Daimler’s rumoured electric offensive for Mercedes-AMG
The new head of Daimler, Ola Källenius, plans the comprehensive electrification for the sports car brand AMG. The aim is supposedly not only to double the performance brand subsidiary’s sales but also rely on (partially) electric drives – out of necessity.
According to Manager Magazin, the AMG models are to be “rapidly converted to electric drive and plug-in hybrids”. Källenius will present the company’s future strategy internally with the keyword ‘Electric First’ to investors and analysts in London and New York in mid-November.
Porsche is the role model for the AMG future. The sports car manufacturer from German Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen area not only offers the Taycan, currently the fastest charging electric car in production, but also more than one PHEV drive for models such as the Panamera and Cayenne – some of the prominent top models in these series. And since Porsche has discontinued diesel, the PHEV derivatives have become the best-selling variants of the two model series, depending on the market.
According to Manager Magazin, the Porsche sales strategies should also be emulated. Porsche sold around 250,000 cars in 2018, AMG only about half that amount. Källenius would solve another problem with the targeted sales growth of the electrified AMG fleet: The AMG models emit too much CO2 so that the sales successes of the performance subsidiary are currently hurting the CO2 balance of the Mercedes fleet. With significantly more attractive PHEVs and BEVs, AMG would contribute to reducing fleet emissions in the future – but the offensive is probably too late for the individual CO2 target of 102 grams per kilometre for 2020.
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But Daimler can move fast when it wants to – a first model could go on sale in the coming year: According to the German car industry trade magazine Auto, Motor und Sport, a PHEV version of the AMG GT 4-door model is supposed to be a done deal. At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, AMG presented the concept of a four-door hybrid sports car with a V8 engine and a powerful electric motor on the rear axle. However, AMG only launched the GT 4-door with pure combustion engines. In the coming year, the Mercedes-AMG GT EQ performance is to be introduced as a hybrid to the supposedly 588 kW production model.
The forthcoming hybridisation of the AMG models would thus also be an indirect consequence of the massive expansion of recent years. Whereas previously only the larger models such as the E-Class and S-Class were available in AMG versions, there are now considerably more models under this name – right down to the A-Class and the compact SUV GLB. The resulting higher unit numbers are now driving CO2 emissions.
As Manager Magazin writes, new vehicle architectures are to help reduce costs in the “ecological realignment of the Group”. These multi-energy platforms (such as the EVA2) should be able to accommodate both battery and combustion drives and thus lead to lower development costs for the individual models.
manager-magazin.de, auto-motor-und-sport.de (both in German)