Skip advert
Advertisement

Mercedes-AMG goes electric: plug-in powertrain details revealed

Mercedes' performance arm is working on both plug-in hybrid and pure-electric powertrains for future models, with power outputs in excess of 800bhp

Mercedes-AMG hybrid and electric

Mercedes' performance arm AMG has lifted the lid on technical details of the plug-in hybrid and pure-electric drivetrains it's developing for future models, which will include AMG versions of both Mercedes' regular road-car range and its 'EQ'-badged fully electric models.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The brand says its high-performance specialists have worked closely with the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team in developing the new engines, drawing on expertise gained from F1's current hybrid technical rules.

The Mercedes-AMG ONE, which sees a hybrid F1 engine fitted to a roadgoing hypercar, is one fruit of the collaboration, but it's now set to have a much wider influence on the Mercedes-AMG line-up.

Mercedes-AMG plug-in hybrid drivetrain

Two different plug-in hybrid drivetrains are being developed for future Mercedes-AMG models under the 'E Performance' name. One, which is close to production, is based on the brand's current 4.0-litre, eight-cylinder petrol engine and the other, which will follow a little later, is based on its 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit. The most powerful version of the eight-cylinder setup will have a maximum output of 804bhp and over 1,000Nm of torque, for a sub-three-second 0-62mph time.

The engine will drive the front wheels through a nine-speed automatic gearbox, while an electric motor will drive the rears through its own two-speed transmission. Different electric motor power outputs – peaking at up to 201bhp and 320Nm of torque – will feature depending on the exact model. Mercedes-AMG is also developing its own 'High Performance Battery' (HPB) for use as part of this system, with input from the energy storage unit that forms part of the Mercedes F1 car's hybrid system. It'll have a capacity of 6.1kWh.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Cars fitted with this powertrain will offer a total of six different driving modes – Electric, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race – each varying the total amount of power available to driver and the proportion of that power coming from the engine and electric motor. Three levels of brake energy recuperation will also be incorporated.

The eight-cylinder Mercedes-AMG plug-in hybrid engine is likely to appear first in a four-door version of the Mercedes-AMG GT flagship supercar. It's thought to be called the Mercedes-AMG GT 73 4-Door Coupe E Performance and should be fully revealed later in 2021.

The four-cylinder AMG plug-in hybrid will be based on the 2.0-litre engine currently seen in the Mercedes-AMG A45 hot hatchback, but with an electric turbocharger – another item of technology transferred from the brand's F1 engine. Mercedes promises this will eliminate the phenomenon of 'turbo lag', with a tiny electric motor spinning up the the turbo initially before exhaust gases take over. The AMG version of the new C-Class will be the first to get this new engine.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Speaking about the new Mercedes-AMG hybrid engines, Jochen Hermann, the brand's chief technical officer, said: "the layout with the combustion engine at the front and electric drive unit on the rear axle offers numerous advantages. The resulting optimised weight distribution, the best possible utilisation of torque and the very immediate power output promise driving dynamics at the highest level."

Mercedes-AMG electric

Mercedes-AMG fully electric drivetrain

In addition to the four and eight-cylinder plug-in hybrids discussed above, Mercedes-AMG is also developing a high-performance pure-electric drivetrain in order to rival the range-topping versions of cars like the Tesla Model 3, BMW i4 and Porsche Taycan.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

It says AMG versions of upcoming Mercedes EQ models are being developed, which hints at hot versions of the yet-to-revealed EQE saloon, EQE SUVEQS saloons and EQS SUV, being in the pipeline. AMG says they'll be set apart from the standard cars visually by a specific radiator grille with vertical louvres, a redesigned front apron, different side sill panels, a rear spoiler lip and diffuser, plus AMG alloy-wheel designs.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Under the metal, they'll sport a dual-motor setup for all-wheel drive; performance equivalent to the most powerful current petrol V8-engined AMG models is promised, with a sub-four-second 0-62mph time and maximum speed of 155mph. The first should appear before the end of 2021.

A fully electric AMG model was first hinted at in 2019. Speaking at that year's Frankfurt Motor Show, Ola Källenius, the chairman of Mercedes' parent Daimler, said: “We are starting to work not just on electrified AMGs, but also our first fully electric AMG”. Until now, AMG has been more famous for its large-capacity, high-powered petrol engines; it hasn’t ventured into electrification much beyond mild-hybrid versions of its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine with a 48-volt electrical system adding some power and torque.

Mercedes-AMG did tip its toe in the zero-emissions market back in 2013 with the SLS Electric, a limited-edition version of its SLS supercar. It featured a 60kWh battery pack and produced 740bhp. It could hit 62mph from rest in 3.9 seconds and was limited to a top speed of 155mph, but it was hampered by a driving range of only 155 miles.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology review: old-fashioned 4x4 gets clean and capable electric power
Mercedes G 580 - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology review: old-fashioned 4x4 gets clean and capable electric power

13 May 2024
Mercedes’ EQG electric G-Class can dance! It’s the Las Vegas show we never knew we needed
Mercedes EQG - G-Turn
News

Mercedes’ EQG electric G-Class can dance! It’s the Las Vegas show we never knew we needed

11 Jan 2024
Top 10 fastest hybrid cars 2023
Fastest hybrids header
Best cars

Top 10 fastest hybrid cars 2023

21 Aug 2023

Most Popular

Alfa Romeo Junior review
Alfa Romeo Junior Elettrica 280 Veloce - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Alfa Romeo Junior review

The first fully-electric Alfa is a special yet useable small SUV
10 Jul 2024
New Fiat Grande Panda: specs, prices and launch date
Fiat Grande Panda - front
News

New Fiat Grande Panda: specs, prices and launch date

The Fiat Panda’s successor is finally here, and it’ll come with the choice of hybrid or fully-electric power
12 Jul 2024
New MG Cyber GTS Concept could become a hardtop MG Cyberster coupe
MG Cyber GTS Concept - front 3/4
News

New MG Cyber GTS Concept could become a hardtop MG Cyberster coupe

MG has unveiled its latest concept car at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed
11 Jul 2024