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While BMW has just revealed its very first MPV, the 2 Series Gran Tourer last month, Daimler’s R&D chief, Thomas Weber has strictly ruled out the possibility of a rivalling seven-seat Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Seems like the natural thing to do, right? So, why not?

Speaking to Car and Driver, Weber revealed that while Mercedes did consider a seven-seater, it had decided against it. “There are cooler ways to transport more than four or five people. And for us, emotion counts,” claims Weber. Considering that Merc’s only seven-seaters are the V-Class, GL-Class and the now-defunct R-Class, this would suggest that something smaller is in the works.

On Mercedes’ future powertrain strategy, the R&D chief insists that the luxury brand will continue with its line of V8 and V12 engines (in the top models, that is), despite the industry shifting towards downsized four-cylinder engines. However, a new, larger series of four-cylinder engines will be developed.

According to Weber, Mercedes-Benz will “follow a downsizing strategy based on small and large four-cylinder engines, from which six- and eight-cylinder engines will be derived.” Three-cylinder motors have also been ruled out, as they “would not meet our standards for noise and vibration.” As BMW now fields its own series of three-pot engines, does this mean that Merc’s standards are higher than its rival’s, then?

Mercedes-Benz B-Class facelift