NEW YORK – Due to rising fuel costs here and further pressure for low emissions, Mercedes-Benz executives and engineers are contemplating a four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz C-Class for the U.S. market. In fact, a supercharged 1.4L engine is already being tested. To make the car acceptable to Mercedes customers, engineers told www.edmunds.com that it would have a higher level of “perceived performance” than it actually delivers. A louder exhaust and ultraquick-response throttle settings would give the driver the “perception of performance.”
Mercedes already sells a four-cylinder version of the C-Class sedan in Europe. There, the entry-level C180 Kompressor is fitted with a supercharged 1.8L inline four-cylinder engine rated at 154 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. No word as to whether the 1.4L under development would replace the European 1.8L, or if it would be reserved for the U.S. market only, according to www.edmunds.com.