Mercedes-AMG confirms hybrid performance models and first fully electric car

Mercedes-AMG has outlined its forthcoming powertrains as the performance car maker switches to electrification.

Future models from Mercedes-Benz’s go-faster division will use plug-in hybrid or fully electric powertrains.

For a firm that has built its reputation on producing noisy performance cars, perhaps the most interesting news is its plan to create AMG versions of the Mercedes-EQ range of electric vehicles.

These will use a twin-motor system, with one motor on each axle, as well as receiving the typical suspension and styling upgrades typical of AMG models – including the use of ‘loudspeakers, shaker and sound generator’ – so don’t expect a typical quiet EV.

These models will wear the firm’s 43 and 53 badges, and promise a sub-four-second 0-60mph time.

For existing fans of AMG, though, it will be the introduction of hybrid technology that will be more interesting. The German firm says it has developed an electric powertrain that can be used in conjunction with its existing V8 and four-cylinder engines to enhance performance and efficiency.

Photos: PA Media

These will be plug-in hybrid models and will be capable of driving on electric-only. The petrol engine will remain up front, but the electric motor will be attached to the rear axle with the battery just above it. AMG says this provides more instantaneous response and improves the effectiveness of energy recuperation, as well as providing all-wheel-drive.

With the V8 engine, the combined output will be 793bhp with 1000Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-60mph time of less than three seconds. Combined with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, this powertrain will make its debut in the C63 and will have an output of more than 530bhp.

The technology has been developed in collaboration with the Mercedes-AMG F1 team, which uses a hybrid engine in its race car. The battery benefits the most from this tie-up, being a unique-to-AMG construction.

It uses liquid ‘direct cooling’, which keeps the cells at their optimum temperature even during intensive on-track driving. This means the battery can be discharged and recharged repeatedly without the need to limit performance or capacity.

Philipp Schiemer, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes-AMG, said: “With our new drive strategy, we are transporting our hallmark DNA into an electrified future.

“Our performance hybrids, developed entirely in Affalterbach, will even surpass the driving dynamics of our current models and thus absolutely do justice to our new technology label E Performance.

“With the all-electric derivatives based on the Mercedes-EQ models, we as Mercedes-AMG are also continuing to take off with the electrification of the portfolio. We are thus opening ourselves up to new target groups who can experience Mercedes-AMG as the Performance Luxury brand of the 21st century.”

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