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Paris show: Mercedes-AMG V8 to live on

No end in sight: Mercedes-AMG cars such as the GT 4-Door will benefit from hybrid technology joining the 4.0-litre V8 with electric motors.

Life in Mercedes-AMG’s beefy V8 yet as hybrid technology comes to rescue

Mercedes-AMG logo5 Oct 2018

By RON HAMMERTON in PARIS

RATHER than killing the V8 engine as many people predict, electrification is extending its life, according to Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers.

 

Speaking at the Paris motor show where the German high-performance car brand is showing off its new entry-level model, the A35 AMG, Mr Moers told GoAuto that hybrid technology now being developed would increase both the efficiency and performance of AMG’s 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 in new AMG models.

 

Mr Moers confirmed that the Mercedes-AMG 6.0-litre V12 is on death row, saying the engine would go out of production after the current lifecycle of the S65.

 

“So we are going to move the S65 out of our portfolio,” he said.

 

But he said the V8 continued to figure in AMG’s plans for the foreseeable future.

 

“The V8 is a pretty efficient engine,” Mr Moers said, adding that AMG had already downsized its V8s from 6.3 litres to 5.5 litres and now 4.0 litres to meet fuel efficiency and emissions demands over the past several years.

 

“In combination with an electrified powertrain, it could be a longer lifecycle than what everybody thinks.”

 

As GoAuto has reported, the V8 will figure in a ballistic plug-in hybrid AMG GT 4-Door flagship that could have as much as 600kW of power.

 

The plan is to hook up the top-shelf 470kW V8 with electric motors producing more than 100kW. The result should be a car that can commute on electricity and then smoke many supercars on track days.

 

Asked if he could see a time when the V8 would have to be retired, Mr Moers said he did not know when that would be.

 

“Nobody in the industry is able to predict the V8 engine ends, say, in 2028 – that’s impossible,” he said. “It is all about how clever are you as a company, to put the money in. And it should not be a bet – it should be a well-prepared strategy.”

 

But Mr Moers said it was getting harder to produce a long-term strategy because of rapid developments in technology, customer demands and other factors such as regulations.

 

“I am not so confident with having a 10-year plan and strategy because the world we live in is too fast,” he said. “So you have to adjust your strategy and your targets almost every year – half a year.

 

“So it is okay to see the next five years, but things happen that have an impact in four years. So you have to adjust the strategy every day.”

 

Mr Moers said the 4.0-litre V8 that does duty in a range of tunes across a wide spread of AMG models, including sedans, SUVs and sportscars, was still young, so there were no plans to replace it.

 

He said AMG’s current strategy on electrification was to develop hybrids across its range, with some of them using Formula One technology trickling down from the new AMG One hypercar that mixes a Mercedes F1 1.5-litre V6 with high-performance electric motors managed by sophisticated software.

 

But he conceded that ultimately AMG would develop all-electric cars because “otherwise there will not be an AMG”.

 

Those cars will be entirely developed by AMG as performance vehicles because AMG’s parent company, Mercedes-Benz, is focusing on range and efficiency, not high performance.

 

Mr Moers pointed to AMG’s ground-up development of the two-door GT sports coupe as an example of AMG’s ability to produce its own high-performance platforms in future.


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