“I don’t think they are opposite extremes,” Ola Kallenius, Mercedes’ R&D boss, said at the Detroit show. “AMG has always been about driving performance and offering customers a superior experience, but at the same time — and I think this is the sweet spot of AMG — they are cars you can really drive every day. Electrification will find its way into AMG. It’s not impossible that you’ll have a fully electric version or an AMG variant of an EQ.”
Early electrification will be through the 48V mild hybrid system that Mercedes is set to roll out across its new generation of engines. Kallenius in effect confirmed this will also make it to AMG’s V6 and V8 motors.
Beyond that, the company is seriously considering a new range of fully electric performance cars, with Kallenius keen to point out it has already produced the SLS Electric Drive, which was sold in limited numbers in 2013.
“The SLS Electric Drive was a preview of what the future could look like,” he said. “That was a research project, a know-how builder for AMG to get our heads around electrification. It’s just a matter of time until we go more and more electric.”
In addition, the Formula 1- engined Project One hypercar will include the energy recovery system of its race-winning sister. “You can’t win the world championship without a superior electric motor,” Kallenius said.