Mercedes Is Spooked by the Porsche Taycan; Plans an Electric AMG to Fight Back
Looks like the Taycan has been keeping Porsche’s rivals on their toesby Tudor Rus, on
In all fairness, the Taycan has indeed been teased and then teased some more over the past months, however, when Porsche finally dropped the mic and unveiled its first-ever electric sports car, the audience had plenty of things to absorb.
The same can be said about Porsche’s arch-rival Mercedes-Benz, whose plans to introduce an electric AMG-badged model that would compete with the Taycan have been highlighted in Frankfurt by Mercedes-Benz head honcho Ola Kallenius.
Don’t get us wrong; it’s not that the Taycan’s reveal instantly stimulated Mercedes-AMG to take measures towards bringing forward a rival for Porsche’s electric car. It’s safe to assume that the three-pointed-star company has had this avenue in its sight for some time now, so what better way to drop the gauntlet then at the Frankfurt Motor Show?
|2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo||2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S|
|Electric motors power||616 horsepower (670 horsepower with overboost)||616 horsepower (750 horsepower with overboost)|
|Weight||5,132 pounds||5,121 pounds|
|0-60 mph||3 seconds||2.6 seconds|
|Quarter of a mile time||11.1 seconds||10.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||161 mph||161 mph|
The news about a potential AMG-badged all-electric sports car aimed at the Porsche Taycan came via Auto Express. The outlet had a chat with Daimler boss Ola Kallenius, who confirmed that a fully electric Mercedes-AMG sports car is in the making. This is certainly a step forward from AMG’s current approach which involves the use of an electrified powertrain for some of its cars - which, in fact, would be more accurately described as a mild-hybrid system rather than a full-blown setup like the one used by the Honda/Acura NSX, for example.
“We are starting to work not just on electrified AMG but also our first fully electric AMG.” Ola Kallenius
Besides the mild-hybrid system AMG employs in some of its cars, Mercedes-Benz isn’t short of all-electric powertrain options. The brand’s first-ever fully-electric car aka the EQC uses two asynchronous electric motors that generate 300 kW (402 horsepower) and 760 Nm (560 pound-feet) of torque between them. As a result, the EQC reaches 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in 5.1 seconds and tops out at 180 km/h (112 mph) only because of an electronic speed limiter.
Sure, that doesn’t exactly scream AMG out loud, but it’s a good starting point.
Most likely, Affalterbach will have to go beyond the current 80-kWh battery pack for an AMG-badged vehicle, but that’s not an impossible task. As a last resort, Mercedes-Benz could even strike some sort of deal with go-to electric supercar specialist Rimac, who’s already been working with Porsche on the Taycan and is rumored to have a say in the upcoming all-electric R8 successor.
|Estimated Range||Up to 200 miles|
|Drive system||2 asynchronous motors, all-wheel drive|
|Rated output||402 hp|
|Peak torque||560 lb-ft|
|Top speed (mph)||112 mph (electronically limited)|
|Acceleration 0-60 mph||4.9 s (est.)|
|Battery capacity||80 kWh|
That’s all just a nebula of information for the time being, but we must not forget that Mercedes-AMG is no stranger to electrified high-performance cars. Those who remember the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Coupe Electric Drive know that Stuttgart has been playing around with the idea of an all-electric super-sports car for some time. The high-performance EV is also a good indication of what sort of performance Mercedes-AMG would aim to extract from a future sports car powered solely by electricity.
The Mercedes-AMG SLS Coupe Electric Drive was the first shift in the AMG V-8 and V-12 paradigm
The AMG SLS Electric Drive used four synchronous electric motors (each weight 45 kilos or 99 pounds) that offered a combined power output of 552 kW (740 horsepower) and a peak torque of 1,000 Nm (737.5 pound-feet).
In return, it was capable of dispatching the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) band in 3.9 seconds and pick up the pace to an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Needless to say, the Electric Drive version of the otherwise brilliant gull-winged AMG SLS tipped the scales at 2,200 kilos (4,850 pounds), which is pretty much what a full-size SUV weighs these days.
The AMG SLS Electric Drive relied on a Lithium-ion, 60-kWh battery pack which Mercedes deemed sufficient for a maximum combined range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) according to the NEDC.
Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Coupe Electric Drive - Key Specs
|Max output||552 kW|
|Torque||1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft)|
|0-100 km/h||3.9 s|
|Top speed||250 km/h (155 mph)|
|Range||250 km (155 miles) (NEDC)|
|Battery energy||60 kWh|
|Battery voltage||400 volts|
For all we know so far, Mercedes-AMG still has its hands full with the Project One hypercar, and we haven’t heard anything of it in quite a while. So, even if an all-electric rival for the Porsche Taycan is in the making, AMG will first want to wrap things up with the Project One and then carry one with R&D-ing its battery-powered high-performance car.
Since Mr. Kallenius didn’t actually provide a timeline or any other sort of clues regarding AMG’s electric sports car debut date, it’s safe to say that a couple of years will pass until the model actually makes a debut. But fret not, with today’s teasing strategies widely employed by carmakers from A to Z, we’ll be hearing shortly of any new developments. Let’s hope it’s not through a blackened out photo, though.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC.
Read our full review on the 2013 Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive.