Following the unveiling of the new GLC63 models at the New York Motor Show, we sat down with AMG boss Tobias Moers to discuss what comes next for the wildly successful performance arm of Mercedes-Benz.
First question, the incredibly powerful A45 - specifically when we’d be likely to see the next generation.
“It’s still a little while away, the next generation is not as - let me say this, you know how regular life cycles work,” Moers said cagily.
Will the next generation AMG A45 (possibly as far away as 2019) get an all-new engine then, or a revised version of the already potent 2.0-litre, four-cylinder?
It has also been rumoured we could see an electric compressor used to enhance low down power delivery, one possibly sourced from HPP, the supplier to the Mercedes-Benz F1 team. Is that possible?
“The new 2.0-litre will be an all-new engine,” Moers said. “Yes an electric turbine is something we have a close link to, but maybe not in that first version.
"Yeah, we have to be over 300kW, too, we know that. You have to be at a certain level.”
It’s a little crazy to think that a production 2.0-litre engine could generate that kind of power safely and reliably. But, improved turbocharger design, not to mention vastly improved manufacturing tolerances and assembly techniques, have made that threshold a reality.
“Look, it’s really too early to talk about the specific details, but we have to do something special,” Moers said.
“We don’t want to give a tip or an advantage to our competitors, but we do need to be over 300kW - that’s the new standard.”
Rumours have circulated that the the AWD system could be scaled down from the new E-Class for the A-Class platform and also that a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine could form the basis for the new 4.0-litre V8 platform.
“It’s really not easy to scale that AWD technology down from the E- to A-Class,” Moers said. “I don’t know whether the 2.0-litre will form the basis for the new 4.0-litre V8 either, but I think that [the next] V8 won’t be a completely new engine.
"You have to pick your fights, regarding the environment for example. It’s also hard for me to say which model will be the first to get an electric turbine. That is still years away.”
The next-generation A-Class has been spied testing already, hinting at a similar shape to the current model - although elements of the recent Concept A Sedan can also be seen up front.
If that new model is revealed later this year or early in 2018, we could expect to see a new A45 revealed in mid- or late-2018.
Expect more details on the next A45 to surface over the coming year.
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