Mercedes-AMG will launch an EQ-branded battery-electric GT 4-Door by the end of 2020 with supercar performance, delivering on the promise implied by the concept version in March 2017.
If you recall, the Mercedes-AMG GT concept that previewed the current six- and eight-cylinder production 4-Door models paired the familiar 4.0-litre biturbo engine with an electric motor driving the rear axle directly and with individual-wheel-variability.
The concept’s system output was 600kW and the 0-100km/h sprint time around 2.7 seconds, half-a-second faster than the V8 GT 63 4-Door and nearly two seconds faster than the 48V-toting GT 53 mild hybrid.
Pictured: Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4-Door
Expect these numbers to be relevant to the road model (rumoured to be dubbed Mercedes-AMG GT73), and torque to exceed 1000Nm, given the GT63 has 900Nm without an electric motor helping out.
Where are we getting this information? The CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH himself, Tobias Moers, who spoke with us this week.
“The GT 4-Door is the first one,” he said. “We presented the concept car in Geneva and that car is in engineering, on the move… It’s the combination of a performing combustion engine with a performance electric drive unit and a battery, with high power output and input.”
This latter part refers to the charging ability, with the Porsche Taycan's 800V onboard system the clear benchmark, according to Moers. This is necessary to charge the plug-in hybrid drivetrain's batteries rapidly, though you can also expect some hardcore advances in onboard energy recuperation learned from F1 and Formula E.
When will we see this? “Four-door GT by end of next year in Europe, beginning of 2021 [for production]," according to Moers.
The obvious competitor to this performance PHEV hero is the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid which pairs a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 with an electric motor to make 500kW and 850Nm, with 0-100km/h taking a claimed 3.4 seconds. The Panamera can run up to 50km on pure-electric power thanks to its 14.1kWh battery pack.
Pictured: Fully electric Mercedes-Benz EQS concept
By 2030 Mercedes-Benz as a group wants half the cars it sells to be either fully electric or plug-in hybrids.
To that end, expect certain models to use battery cells made in CO2-neutral fashion, in factories powered by renewables (such as MB’s new Factory 56 in Sindelfingen), and to be around 85 per cent recyclable.