Mercedes-AMG Just Created the World’s Craziest Hot Hatch Engine

June 7, 2019 Cars By

Power-lovers, rejoice: Mercedes-AMG has unveiled its new 2.0-liter turbocharged M139 engine. Handcrafted as part of Mercedes-AMG’s “one man, one engine” production process, it will be the most powerful four-cylinder turbocharged engine in production in the automotive space today.

The most potent version of the M139 engine will put out 421 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. (A base version will produce 382 hp and 350 lb-ft.) The max horsepower figure is an improvement of 40 hp over AMG’s previous 2.0-liter turbo four, known as the M133; to place it in a more historical perspective, the M139 also produces about 40 more hp than the 6.0-liter V8 in the E500 “Hammer” sedan of the 1980s and 1990s. It also means the new engine develops 208 horsepower per liter, making it more power-dense than even the likes of the mighty Porsche 911 GT2 RS and Ford GT.

To achieve this performance, Mercedes-AMG made a number of enhancements to the design and construction process of its four-cylinder. They flipped the engine 180 degrees to place the turbo and exhaust manifold at the rear, which simplifies much of the plumbing and permits a lower nose, making for better aerodynamics. It has a super-fancy twin-scroll turbocharger with roller bearings to reduce lag. It also uses a closed deck engine block derived from racing to withstand all of the pressure. Mercedes even coated the linings in its patented Nanoslide lubricant to reduce engine friction even further.

All this begs the question: what Mercedes-AMG vehicles will use this engine? Mercedes-AMG didn’t announce specific models in its press release, but given the M139 is replacing the M133 engine found in the current -45 series models, it’s pretty much guaranteed that this motor is bound for the new versions of those models. More specifically, the new Mercedes-AMG A45, the company’s forthcoming hot hatch that tragically isn’t currently expected to be sold in the United States. Then again, AMG will also probably build a new CLA45 with the same powerplant to go along with the new CLA35–and if history is any guide, that car will likely make it over here.

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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