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AMG’s four with more

Down size: Mercedes-Benz's F800 concept might hint at the Stuttgart brand's new small car, which is likely to get a AMG-worked four-cylinder engine with ground-breaking forced induction.

New-generation boost system set to pump up small Benz hot-hatch basher

5 Apr 2010

By JAMES STANFORD in MEXICO

MERCEDES-BENZ’S performance arm, AMG, is considering a new high-performance, force-fed four-cylinder engine using a new type of rapid-boost charging system to produce the power of a six and efficiency of a four, without the limitations of traditional turbos or superchargers.

While the new system is also likely to be employed on V6 engines by Mercedes-Benz, it is being eyed by AMG for a new pocket rocket based on Mercedes’ forthcoming sub-C-class model.

AMG managing director Volker Mornhinweg told GoAuto a four-cylinder engine using the technology could power the upcoming small car based on a new platform that will spawn the next generation A and B-class models and slot below the C63 sedan.

“I think we have a really smart idea because when you make a four-cylinder you need to have extremely good response, and with turbos there is a bit of struggling around a bit, but when you have the right technology in place then I am totally convinced that you can have the same characteristics as we have with the big displacement naturally aspirated engine,” he said.

When asked about the likelihood of a four-cylinder in an AMG, Mr Mornhinweg said: “It depends on which type of charging system we will use. We have some good ideas for something that will be totally new.” Some media outlets are referring to an “electrically operated pressure wave supercharger”, and Auto Express claims AMG is using a Swiss system called Comprex, with pulses to force air into inlet ports.

4 center imageIn Mexico for the SLS launch, Mr Mornhinweg said the AMG system was “very unique”, but he was not ready to reveal details.

He was prepared to give away some details about the new AMG small car, saying it would rival the Audi S3, BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf R.

The new AMG will most likely be all-wheel-drive, but rear-drive is still an option. Mr Mornhinweg said it would not be a front-drive.

It is not clear if the new AMG would be a hatch, like its closest rivals, or a four-door 'coupe' similar to the F800 concept presented by Mercedes-Benz at March’s Geneva motor show.

The new small car will not be like the existing A and B-class models that are shaped like mini people-movers.

“The current A and B class is not appropriate. There is nothing for us because they are very high and the centre of gravity has to be very low,” Mr Mornhinweg said.

“The new platform, I am totally convinced it will give us a big opportunity and we are already on the way to make some concepts.” Mr Mornhinweg said the new sub-C-class model made sense because car buyers were happy to buy smaller models, and he pointed to the popularity of high performance hot hatches.

“What I have seen over the last few years, especially with the big CO2 discussion, there is a kind of down-sizing that will take place over all,” he said.

“On the other hand, what we see, especially in some upcoming markets is that there is a young group of buyers who are focussed on these kind of cars.” The new small car will appeal to many customers not currently driving AMG models.

“When we from AMG launch and original product with the AMG characteristics and genes in that segment that will attract a lot of new young customers that we can get into the AMG world,” he said.

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