PlatinumZealot wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:52 pm
The Honda airbox is very similar to this one.
Correct, Honda switched to this layout some while after their initial VIM iterations. That Merc have been running this design since the beginning of 2014 is yet another testament to how right they got this formula, right from the start. Who knows, they might have had it right several years before 2014, while quietly making suggestions about what the new engine formula should be...
It seems to be an equal-length runner system, just like their exhaust headers, but made of CF and crammed above the vee, hidden behind a thin wall of CF. The housing might just be for visual obscurantism if it's not for aero or thermal. What hasn't been apparent to me yet is whether or not there is still VIM capability. Where the intake pipes come together (the two tri-lobular boxes at the front of the manifold assembly) has a short straight section. If any linear movement is accommodated in the runners, it would be in there. But it seems odd to have long pipes with only a short moveable section on the end. Otherwise, maybe VIM was simply found to be less beneficial than an equal-length runner system, relative to weight and packaging volume.
Wilder speculation would say that the black doghouse above the engine is needed because the intake spaghetti underneath it is flexible. VIM manifested as warpable or diametrically expandable hoses.
Regardless, the dual 3-1 collector format is apparent in all the images of the PU I've ever seen, over the years.
Here's a rough sketch of what I'm talking about:
Edit: Added images.