News - Mercedes-Benz
AMG exits German power war
Mercedes-Benz performance division chief cries enough: we won't chase Audi power
29 Jan 2008
LONG known for its massive power outputs and record-breaking torque figures, the Mercedes-Benz tuning house is no longer chasing big increases in engine performance.
AMG chairman Volker Mornhinweg told GoAuto that AMG cars had enough power and torque and that his engineers were spending more time and effort on improving their economy instead.
“Think about fuel consumption. At the end of the day, technically you can increase it (power), but does it make sense?” he said.
“Let me talk about the supercharged engine. It was announced in 2002 or 2003 when there was not a focus on fuel consumption. It was not the first task or the target to achieve a low fuel consumption.
“Nowadays I think it is also important that we deliver this feature to our customers - a highly efficient engine with power and torque, no question, but with lower fuel consumption, CO2 levels. That is the target.” AMG is now facing a power challenge from other German players, including Audi with its new RS6, but Mr Mornhinweg said such actions were inevitable.
Left: AMG chairman Volker Mornhinweg.
“When you are on the top, the others want to come on the same level,” he said.
“We saw it with the RS6 from Audi, I think they offer 580 horsepower. So what? “Our highest number is 525hp with the V8, 612hp with the 12-cylinder. It is enough.” He said AMG would not simply increase power levels to out-do brands like Audi.
“The point is that it is currently not our focus to chase them to have 581hp or something like that. We would like to have good performance, no question. We will be competitive, no question, in the overall package and we will take care, very seriously, about our social responsibility regarding fuel consumption,” he said.
“We set the show with our supercharged (V8) engine. This was the first to reach 500hp. All the others tried to catch us up and come up with 520, 530 or whatever. It is important for your customers to have a competitive car. This is what we will always deliver, but we are really not dedicated to that point to say that we want one horsepower more (than a rival).” While Mr Mornhinweg said there will be some slight increases in the performance levels of AMG cars, he said there will not be big jumps.
Part of the reason is that engines with such prolific output become harder to manage when pushed to their limits.
“I think that what we have currently is enough, because there is a type of a limit, because when we offer this type of power you can really only drive it on the racetrack.
“The point is that you have to get the heat out of the system, to save the engine. You look at our cars - here is a radiator, there is a radiator, there is a radiator, everything is a lot of area.
“You have to cool down the engine, the transmission system, the steering and so on and so on... I think that’s it,” he said.
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