All-wheel drive in a Mercedes performance sedan? Get used to the idea, because AMG needs more traction, and its customers want it, too.
The recipe employed by the German power-houses is pretty simple, even if its implementation is anything but: stick a big V8 in the front and have it drive the rear wheels. But the times they are a-changing. The latest reports indicate that AMG is preparing to offer all-wheel drive on its range of performance-oriented Mercedes-Benz automobiles. Now if you're thinking that AMG already offers all-wheel-drive models, you're right. The M, G and GL sport-utes already pack four-wheel traction, as will the new A45.
What's destined to change is the availability of four-wheel traction on its sedans like the C, E, S and possibly even CLS-Class models. Most of these sedans (in their base forms) are already available with Mercedes' 4Matic system, though the tuners in Affalterbach may look to beef it up to handle the extra power their plan on channeling to each corner. With a revised E63 AMG around the corner, speculation is ramping that Mercedes will showcase an all-wheel-drive version of that first, before rolling it out across further models. The reason for the development is that the competition is offering all-wheel drive on its performance models, so Mercedes needs to keep up.
As AMG powertrain chief Friedrich Eichlers pointed out in speaking with Australian car news site Drive, Audi's RS models all pack Quattro all-wheel drive, and BMW is tipped to do the same with the M5. Even Maserati is speculated to be preparing AWD versions of its new Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans. The move could be more than a marketing calculation, though. AMG wants to continue ramping up the output of its engines, and it has evidently found it needs more traction to be able to channel all that power to the road.