Ohm My God! Mercedes-Benz Plans Electric AMG Models

2015 SLS-AMG Electric Drive

2014 SLS AMG Electric Drive

While Mercedes is readying what may well be the most extreme performance hybrid yet—the “Project One” hypercar using the same turbocharged V-6 engine and KERS electrical assistance package as the company’s championship-winning Formula 1 racer—electric drive is set to play an increasing role in some of the company’s lesser performance models as well.

When we spoke to Mercedes R&D boss Ola Källenius at the Detroit auto show, he confirmed that we can expect to see both part-hybrid and ultimately even EV AMG models, potentially including versions from the company’s forthcoming electric-only EQ sub-brand.

“I don’t think they are opposite extremes,” he told us, when asked if AMG and EQ could ever make beautiful music together. “AMG has always been about driving performance and offering customers a superior experience, but at the same time—and I think this is the sweet spot of AMG—they are cars you can really drive every day as well. Electrification will find its way into AMG, and for me it’s not impossible that you’ll have a fully electric version or an AMG variant of an EQ.”

Mercedes EQ concept car at 2016 Paris auto show.

Mercedes EQ concept at the 2016 Paris auto show

Probably best not to get too excited about the early stages of electrification, which we believe will be through the 48-volt mild-hybrid system that we already know Mercedes is set to roll out across its new generation of engines. Källenius’s comment suggests that this will also make it to AMG’s V-6 and V-8 engines. But beyond that, serious consideration is being given to a new range of pure-electric performance models, and Källenius was keen to remind us that the company has already produced one.

The SLS AMG Electric Drive was a preview of what the future could look like,” he said, referencing the limited-to-200-copies 738-hp EV the company built back in 2014, shown in the photo at top.

“That [SLS AMG Electric Drive] was a research project, a know-how builder for AMG to get our heads around electrification,” Källenius said. “It’s just a matter of time before we go more and more electric.”
2017 Detroit Auto Show

Powered by WPeMatico