One of the cars in our M156 AMG V8 collection is a 2007 Mercedes-AMG S63 with a white facelift. It’s worth taking a look at this special Mercedes engine.
The Mercedes-Benz M156 engine is a remarkable piece of automotive engineering known for its high performance. The first V8 engine designed by Mercedes-Benz subsidiary Mercedes-AMG. Previous AMG engines were based on Mercedes engines, this was the first to be created entirely independently by AMG, from the ground up, using the expertise and racing technologies available at the time. AMG was originally a tuning company that adapted Mercedes vehicles, but in 1999 Mercedes became the majority shareholder in AMG and later, in 2005, AMG became a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes.
A key feature of the engine is that it is not turbocharged, but a simple naturally aspirated engine, yet it is competitive and powerful. It has very little similarity with the other Mercedes-Benz engine families, this engine has completely unique characteristics. This petrol engine was introduced in the E-Class in 2006 and was produced in Germany until 2015.
The M156 was designed by Bernd Ramler, who is also famous for designing the 5.7-litre V-10 engine for the Porsche Carrera GT.
The engine has a displacement of 6.2 litres (6208 cm3) and a maximum engine revs between 7,250 and 8,000 rpm. Engine power ranges from 451 to 518 hp, depending on the model variant.
In 2008, the 38th calendar week, the 40,000th model was produced. This is interesting because AMG relies on the “one man, one engine” principle, which means that the engine is assembled entirely by a single AMG employee and at the end of the production cycle the engine is stamped with the name and signature of the assembler. Just as an artist signs his work at the end of the creative process.
The M156 won the International Engine of the Year Award in both 2009 and 2010, a proof to its outstanding performance. However, the M156 is far from a perfect engine. It doesn’t boast a high aftermarket component count. Furthermore, in terms of reliability, it has not even come close to its predecessor, the M113 K, plagued by a number of problems that led to premature wear of several components. The best known of these is the low camshaft life.
The M156 was the first Mercedes engine to have its cylinder walls plasma-coated using the Nanoslide process, in which iron and carbon are fused together on the cylinder wall surface. This creates hardened walls, while significantly reducing friction, making the cylinder walls stronger and smoother, and resulting in an almost mirror-like surface. It’s an AMG-exclusive technology that claims to reduce friction by up to 50%, and the result is a reduction in cylinder temperature that reduces wear while maintaining performance.
The M156 is AMG’s last V8 naturally aspirated engine ever produced, as they have subsequently switched to turbocharged engines, and who knows what will come next with electric car technology.
So the M156 is a much-loved, high-performance engine that is and remains unique in its class: a Mercedes legend.
Our collections include the Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3 1971 and the S63 AMG M156, which embody the beginning and the end of the German muscle car sedan in our exhibition.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Provide your e-mail address and click the button below to receive special deals and premium offers