The new Mercedes-Benz V8 diesel powerplant from Stuttgart could sow fear into the hearts of most road users... The 4,0-litre unit churns out 231 kW and a head-snapping 730 N.m!

The new Mercedes-Benz V8 diesel powerplant from Stuttgart could sow fear into the hearts of most road users... The 4,0-litre unit churns out 231 kW and a head-snapping 730 N.m!

According to DaimlerChrysler AG, the state-of-the-art 3 996 cm3 engine is the highest torque-producing passenger car turbodiesel in the world. The CDI unit will début in the E-Class executive saloon later this year before being transplanted to other Mercedes-Benz models, the company said.

The engine uses a third generation common rail direct injection system with piezo-electric injectors, bi-turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, a water-cooled intercooler and a range of innovating high-tech systems. The E 420 CDI, in which the powerplant will enjoy its unveiling, is fitted with a maintenance-free particulate filter system as standard.

The 4,0-litre V8 develops its maximum power at 3 600 r/min and its more-than-generous peak torque of 730 N.m at 2 200 r/min. Compared with the previous eight-cylinder CDI diesel engine used by Mercedes-Benz, the V8 boasts 20 per cent more power and 30 per cent more torque.

The new engine is said to power the large saloon from standstill to 100 km/h in 6,1 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h. Mercedes-Benz further claims the powerplant, when fitted in the E-Class, will consume 9,6l per 100 km on the combined cycle.

In addition to its most powerful diesel V8 yet, the new range of diesel and petrol V6 engines will be available in four other Mercedes-Benz models. The compact C-Class and more luxurious CLK-, CLS- and E-Class will also benefit from the three new V6 powerplants.

The all-aluminium turbocharged 3,2-litre V6 turbodiesel (also fitted with third-generation common-rail direct injection technology) produces about 165 kW at 3 800 r/min and 510 N.m of torque from 1 600 to 2 800 r/min.

The V6 diesel is equipped with a variable nozzle turbine turbocharger that electrically adjusts the pitch of the guide vanes based on engine speed. An intercooler reduces the temperature of the compressed air, further enhancing performance.