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April 5, 2021

Mercedes-AMG to Embrace Electrification in High-Performance Push

Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance division, AMG is embracing electrification as means to boost performance as the luxury carmaker starts its journey towards a zero-emissions future.

Known for their high-displacement V8 engines, Mercedes-AMG will take a two-prong approach to its high-performance plans as its parent brand, Mercedes-Benz seeks to curb overall fleet emissions. To that effect, they will launch plug-in hybrid AMG models while also preparing all-electric AMG models as well.

The new plug-in hybrid powertrain is derived from Mercedes-AMG’s Formula 1 efforts. It will combine an AMG four- or eight-cylinder engine with an electric motor to deliver more than 800 horsepower, and a zero to 100 km/h sprint of under three seconds.

The electric motor together with a 6.1-kWh battery, will be located above the rear axle to improve weight distribution and vehicle handling. The motor acts directly on the rear axle, while a two-speed gearset allows it to operate at higher vehicle speeds without losing efficiency.

The battery itself weighs around 89 kilograms, but delivers a power density of 2.3 horsepower per kilogram—double that of a conventional EV. The secret, according to Mercedes-AMG is a new cooling system that allows the battery to operate at a constant 45 degrees Celsius regardless of how often it’s charged or discharged.

Mercedes-AMG will also borrow another F1 technology by placing an electric motor in the turbocharger. This, according to engineers, will solve the problem of turbo lag. With an electric motor spinning the turbine, the vehicle can reach full speed nearly instantaneously and enable instant torque from the engine.

The urgency to hit emissions targets and avoid costly fines is driving Mercedes to rethink its broader product line. They estimate that at least 50 percent of its sedans, coupes, and SUVs will be electrified by 2030, while the number of combustion-engine variants will fall by 70 percent.

The first electrified Mercedes-AMGs will debut this year.

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