The next-generation CLS has only been spotted testing in non-AMG guise
Mercedes-AMG will introduce a new petrol-electric hybrid line-up to sit below its 63 range, starting with a CLS 53 version later this year.
The model is due to be revealed as part of the next-generation CLS range at the Los Angeles motor show in November, before reaching roads in the middle of 2018. It will use AMG’s 3.0-litre straight-six engine, as used by 43 models, in conjunction with a 50kW electric motor.
Autocar revealed AMG's intentions to introduce a hybrid-six-cylinder drivetrain to its line-up earlier this year at the E-Class Coupé launch, but information at that time suggested it would be a range badged as 50. A source has now confirmed to Autocar that 53 has been chosen to align the hybrid models with AMG's existing naming conventions.
The hybrid AMG CLS's combined system output is expected to exceed 450bhp, likely ranking it more than 100bhp behind the current V8-engined CLS 63 S. However, the hybrid six-pot model’s electric torque-filling ability should ensure performance is much closer – so much so that it will likely take the 63’s place and become the CLS’s top variant.
This would clear space for the AMG GT four-door that’s due in 2018 as an entirely different model, inspired by the GT Concept of the 2017 Geneva motor show. The GT four-door will use a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, borrowed from either the AMG GT or E63, with a hybrid range-topper producing around 800bhp.
The hybrid CLS is expected to come with regenerative braking technology to help replenish its lithium ion batteries when on the move. This technology is already in use elsewhere in Mercedes’ range, and would come as part of 48v electric architecture.
Following hybrid six-pot models will share the CLS 53's’s drivetrain. An AMG E 53 would be the most likely next candidate for the system, due to the CLS’s strong technical links with the E-Class. Sources suggest that the electric and six-cylinder system will be the only drivetrain available on AMG coupé and convertible E-Classes, while larger saloon and estate models will remain as E63s with V8 engines.