The cylinder shutoff, a new development for the new Mercedes-Benz S class, is switched on and off electro-hydraulically by the control unit. In the lower load area, 4 cylinders are switched off, in the upper load area there is a switch-over to 8 cylinders. The valves are operated in a locked state. If the coupling pins are removed, the valves remain closed. The driving levers are pressed onto the camshaft by springs in an unlocked state.