A report this week has again hinted at plans for a hybrid-powered Mercedes-AMG range of the future, as the company works to stay ahead of tightening emissions regulations.
In recent months, key AMG executives have confirmed with CarAdvice that as government requirements and customer expectations become more closely aligned, we move closer to the appearance of an electrified performance model in the range.
Speaking with CarAdvice in November last year, Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers said that the company cannot ignore the advantages that will be presented by hybrid systems as the technology continues to mature.
More recently, AMG’s head of marketing Wolfgang Ungerer told CarAdvice in Germany that while a specific production strategy is still some time away, the company is investigating its options for a high-performance hybrid or plug-in hybrid system.
This week, in an interview with the UK’s Autocar, Mercedes-Benz R&D chief Thomas Weber shed new light on the potential for a hybridised AMG, and what’s kept such a model from the range so far.
“We haven’t done it so far, because right now the customer wouldn’t buy it. AMG customers tell us they want the sportiest performance option available in any given sector of the performance market. We don’t know when they will be ready for hybrid,” he said.
He added that, above all, the company is mindful of AMG’s part in ensuring that parent company Daimler is meeting the EU’s expectation that, by 2021, all models in a brand’s line-up will count towards a fleet emissions average of no higher than 101g/km.
“We are already planning for the time when we will have to offer them something special. We have to be prepared that, by 2020, it could be necessary to introduce an AMG hybrid,” Weber said.
Exactly what form an electric-assisted AMG model will take is unclear, but Weber stresses that the system must “be light and cheap”.
“A simple e-boost solution [as with the existing Bluetec Hybrid technology] could help us to add power and regenerate energy by braking,” he said.
For now, AMG will continue to offer and advance its powerhouse petrol-only range, which includes the 2.0 litre A45, CLA45 and GLA45, the 4.0 litre V8 Mercedes-AMG GT, new C63 and the coming GLC 63, along with the outgoing 5.5 litre V8 offered in the E63, GL 63, GLE 63, CLS 63, S63 and SL 63 models. Atop the range sits the venerable 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 of the G65, SL 63 and S65 AMG.