Mercedes-Benz announced a new range of four-cylinder diesel engines today, reiterating their focus on reducing engine size while maintaining performance. The new lineup delivers better economy and power levels than Mercedes’ previous generation of four-cylinder diesel engines, with the most powerful variant delivering 20% more power and torque than the outgoing powerplant.

The range topper is a new 204hp 2.1L unit with a peak torque of 500Nm – as much twist-force as a petrol V8. Despite the increase in power and torque, the new four-cylinder diesel burns substantially less fuel than its predecessor and as a consequence CO2 emissions are reduced by as much as 13% and are now in line with future EU5 emissions standard.

The extra performance comes from several tweaks to the injection and common-rail system, now in its fourth generation, as well as an increase in fuel pressure, higher turbo boost from new twin-stage turbochargers, more efficient intercoolers and exhaust recirculation and improved fuel and water pumps.

The new engine lineup will initially be offered in the C-Class sedan. It will come in three guises: 250CDI with 204hp, 220 CDI with 170hp and the 200CDI with 136hp. There are also plans to put the engine into SUV's, as well as install it in hybrids and possibly combine it with Mercedes' BLUETEC technology. The top of the line 250CDI will accelerate from 0-60mph in about 7.7 seconds and still return fuel economy of 46mpg.