What Is a Mercedes Benz Kompressor?

by Chelsea Day

The Mercedes Benz Kompressor is an engine option available on several Mercedes Benz models, including the SLK230, C180 and the C230. The Kompressor has been available on Mercedes Benz models since 1998, and was first introduced for the SLK models.

Kompressor Meaning

The word "kompressor" means "compressor" in German, and refers to the fact that the Kompressor engine is turbocharged and uses turbines to compress air into the engine.

Model Availability

Kompressor engines have been available as options on the SLK 200 and 230, C180 and C230. The SLK are the most powerful versions, with the 200 Kompressor having a top speed of 138 mph and 163 horsepower, and the SLK 230 Kompressor having a top speed of 168 mph and 197 horsepower. The C180 Kompressor has 154 horsepower; the C230 Kompressor has 189 horsepower.

Engine Specifications

Kompressors are intercooled and supercharged with fuel that is injected into the engine from multiple points at once. Kompressors are known for being extremely fast and smooth, providing constant power to the engine.

Kompressors vs. Traditionally Supercharged Engines

The Kompressor uses a turbine to compress air and does not recycle air like supercharged engines do. This gives the Kompressor a smoother and more even power that doesn't lag or stall like supercharged engines frequently do. Superchargers, on the other hand, are much quieter than Kompressors.


The Kompressor is an extremely loud engine, particularly on the inside of the car. Mercedes Benz has added a silencer to decrease the noise, but Kompressors are still the loudest Mercedes Benzes on the market. Some owners are so bothered by the noise that they choose to have the supercharger bypassed by a mechanic to minimize the noise.

More Articles

article divider