compared, larger displacement ALWAYS wins.
        I do NOT like these puny 2.0L and 4.0L engines.
        The only benefit I can guess would be maybe the smaller displacement is necessary to utliize a DCT in cars with higher curb weights like the C63.

        If Corvette can post decent fuel mileage with their pushrod V8, AMG should be able to do the same with a 5.5L twin turbo.
        Oh well.
        The 4.0L's aftermarket power numbers AND the fuel economy better be AMAZING.
      1. leo985i's Avatar
        leo985i -
        It wouldnt suprise me if the LT1 has the same or better fuel economy as the 4.0 TT. European V8s are not really known for good mileage. It's bull$#@! that all the Euros are going the turbo way. I mean just look at how good of mileage the LT1 gives with 6.2 LITERS!!!! and plenty of HP.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leo985i Click here to enlarge
        It wouldnt suprise me if the LT1 has the same or better fuel economy as the 4.0 TT. European V8s are not really known for good mileage. It's bull$#@! that all the Euros are going the turbo way. I mean just look at how good of mileage the LT1 gives with 6.2 LITERS!!!! and plenty of HP.
        The LT1's fuel economy comes from high compression, direct injection allowing it to run leaner than port injection on pump fuel, and Chevy's traditional long gearing to inflate EPA figures.

        Could Mercedes keep an NA motor? Of course. But all the Germans are going turbo V8 for the big sedans and the HP war is in full swing. This is the golden age of horsepower but what is keeping things in check is emissions regulations. So the game is to make the most power while being clean.
      1. mramg1's Avatar
        mramg1 -
        Is it just me or did they omit alot of footage. I never saw him check crankshaft endplay clearance, main bearing clearance, rod side clearance or rod bearing clearance. Could they REALLY possibly have that fine of a manufacturing procedure to not have to check these things.

        Or maybe I just wanted to see what they use for these tolerances in real life.

        Oh well, still a fun videoClick here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mramg1 Click here to enlarge
        Is it just me or did they omit alot of footage. I never saw him check crankshaft endplay clearance, main bearing clearance, rod side clearance or rod bearing clearance. Could they REALLY possibly have that fine of a manufacturing procedure to not have to check these things.

        Or maybe I just wanted to see what they use for these tolerances in real life.

        Oh well, still a fun videoClick here to enlarge
        It's a cool video obviously it isn't going to cover every single detail but it gives good insight into what goes into assembling these motors.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TT C6 Click here to enlarge
        The 5.5L was a nice compromise for the addition of boost, but when equally tuned engines are compared, larger displacement ALWAYS wins.
        I do NOT like these puny 2.0L and 4.0L engines.
        The only benefit I can guess would be maybe the smaller displacement is necessary to utliize a DCT in cars with higher curb weights like the C63.

        If Corvette can post decent fuel mileage with their pushrod V8, AMG should be able to do the same with a 5.5L twin turbo.
        Oh well.
        The 4.0L's aftermarket power numbers AND the fuel economy better be AMAZING.
        I don't have high hopes for the 4.0TT's fuel economy for a few reasons. The Corvette gets such great mileage largely because it's a light car and because it has long gears allowing it to stay at low RPMs on the highway. The LT1 makes enough torque to get away with the long gears. The 4.0TT is going into much heavier cars and in order to produce any real torque, it's going to have to run in the boost which is not going to be great for mileage.
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        The interview with Tobias is a really good read. AMG is in really good hands with Tobias, he is a true car enthusiast. He knows how good the M156 is and was actually painful for him to answer the question of whether the engine has run its course.

        Some good quotes from the interview:

        Question: Is the M156 dead?
        Tobias: (After at least five seconds of pained, sad expression) Yes.


        Question: Will we ever see a V-6 AMG motor in a C-Class or E-Class?
        Tobias: What is our unique selling point? The V-8. Why would you want a [six-cylinder]?

        Question: How important is weight from an engineering perspective?
        Tobias: Don’t overestimate it.

        Question: Will AMG continue making V-12 engines?
        Tobias: As long as there are customers. Some people like the extra sophistication. Maybe the next-generation V-12 needs a plug-in hybrid? Who knows?

