Merc tuning house gets stop-start and direct injection technology
4 March 2008

AMG Mercs will have stop-start and direct petrol injection by 2010, Volker Mornhinweg, CEO of Merc’s in-house tuning wing has confirmed. Speaking at the launch of the SL 63, Mornhinweg said that in AMG’s racing history: ‘Efficient Dynamics have always held centre stage. Only back then, it was just called something else.’ He added that AMG’s focus was now on weight reduction and that there’s ‘no demand’ for a diesel from AMG’s customers, but that if the situation changed, AMG ‘would be in a position to respond immediately.’Friedrich Eichler, AMG’s engine chief (also designer of the Porsche Carrera GT’s V10), confirmed that ‘diesels are heavy and expensive. So if we did one if would have to be very compact and very strong.’ But even if a green light was given tomorrow ‘it would be four years before it could come to market.’ More likely is a hybrid, as AMG aims for a sales-adjusted average of 200g/km of CO2 from its cars by 2012. ‘Hybrids are in our heads at the moment,’ said Eichler. ‘But we still have to choose between three things to store the energy: batteries, ultracapacitors, or flywheels.’The efficiency returns from the SL63’s new automatic gearbox, which has a wet-clutch rather than a torque converter, are slighter than you might think. Typically it only improves fuel consumption and CO2 by two percent – slightly more in heavy traffic where a torque converter is always sapping some power.This new gearbox will not be used on regular Mercedes-Benz cars either, says Eichler. ‘It’s not as comfortable as a torque converter ‘box, because it’s more sporty’ he said. ‘Also we have to differentiate AMG models from Mercedes, and it’s a quite expensive gearbox.’

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2007-2014

The Mercedes C-Class marks a return to the company's old-school values of all-round quality and maturity

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