AMG: hybrids are the future of performance

amg gt4 front

AMG has revealed hybrid power is the key ingredient to delivering the next step in its performance car future, with lessons learnt from developing the company’s imminent Project One hypercar tipped to quickly filter into mainstream models.

Speaking to Wheels at the New York motor show, company boss Tobias Moers said that hybrid drivetrains and electric turbo technology will soon find their way into AMG showrooms.

“I believe in the future of petrol engines in combination with electric powertrains,” he said. “Countries are moving forward with carbon monoxide emissions [regulations], and in my opinion, the electrification of drivetrains is the future of performance.  It’s the top issue. You have more efficient cars that can deliver a certain amount of pure electric driving, and you also have more power when you come to the racetrack.”

AMG GT 4 Concept

AMG has already made the first steps towards a hybrid-propelled future with the AMG GT 4 concept (pictured above), first shown at March’s Geneva motor show, which pairs the brand’s hand-built 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor driving the rear wheels for an additional boost.

Electric turbos are also expected to play a key role in eliminating turbo lag and assisting with higher outputs on future models, with the company well advanced in developing an auxiliary compressor, known internally by the acronym eZV.

Electric turbocharging is tipped to appear on AMG’s all-new in-line six-cylinder petrol engine, which will debut on the face-lifted Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Shanghai next week.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

“We are also focussed on having a performance battery, because then we have high amps coming out of the battery and then bringing it back to the battery by recuperation,” said Moers. “So [the hybrid system] is always on, that’s my idea of it.”

Moers added AMG is acting as a test bed for the wider Mercedes brand, as AMG’s smaller sales volume gives it greater flexibility to explore cutting-edge tech.

“We’re working together with other companies more than Mercedes does because they’re focussed on long range hybrids, we’re focused on smaller companies with some more innovative technologies, because it’s not a mass production for us, it’s still a low volume of cars,” he said. “We have a clear understanding of how we work with Mercedes in terms of hybridisation, we’re the spearhead regarding performance batteries.”

Moers added AMG’s highly anticipated Project One hypercar, which is tipped to debut at the Frankfurt motor show in November and will be powered by a 1.6-litre hybrid drivetrain lifted straight from Formula 1, will also provide valuable lessons that will trickle into other AMG products.

“I think so because Project One is a combination of everything, it’s electrified turbochargers, a split turbo with an electric motor, it’s an additional four-wheel-drive system so the front axle is pure electric. So everything is in there that’s going to give us an understanding of how future performance is going to work.”

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