AMG’s New V-8 Engine Moving to Non-AMG Mercedes; V-12 Will Go Hybrid
Mercedes-Benz only recently announced the details of the new 4.0-liter, biturbo V-8 that will power both the new AMG GT sports car and the next C63, but Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers has already confirmed to Autocar that a more civilized version of the engine will proliferate throughout the Mercedes-Benz lineup and eventually replace the current 5.5-liter V-8.
As you probably suspected, the goal is to meet growing emission regulations in the U.S., Europe and China. The two engines will continue to be built separately, with Mercedes-Benz building its own version and Mercedes-AMG continuing with its "one man, one engine" build process in Affalterbach, Germany.
So, if the 5.5-liter V-8 is on the way out, surely Mercedes’ stalwart, 6.0 V-12 isn’t long for this world either, right? Not so much. The 6.0-liter V-12 is to be given a thorough, efficiency-minded overhaul and will utilize a hybrid-electric drivetrain to minimize emissions. There’s a small chance we could see the debut of this new hybrid drivetrain when the new S-Class-based Mercedes-Maybach is unveiled next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Moers went on spill a few more details about future of Mercedes products. Moving forward, Mercedes cars will be tidily segmented into three ranges with some slight name tweaks. Mercedes-Benz will continue to produce the company’s core lineup of mass-market cars, while all performance cars will now fall under the Mercedes-AMG name. Likewise, all future ultra-luxurious offerings will be called Mercedes-Maybach.
Moers went on to discount the possibility of any future diesel-powered AMGs, but did confirm that all rear-wheel-drive AMGs would be getting standard limited-slip differentials going forward, which is awesome news. Also, if you’re looking at buying an AMG GT, they’re sold out through 2015 and 2016.
Click past the jump to read more about AMG’s new 4.0-liter, V-8 engine.
Why it matters
It always feels special to have a unique engine in your performance car, but Mercedes has always done a great job of using common engines between its mainstream and AMG ranges, while maintaining distinct characters for both. The Mercedes-AMG GT’s snarling, popping V-8 exhaust note sounds utterly fantastic, but it probably wouldn’t be all that appealing for customers looking for an E-Class to drive to Neiman Marcus. Similarly, expect some software changes to reduce horsepower and make the torque curve a bit less peaky.
A hybrid V-12 presents some interesting possibilities. The first, and most obvious, would be a stand-alone AMG supercar application for this engine, but Moers has, at least for the time being, put the kibosh on a LaFerrari-rivaling supercar. Right now, only the S-Class provides a home for the V-12, and a new one is several years off. We could see the hybrid V-12 debut in the new Maybach, as mention previously, or in the S-Class’ mid-cycle refresh expected in a few years.