Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet in Italy this week, the head of Mercedes-AMG Engine development, Janko Wicke, confirmed that both the four-cylinder and new V8 engines have significant potential for more power, if the market demands it.
The V8 appears to have the most potential, with current power outputs in the C63 S of 375kW and 700Nm likely to be overtaken in the near future.
“We have scopes to increase power [on the V8] but no numbers yet of what we are planning to do. That is probably next year’s target.” Wicke told CarAdvice.
Wicke said that both software and hardware changes are feasible for a power upgrade.
“It will be both, we are looking for both, but the basic engine will continue to be the same engine family, so the power is good and could be increased in the future.”
One of the ways in which the power output will likely be lifted is via a change in the turbocharger technology.
“We have simple wastegate turbochargers, [this] could be a development [area] in the future. If you want to get power out of a 4.0-litre displacement, you have to think about different turbochargers, superchargers, all these matters," he said.
To date, AMG has always made use of simple wastegate or twin-scroll turbochargers, rather than variable or electric turbochargers.
As for the future of the V8, Wicke believes that AMG is committed to V8s and will not ditch the iconic engine in the foreseeable future.
“There will always be a market for V8 engines, and that’s what we want to continue to do.”
As for the 2.0-litre engine in the A-class family of AMG vehicles, Wicke said that the theoretical limit is very high, however given it’s currently the most powerful engine in its class, it will depend on the competition as to whether or not AMG will further increase power.
“If you look into racing cars from the '80s on, or Formula 1 cars… there’s always possibility to get more power from the displacement. It depends on what the competitors do, so [if] our competitors will reach that target I think there will always be possibility for us to increase power.
“There’s really no limit, you can produce, 4, 5, 600 horsepower from a 2.0-litre. There is no limit in reality, [but] not for the consumer market. I think realistically [we can] get higher yes but again there are no numbers to tell you at the moment, but you can be sure if there is any need in the future we will have an answer.”
As for the glorious but ageing V12 engine used in the 65 edition of AMG vehicles, as well as specific Maybach or S600 models, Wicke says that a turbo V8 can provide better power but those engines exist due to customer demand.
“There is no need to get more cylinders than eight, but it depends on the consumer and what the consumer wants. If a consumer wants a V12 engine, then yes, we will sell it.”
Mercedes-AMG will have 48 different models on offer globally by the end of this year.