Mercedes-AMG Considering Adding Another AMG Model
This SLS-AMG replacement would sit above the GT Coupeby Kirby, on
The success of the Mercedes-AMG GT coupe is giving the German automaker reason to believe that another dedicated AMG model could be offered, one that would sit above the popular sports car. AMG boss Tobias Moers touched on that possibility in a recent conversation with Autocar, hinting that if the model does hit production, it would take up the slot vacated by the SLS AMG.
If the model does get the approval of Mercedes management, Moers indicated that AMG could go in a number of different directions on how it wants to model to come out. The common belief though, in addition to it sitting above the AMG GT, is that it could be packaged as a mid-engine hybrid supercar that would draw technologies from both the automaker’s current crop of road cars and its Formula One operation. A lightweight construction and electrical power are believed to be the most important elements of the car and taking into account the circumstances, such a proposal wouldn’t be difficult to execute considering that Mercedes already has the resources and the technology to make it work.
The model’s status is still be in its infancy and there are still a lot of things that could happen on how the model will be shaped. But according to Moers, don’t expect it to veer into the direction of a limited-edition hypercar like the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, or Ferrari LaFerrari. That’s a non-starter, according to the AMG chief, largely because Mercedes-AMG isn’t planning to enter that ultra exclusive market anytime soon.
So with that avenue out of the question, the likely scenario for this model would be as tech-loaded rival to the McLaren 650S and the Ferrari 488 GTB. It’s worth noting that the SLS AMG served as direct rivals to the 650S and the 488 GTB’s predecessors, the McLaren 12C and the Ferrari 458 Italia, respectively.
In the event the project is approved, there is a scenario that it could be offered in a number of different variants. This could include coupe, convertible, and special edition models, similar to the strategy being employed by its rivals. There’s no production timetable for the supercar, but if Mercedes-AMG is as serious about it as Moers appears to be, expect an announcement to arrive sometime within 2016.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Why it matters
From a business perspective, it makes sense for Mercedes-AMG to crown its entire performance lineup with a legitimate flagship model. As much as I like the AMG GT – and I like it a lot! – I really don’t see it as the kind of model that Mercedes-AMG can hang its hat on and say that it’s a true halo model. That’s because it’s not because doing so would be saying that the AMG GT is the successor to the SLS-AMG. But as I said, Mercedes-AMG is at place now where it can really afford to do it because business has been great for the brand. In 2015, it sold more than 68,000 units, a number that more than doubled the sales volume it had in 2013 when it sold a little over 32,000 units. Those are real numbers that show how successful Mercedes-AMG is now.
The timing is also right from a technology standpoint, especially if Mercedes-AMG really pushes for some F1 technology to be used on the flagship model. For those who don’t follow Formula One, Mercedes has been the unquestioned king of the sport for the better part of three seasons now and that dominance doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. If this model can tap into that technology being used by Merc’s F1 team, that would be a huge advantage for this model.
If you think about it, everything has lined up beautifully for Mercedes-AMG to develop the true successor to the SLS-AMG. Personally, I’d be very surprised if the company doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity knowing that there’s a clear spot available for such a model to exist without competing against one of its existing models.
The question now is whether Mercedes-AMG is committed enough to make this move. All signs seem to point to the company being aware of this, but until I see a legitimate push to develop it, I’m not going to count those chickens until they hatch and out comes a new flagship AMG model that can truly be considered a rival to the existing McLarens, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis that are out in the market today.
Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Hypercar here.