What are the types of compressors used in Mercedes Benz?

This article will answer the following questions: what are the types of compressors used in Mercedes Benz? Which Mercedes Benz models have a compressor? And which engines are used in the Kompressor model?

What are the types of compressors used in Mercedes Benz?

Mercedes Benz implemented the following two types of superchargers/ compressors:

  • Roots blower
  • Twin scroll supercharger

Mercedes Benz was one of the first car makers to use compressors instead of turbochargers. The above-listed compressors are explained below:

  • Roots blower

The root blower was largely used inline four-cylinder Mercedes Benz engines as it was compact and very efficient. It was driven by a belt drive connected to the crankshaft. This blower consists of two rotors with three lobes on each rotor. 

The rotor turns in opposite directions and creates High pressure in the intake manifold. The high pressure is built up in the intake manifold as air is constantly supplied by the compressor and the engine cannot use all the air mass fast enough.

The compressed air is cooled in the intercooler and again goes back to the intake manifold. As the compressor is driven by the crankshaft, there can be heavy power loss in the output generated by the internal combustion engine. 

Therefore the compressor pulley has an electromagnetic clutch that can be disengaged according to the signal from the engine control unit. 

In the disengaged state the compressor is not producing maximum boost pressure as it is not required. The roots blower was not used on the bigger V6 and V8 engines as the power consumption is very high in the higher engine speeds. 

Even a bypass valve between the intake and the exhaust side of the intercooler is not sufficient to compensate for the power consumption as the rotors are still turning.

The capacity of the roots blower used in the Mercedes Benz Cars is 0.7 litres and the turbine speed is 14000-18000 rpm. 

  • Twin scroll supercharger

The twin-scroll supercharger is also similar to the roots blower, it consists of two rotors but there are 4 lobes on each rotor. The twist angle is also greater compared to the roots blower. 

Twin scroll superchargers are also driven by the crankshaft but it produces more airflow as the air is compressed inside the housing of the supercharger instead of building up in the intake manifold.

The capacity is also more than one-litre thanks to larger housing and aggressive twist angle of up to 160 degrees. The compressor pulley has a magnetic clutch which is controlled by the engine control unit. The supercharger can be engaged or disengaged from the drive belt according to the driving conditions.

An air recirculation valve is also present in the air induction system to compensate for the flow of air in different driving circumstances. Mercedes Benz predominantly used roots or the twin-scroll supercharger which are positive displacement and have a linear output, unlike the centrifugal types.

Mercedes Benz later adopted the Lysholm screw-type design in the twin-scroll superchargers. It had an uneven number of lobes on the rotor, usually 5 male and 6 female lobes. The efficiency of the Lysholm compressor is very high but the cost of manufacturing and precise engineering made it exclusive to very few Mercedes Benz models.

Which Mercedes Benz models have a supercharged engine?

The Kompressor logo located on the back of the car represents the vehicle has a  Mercedes Benz supercharged engine. It is exclusively used by Mercedes Benz; it means there is an air compressor also known as a supercharger installed on the engine.

Following are the different classes with a Kompressor-equipped model

Mercedes-Benz C  Class model series  W202, W203, W204

Mercedes-Benz E Class model series W210, W211 

Mercedes-Benz SL/ SLK Class model series R170/ 171,  R230

Mercedes-Benz CLK Class C208/209,  W219

Mercedes-Benz S Class W220 (S55 AMG)

Mercedes-Benz C215 (CL55 AMG)

Mercedes-Benz W219 (CLS55 AMG)

Which engines are used in the Kompressor models?

The inline 4 cylinders 1.8 litres petrol engine was used in the 230 models. The power output of the 230 Kompressor is around 190 horsepower. Mercedes Benz also introduced the 180, 220, and 200 compressor models in the C class. Supercharged 4-cylinder engines were not popular because the power consumption was high at high RPM and the noise produced by the roots plover was loud.

  • M112

Mercedes Benz also used a supercharger with V6 petrol engines like  M112. Instead of a root blower, Mercedes Benz used the bigger twin-scroll supercharger and the power output produced by the supercharged V6 engine was 350 hp and 450 Nm torque. Some models even had water-cooled intercoolers to cool the compressed air. 

Mercedes AMG also launched a few models in the 32 ranges with supercharged hand-built engines. The 3.2-litre V6 engine used in the C32 and SLK 32 AMG was really popular. 

  • M113

The M113 engine was mainly used in the 2000s in the Mercedes Benz passenger cars, it was similar to the M112 V6 engine with additional two cylinders. M112 and M113 both had the same 90 degrees V angle and twin spark plugs per cylinder. M113 had two spark plugs and 3 valves per cylinder, 2 valves for the intake and 1 valve for the exhaust which allowed for a better scavenging effect and improved cylinder charging.

The V8 engine with Kompressors was named M113K, it was hand-built in the Affalterbach manufacturing plant. The engine block was made with aluminium-silicon alloy and aluminium single overhead camshafts. It was very reliable and used iron coating on the piston skirts, forged steel connecting rods and reinforced pistons pins to handle the extra output.

The power output of the M113 K had a displacement of 5.5 litres and produced 350 bhp to 400 bhp depending on the capacity of the supercharger and the state of tune of the engine.

Mercedes AMG launched the 55 series models with the M113K, following are some of the popular models.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

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What are the important things to know about the Mercedes Benz Key?

What are the Million Dollar Cars in Mercedes Benz?


Mercedes Kompressor models were very popular until 2010 and the rise of forced air induction by turbochargers led to a decline in the production of su[ercharged models. The cost of the production was too high compared to the turbocharged engines and the turbocharged engines provided more power due to the higher boost pressure and using energy from the exhaust gases for the operation.