By Nat Shirley
Friday, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 11:06 am
 
Mercedes-Benz may soon replace its V8-engined E550 with a new model powered by a downsized six-cylinder motor, a new report finds.
For the 2015 model year, Mercedes' updated E-Class lineup will gain an E400 variant with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, according to a Motor Trend report. The E400 will pack roughly 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque and slot above the E350, which uses a 3.5-liter V6 with 302 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque.

Somewhat surprisingly, the less-powerful E400 could supplant the E550 as the upgrade model for E-Class sedan buyers seeking additional output. Without the E550 and its 402-horsepower 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8, the only E-Class sedan to offer eight-cylinder power would be the E63 AMG.

It could be a different story for the E-Class coupe and cabriolet bodystyles - as neither are available in AMG form, the E550 could continue to be offered as a range-topping model.

While Mercedes has yet to officially confirm the report, the switch to a smaller mill would certainly be in line with the automaker's recent engine downsizing moves. For 2014, the six-cylinder E350 BlueTEC is being replaced by the four-cylinder E250 BlueTEC, and Mercedes' AMG performance division is also readying a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 to take over for its outgoing 6.2-liter V8.