Mercedes-Benz M116 engine

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Mercedes-Benz M116 Engine
M116.980 engine in 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 (US model).jpg
3.5 litre, US-spec M116.980 in a 280 SE 3.5 Coupé
ConfigurationNaturally aspirated 90° V8
Displacement3.5 L (3,499 cc)
3.8 L (3,818 cc)
4.2 L (4,196 cc)
Block materialCast iron 1969-1978
Aluminum 1978-1991
Head materialAluminum
ValvetrainSOHC with 2 valves x cyl.
Fuel systemFuel injection
ManagementBosch Jetronic
Fuel typeGasoline
Oil systemWet sump
Cooling systemWater-cooled
Power output158–231 PS (116–170 kW; 156–228 hp)
Torque output266–310 N⋅m (196–229 lb⋅ft)
PredecessorMercedes-Benz M100 engine
SuccessorMercedes-Benz M119 engine

The Mercedes-Benz M116 was automotive V8 engine made in several versions by Mercedes-Benz between 1969 and 1991. All models were gasoline powered, and utilized a single overhead camshaft with 2 valves per cylinder and Bosch Jetronic fuel injection. The larger M117 V8 followed, introduced initially in the US market.


The original M116 engine 116.980 was introduced August 1969 in the 300SEL 3.5. It featured 9.5:1 compression with 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) at 5,800 rpm and 286 N⋅m (211 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm. This was enough to propel the 1,575 kg (3,472 lb) saloon to a top speed of 205 km/h (127 mph). This engine and its twin, the 116.981 remained in production until 1980 when it was replaced by its larger 3.8 litre variant.

  • Bore x Stroke: 92 mm × 65.8 mm (3.62 in × 2.59 in) Displacement 3.5 L (3,499 cc)



The 116.960 engine was introduced in 1979 featuring 8.3:1 compression with 158 PS (116 kW; 156 hp) at 4,750 rpm and 266 N⋅m (196 lb⋅ft) at 2,750 rpm. This engine reached North America later for the 1981 380SL. There were 116.961, 116.962, and 116.963 versions of this engine. Early models came with a single row timing chain until 1983 and were plagued with chain failure problems which Mercedes-Benz would repair free of charge, changing the timing chain to a dual row thus resolved the problem making these engine as durable and reliable as any other Mercedes V8. All 1984+ models came with a double row timing chain from the factory to prevent this failure, however this engine was replaced for the 1986 model year by its larger 4.2 litre variant.

  • Bore x Stroke: 88 mm × 78.9 mm (3.46 in × 3.11 in) Displacement 3.8 L (3,818 cc)



The 116.965 engine was introduced in 1986 for the revised S-Class. It featured 9.0:1 compression and had from 204–231 PS (150–170 kW; 201–228 hp) depending on year and export market. All engines were mated to the Mercedes-Benz 4G-Tronic transmission. In North America, this engine was only used in 420SEL models featuring 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp) at 5,200 rpm and 310 N⋅m (229 lb⋅ft) at 3,600 rpm. This engine was used until 1991 when it was replaced by the newer 4.2L Double overhead camshaft Mercedes-Benz M119 engine with which it shares no parts.

  • Bore x Stroke: 92 mm × 78.9 mm (3.62 in × 3.11 in) Displacement 4.2 L (4,196 cc)