A 1.5-litre petrol engine inside any Mercedes vehicle is quite unheard of but that is exactly what the German giants have offered in China in a CLS 260. The car still manages to sprint with spirit but the much smaller engine has raised quite a lot of attention the world over.
The 1.5-litre engine inside the CLS 260 puts out power to the rear wheel courtesy a nine-speed automatic transmission box and belts out max power of 184 hp with 280 Nm of torque. It also features mild hybrid technology. This allows the car to go from stationery to 100 kmph in 8.7 seconds.
Some of its bigger siblings are only fractional quicker than this CLS 260, like the locally-made E-Class. But why would the luxury car put an engine as small inside what has long been regarded as a mass-market luxury vehicle?
The answer to this lies in the taxation system in China which make cars with 1.5-litre petrol engines, and less, cheaper. As such, the CLS 260 is priced at 576,800 yuan (approximately $81,500 or INR 61 lakh).
In India, the CLS is only available with a 1.9-litre diesel engine option which gives it 245 hp of peak power and 500 Nm of peak torque. It is, quite obviously, priced much higher than the smaller engine variant of CLS available in China, at upwards of ₹84 lakh (ex showroom).
While there are no confirmed reports of similar engine downgrades being on the cards in Mercedes cars in India, automotive experts around the world mostly see it as being inevitable due to stricter emission norms and with the constant progress of hybrid technologies.