Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Mercedes-AMG sticks with petrol V8

Mercedes-AMG will continue to use its 4.0-litre V8 engine instead of moving to electrification.

Mercedes-AMG's stonking 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 will continue as the key powerplant for its high-performing models for the foreseeable future, according to the go-fast brand's program manager Bertram Tschamon.

During the media launch of the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster in Arizona, Mr Tschamon was asked if the bent-eight engines would be retired due to stricter emissions standards or in the name of improved efficiency, to which he replied: "No, I don't think so."

This would indicate that Mercedes has plans to carry on with V8 engines past its current iteration, which debuted in production form in 2015 under the long bonnet of the GT Coupe and has since spread to the C63 and E63.

In its current form, the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 can produce anywhere from 375kW/650Nm up to 450kW/850Nm.

Although what the next-generation V8 powerplant could look like and when it is expected to arrive remains unclear, as Mr Tschamon said the current engine does not leave much room for improvement.

"If we did a new one, we would basically make the same engine again," he said. "There's no point in making a new engine if it looks basically the same when we finish it."

"But, maybe we will have a brilliant idea in five years' time."

In its current form, the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 can produce anywhere from 375kW/650Nm up to 450kW/850Nm in various states of tune and depending on the accompanying cooling components, but Mercedes says the engine has been easily hitting 500kW in testing.

While other manufacturers are eschewing big-block engines in favour of electrification or hybridisation, AMG will continue its combustion engine development alongside research into alternative powertrains.

The next step in AMG's engine development is expected to arrive later this year in the form of the facelifted S-Class.

Mr Tschamon indicated that the size of the battery is the biggest hurdle in shoehorning electrification into AMG models, as they need to provide both high performance and decent driving range.

The next step in AMG's engine development is expected to arrive later this year in the form of the facelifted S-Class, with a high-performing version to produce 350kW from an AMG V6 – an engine also expected to carry across and replace the current 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 found in the C43, SLC43 and GLC43.

However, as Europe tightens its emissions standards AMG's mighty V12 may face the chopping block as the powerplant is only produced in small numbers to power its top-spec S-Class variants – as well as being sold to Italian supercar builder Pagani.

Is continuing development of a V8 engine the right move for Mercedes-AMG? Tell us what you think in the comments below.