Before the German marque goes electric, it has to comply with new Euro regulations.
Emissions regulations are not easy to meet. In fact, they can be so expensive (in terms of engine research and development), that massive conglomerates like Volkswagen and BMW figured it would be more economical to cheat them than to meet them. Mercedes was affected too, and although it has surely learned its lesson, it has also realized that continually developing new engines is just too expensive. That's why it is pulling out of motorsport to focus on EVs and why the next Mercedes-AMG C63 will feature a 2.0-liter hybrid adapted from that of smaller models instead of a C-Class-specific motor. And now Merc's COO estimates that 50% of its number of engines will be culled because of new emissions regulations.
Speaking with Autocar, Mercedes chief operating officer Markus Schafer figures that impending Euro 7 emissions restrictions "will reduce the number of engine variants, going through Euro 7, by about 50%." Thus, the death of the V8 for numerous 2022 models (caused by supply issues) could become permanent sooner than expected. A couple of months ago, we learned that a proposal linked to the new regulations would see the sale of gas-powered cars banned in totality as early as 2026. If you consider the time it takes to develop a new engine and the model it goes into, that means that Mercedes and everyone else will need to produce much cleaner engines within the next year or two in order to make the deadline.
The easiest way to make sure that new cars can still be sold and that some profitability can be rescued from the current engine lineup is to focus on those that have modular appeal and can be adapted for use in numerous models. Making these engines cleaner will be a lot easier if there are fewer of them to work on, and even if the regulations don't mean the end of the combustion engine in Europe in 2026, the current proposal still expects particulate emissions to drop by at least half of what the current Euro 6d regulations allow. Fortunately, there will still be loads of cars to choose from under the electric EQ brand, even if there are fewer engines - hybrid or otherwise - available for conventional Mercedes offerings.