Rumours persist that Mercedes-Benz will replace the three-year-old SLS in 2015 with two separate models – a smaller coupe to fill the void between C63 coupe and SLS, and a larger, more expensive hyper-car.
“There are a lot of rumours,” admitted AMG director of vehicle development Tobias Moers (below). “What I can confirm today is that the SLS is not a single-shoot story.
“It’s not SLS runs for four years then no super-sports car from AMG.”
But suggestions that AMG would produce a hypercar, potentially utilising hybrid power, were rejected.
“No hyper car from AMG,” Moers responded “Not at all.”
The development boss claims that the hypercar business is fragile, and although Mercedes-Benz has attempted to crack this segment before, he admits the AMG brand doesn’t resonate with hypercar buyers the way other marques do.
“We have the same situation we had 10 years ago when the SLR came up … hypercars is a segment that is okay for Ferrari.
“Ferrari in the hyper-car segment is still a different brand than AMG. We have to be honest…”
The development boss did, however, leave the door open to a model to close the gap between C63 and SLS coupe models. “You’re not wrong ... maybe,” said Moers about the existance of such a gap.
Although AMG has ventured into producing its first four-cylinder model in the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG, Moers ruled out using hybrid technology “in the mid-term future”, confirming that AMG will instead rely on improving internal combustion engine technology and invest in lightweight materials to reduce consumption. Hybrid technology is currently used by Mercedes-Benz in the GLK-Class (above) and E-Class.
Citing the 6.9L/100km official combined fuel consumption of the A45 AMG, Moers added that it “shows what is possible in the performance engine segment if you have the right technology.
“We know there is a little bit more room to move with combustion [engine] technology in our segments.”
Instead of investing in hybrid technology that AMG believes adds weight to the car, the performance division will instead push the greater use of lightweight construction materials in order to achieve “one of our goals … to be benchmark for fuel efficiency.”
“We’ve changed AMG philosophy in the last ten years a lot,” Moers continued, promising that lightweight materials will trickle down from its flagship SLS Black Series to other AMG models.
“We see the [SLS] Black Series, it’s the first output of our strategy we started three years ago, for performance components and lightweight structures.
“You will see more results of that, and the combination and improvement of combustion engine technology and lightweight [materials]”.