        Question: Are the horsepower wars over?
        Tobias: No.
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The LT1's fuel economy comes from high compression, direct injection allowing it to run leaner than port injection on pump fuel, and Chevy's traditional long gearing to inflate EPA figures.
        The really good highway mpg number comes because of cylinder deactivation.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        The really good highway mpg number comes because of cylinder deactivation.
        True, I forgot they were using cylinder deactivation, but even the C6 Corvettes got great mileage and I don't think they were able to deactivate cylinders. My friend's base C6 manages almost double my M3's mileage in the real world. I get about 16mpg average and he can seriously get close to 30!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        The really good highway mpg number comes because of cylinder deactivation.
        That too but Chevy has been doing the long gearing and skipping gears thing for a while.
      1. mramg1's Avatar
        mramg1 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        It's a cool video obviously it isn't going to cover every single detail but it gives good insight into what goes into assembling these motors.
        You know I understand my friend, as I did say it WAS cool with a drool, and to the DH that neged me for that, REALLY, get a life.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        Sad day. I remember when these came out, seems like yesterday. Such a short life.

        Now its time for a new V12. And I am very interested to see what the 4.0 can do.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leveraged sellout Click here to enlarge
        Sad day. I remember when these came out, seems like yesterday. Such a short life.

        Now its time for a new V12. And I am very interested to see what the 4.0 can do.
        I doubt they will ever do a new V12. Its days are numbered.
      1. Bozo954's Avatar
        Bozo954 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Its performance prowess also was rewarded by judges at the International Engine of the Year competition in which the M156 won Best Performance Engine in 2009 and 2010. It also won the best engine above 4.0 liters of displacement category in those same years.

        Goodbye you magnificent beast. You will live on in the aftermarket where you will continue to be the strongest Mercedes / AMG power platform in existence.
        Oh well.........Click here to enlarge (sniff, sniff) seeing it in all AMGs was crazy fun while it lasted. You so nasty, M156.

        That said, hold onto it if you got it. I sure as hell am. And get your votes in.

        Unanimous first ballot Hall-of-Famer!!!
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I doubt they will ever do a new V12. Its days are numbered.
        Not according to what Tobias said in the interview.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Bozo954 Click here to enlarge
        Oh well.........Click here to enlarge (sniff, sniff) seeing it in all AMGs was crazy fun while it lasted. You so nasty, M156.

        That said, hold onto it if you got it. I sure as hell am. And get your votes in.

        Unanimous first ballot Hall-of-Famer!!!
        You actually highlight an interesting point here. Why isn't there an engine hall of fame?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        Not according to what Tobias said in the interview.
        Actually he said as long as there is a market for it.
      1. Bozo954's Avatar
        Bozo954 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        You actually highlight an interesting point here. Why isn't there an engine hall of fame?
        Good question (I know, redundant), though I'd suggest the International Performance Engine of the Year Award is essentially the defacto HOF.

        So M156 was not a first balloter - let's say in 2008, but got it the next 2 years in a row. And far as I'm concerned, the Ferarri 4.3 or 4.7 that replaced it aint better. Seriously: Imagine revving M156 to 8,000-8,500 like - if not mistaken - BMW, Audi, and Honda have in the last couple/few years. TRANSLATION: It could be tuned even nastier than the last SLS tune to 622 HP, in my humble, non-gear head opinion.

        But to be clear, let me not act like it was an original thought of mine.

        It actually was suggested by Motor Trend's Angus Mackenzie in the RS5 vs. C63 507 comparo in the latest issue...........which you gave us a preview of not long ago, and I pursposely didn't read.

        Then when I got my hard copy.................you know the rest. In fact, he also suggested the Audi 4.2 is worthy, with which I suspect we'd concur. Yes, we may be partial to big-displacement loving AMG powertrains (okay, just me), but the Audi Quattro folks are decent engine tuners, in fairness.

        Question is, using your direct line to the Car Gods, how do we make an official Hall happen? Anyway, when you get a moment, see what the Almighties can do for the Car Nuts.

        Adios, my brother.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Bozo954 Click here to enlarge
        Good question (I know, redundant), though I'd suggest the International Performance Engine of the Year Award is essentially the defacto HOF.
        It's sort of serving that purpose now, definitely. Agreed.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Bozo954 Click here to enlarge
        Question is, using your direct line to the Car Gods, how do we make an official Hall happen? Anyway, when you get a moment, see what the Almighties can do for the Car Nuts.

        Adios, my brother.
        They could add a section for past motors as the engine awards only cover those engines since the competitions inception so it would offer a dual solution.
      1. Bozo954's Avatar
        Bozo954 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        They could add a section for past motors as the engine awards only cover those engines since the competitions inception so it would offer a dual solution.
        Yes!! Good idea, Solutions-Oriented Sticky. Click here to enlarge