Under the new label, future models will have a combustion engine in front, electric motor at the back, and scary performance.
Mercedes-AMG is changing. By now, this is no secret to the motoring fraternity, as we continue trying to wrap our heads around the fact that the next Mercedes-AMG C63 will use a four-cylinder engine in place of the existing V8. Recently, we reported that the upcoming C63e hybrid would use an electric turbocharger - technology derived from the brand's F1 car.
We now have some more confirmation of this and the broader Mercedes-AMG drivetrain strategy as the performance brand fully embraces electrification. With the expertise of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, future AMG models will be faster and more agile than they've ever been.
There are to be two main segments for future AMG models: performance hybrids that will reside under the E Performance label, and pure battery-electric AMG models that will be based on the Mercedes Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA). For the purists among us, it's the E Performance models that are most intriguing. Described as a "completely independent drive concept," the new E Performance models - with a combustion engine in front and an Electric Drive Unit at the back - will provide more power and performance than the existing crop of AMG variants. Mercedes was careful not to explicitly share the outputs as they relate to specific models, but we can safely make a few assumptions.
The M139 2.0-liter four-pot with an electric-exhaust gas turbocharger will now be installed longitudinally and will develop "more than 442 horsepower". Combined with an electric motor generating 201 hp, the company says that this engine will initially find its way into the Mercedes-AMG C-Class - it should match or surpass the performance of the new BMW M3. Mercedes confirmed that the AMG Performance Hybrid drivetrain will be capable of total outputs of over 804 hp and over 738 lb-ft of torque; this setup will pair a V8 engine with an electric motor. These numbers are very similar to what was reported for the upcoming hybridized S73e last year.
Other highlights of the new Performance Hybrid drivetrain include an electronic two-speed transmission linked to the rear-mounted electric motor, which enables direct propulsion and blistering getaways. This transmission operates independently from the AMG Speedshift MCT nine-speeder. As a modular concept, this drivetrain can be applied broadly across multiple AMG models.
A high-performance 400-volt battery has an advanced cooling system that results in it operating at full capacity even during demanding conditions, such as on a race track. But Mercedes has not forgotten about its all-electric EQ range, which will receive their own AMG derivatives.
Saying only that the market launch is set to "begin this year", these models will get extensive visual upgrades and use two independent, permanently excited synchronous electric motors and an AWD system that is fully variable. A 0-60 mph time of "well under four seconds" has been quoted.
"With our new drive strategy, we are transporting our hallmark DNA into an electrified future," said Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "Our performance hybrids, developed entirely in Affalterbach, will even surpass the driving dynamics of our current models and absolutely do justice to our new technology label E Performance."