Mercedes-AMG reveals electrification strategy details

Mercedes-AMG has officially announced the details of its electrification strategy with performance hybrids and battery-electric derivatives based on the new Mercedes Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) for luxury and luxury cars. AMG’s first electrified road models are set to debut later this year.

According to AMG, the drive strategy will be based on two pillars in future: Under the label “E Performance”, “performance hybrids with a completely independent drive concept” will be offered. The second pillar is the EVA-based electric cars, however, no separate sales designation is mentioned. In addition to the drive, AMG also wants to “comprehensively” adapt the chassis, design and equipment in both cases.

With its sporty electric vehicle models, the Mercedes subsidiary says it wants to reach new target groups. “With our new drive strategy, we are transporting our hallmark DNA into an electrified future,” says Philipp Schiemer, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “Our performance hybrids, developed entirely in Affalterbach, will even surpass the driving dynamics of our current models and thus absolutely do justice to our new technology label E PERFORMANCE. With the all-electric derivatives based on the Mercedes-EQ models, we as Mercedes-AMG are also continuing to take off with the electrification of the portfolio.”

However, the battery-electric cars will probably not be located directly in the top segment, but rather, according to the statement, “in the performance segment of the 43 and 53 AMG models” – which is how AMG describes its four- and six-cylinder models. The eight- and twelve-cylinder models are sold as 63 and 65 respectively. These vehicles, which are positioned as clear offshoots of the EQ models, are intended to reach target groups “who place great value on innovative electric mobility, but do not want to do without sportiness and agile driving dynamics”.

AMG is not yet giving many details. What is clear, however, is that the models will have an all-wheel-drive with two permanently excited synchronous motors. The current prototypes would achieve performance figures “on a par with the most powerful Mercedes-AMG performance models with the current 4.0-litre V8 Biturbo engine” – i.e. “well below” 4.0 seconds to 100 km/h. The top speed is to be 250 km/h.

Although AMG will also rely on a 400-volt battery for the time being, this will receive its own wiring harness, which is said to be adapted to the higher performance capability. In addition, the “AMG RIDE CONTROL+” air suspension will be specifically tuned.

AMG wants their own electric motor

AMG provided considerably more details on the performance hybrids. A specially developed electric motor with a two-speed gearbox acts directly on the rear axle and is not installed in the automatic transmission as is the case with many plug-in hybrids. AMG hopes that this will enable the torque to be applied even more directly – for “agile starting behaviour”. Nevertheless, the electric motor is mechanically coupled to the all-wheel-drive system: if the rear wheels slip, the drive power of the electric motor is to be transferred to the front wheels as needed for more traction. In addition, the positioning on the rear axle is intended to improve weight distribution.

The battery of the performance hybrids (also with 400 volts) was designed by engineers from High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth – the Mercedes subsidiary that develops the Formula 1 drive. To ensure that the battery maintains its performance level even under heavy load – with maximum power output during acceleration and frequent power consumption during recuperation in the braking zones – each of the 560 cells is cooled directly. For this direct cooling, not only millimetre-thin cooling modules had to be developed, but also an electric high-performance pump. Weighing 89 kilograms, the 6.1 kWh power storage unit is said to have a continuous output of 70 kW and a peak output of 150 kW – and an energy density of 1.7 kW/kg. “Due to the scalability of the battery, it would also be conceivable in principle to have further expansion stages follow,” says AMG. “For this purpose, the requirements per segment are closely examined.”

Combined with a V8 petrol engine, this should make more than 600 kW of system output and over 1,000 Nm of system torque possible – or acceleration to 100 km/h in less than three seconds.

As reported, the AMG derivative of the new C-Class will no longer have a V8 engine, but a four-cylinder with two litres of displacement. This engine is a further development of the familiar AMG four-cylinder, which is installed transversely in the A-Class, GLA and CLA, for example. The further development of the M139 will then also receive an electric exhaust gas turbocharger, which is based on the MGU-H technology of the Formula 1 cars. The four-cylinder engine will then produce 330 kW and be combined with a 150 kW electric motor.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.


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