Mercedes-AMG is building a modern test centre for the development of electrified high-performance drives and electrical components at its headquarters in Affalterbach. The official groundbreaking ceremony for the new ‘Technikum’ took place on Thursday.
With two all-wheel-drive test benches and a high-voltage test bench for batteries, AMG says it is gearing up for the future; if required, the building will allow for further expansion stages. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2022 and will then offer more than 5,000 square meters of total space on three floors, Daimler said in the statement.
AMG plans to simulate real-world driving and environmental conditions on the all-wheel-drive test rigs. One of the two test benches is also mounted in a climate chamber that will be able to simulate test drives at up to 5,000 meters above sea level and -30 degrees Celsius. With the more accurate results of the test benches, AMG also wants to protect the environment, as fewer test kilometres would have to be covered in real-world operation.
The HV test bench also has a climate chamber and can test-drive batteries fully automatically in a temperature range of -40 to +80 degrees Celsius. Here, AMG wants to test the safety, durability as well as function and performance of high-voltage batteries under extreme conditions.
“Our new test centre will enable us to test vehicle components and prototypes under realistic conditions and put them to the acid test at an early development stage” says AMG CTO Jochen Hermann, who headed the development of electric drives at Mercedes before joining AMG internally. “In this way, we not only save time in the development process, but also improve the quality of the results.”
The test center itself is also to be built according to aspects of sustainability. According to the announcement, heating of the building is to be “largely carried out from the company’s own waste process heat.” If thermal energy is still available afterwards, this surplus is to be fed into the local heating network.
And the performance brand also announces that the first electrified AMG vehicles will be launched this year. The first of these is likely to be the PHEV version of the Mercedes-AMG GT four-door. In this hybrid sports car, however, the e-drivetrain is combined with a four-litre V8. In the recently unveiled new C-Class, however, even the AMG version will reportedly only have a two-litre four-cylinder instead of the double-sized V8 – and will be combined with a PHEV system.