Some interesting plans are now in place.
Despite the fact that sports cars, in general, continue to see a global decline in overall annual sales, some automakers are sticking with them for a number of reasons. Mercedes-Benz is one of them. Aside from the upcoming Mercedes-AMG One hypercar, the all-new SL, and the current AMG GT, the German automaker still fully intends to stick with sports cars and, according to Bloomberg, is developing a new plan to target Porsche.
For years, there was a rumored "gentleman's agreement" amongst the leadership of Germany's biggest automakers not to directly challenge the Porsche 911, a sports car with serious national pride. Mercedes, however, seemingly broke that deal when the AMG GT hit the scene in 2014, and it's never looked back.
And now Daimler Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm has gone on record regarding plans to launch a battery-electric platform for sports cars in the near future. "We have a very comprehensive product portfolio, including very attractive sports cars, and sports cars will go electric as well," he said. "So stay tuned." Porsche's planned hybrid 992-generation 911 is not the only driving force behind Mercedes' plan.
The other factor is Tesla. The California-based automaker, currently the world's most valuable, has proven battery electrics are viable daily drivers thanks to its ever-expanding network of charging stations and impressive battery technology advancements. Presently, the Mercedes EQC all-electric SUV is on sale and, in the coming few months, the EQS flagship EV sedan will arrive, followed by a smaller sedan and an even larger SUV.
Now we can confirm a sports car will be added to that mix, though no specific timeline is available just yet. It's reasonable to assume the unnamed vehicle won't have halo status, like the AMG One, but will rather be relatively affordable and built in greater numbers.
While Porsche has made clear it's in no rush to fully electrify the 911, Mercedes isn't bound by sports car traditions such as a rear-mounted flat-six engine. Porsche does, however, intend to launch an EV sports car, possibly the next 718 Cayman, in the coming years as well, but it may not be premium and/or luxurious enough to keep up with what Mercedes has in mind.