Electrification is set to extend – not kill – the life of Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-litre V8, according to its chairman Tobias Moers.
Speaking this week at the Paris motor show, Mr Moers explained the hybrid technology currently being developed will improve the efficiency and performance of the German high-performance brand’s twin-turbocharged bent eight in new models.
“The V8 is a pretty efficient engine,” he said. “In combination with an electrified powertrain, it could be a longer life cycle than what everybody thinks."
Mercedes-AMG already reduced the engine capacity of its V8s from 6.3 litres to 5.5 litres in 2010 and then to 4.0 litres in 2015 to meet fuel consumption and emissions standards.
Despite this downsizing, the 4.0-litre V8 will play a prominent role in the upcoming plug-in hybrid GT 4-Door Coupe flagship that could produce up to 600kW of power.
It is expected the engine will be tuned to develop 470kW/900Nm alongside electric motors that punch out more than 100kW.
When asked if the 4.0-litre V8 will inevitably face the axe, Mr Moers was unsure about what its future will hold.
“Nobody in the industry is able to predict (when) the V8 engine ends, say, in 2028 – that’s impossible,” he said. “It is all about how clever are you as a company, to put the money in. And it should not be a bet – it should be a well-prepared strategy.”
Mr Moers added that it is becoming more difficult to create a long-term strategy due to the pace at which technology, customer demands and regulations, among other factors, develop.
“I am not so confident with having a 10-year plan and strategy because the world we live in is too fast,” he said. “So you have to adjust your strategy and your targets almost every year – half a year.
“So it is okay to see the next five years, but things happen that have an impact in four years. So you have to adjust the strategy every day.”
Nonetheless, Mr Moers stressed that the 4.0-litre V8 is only three years old, so there are no plans to replace it yet, but he admitted that Mercedes-AMG will eventually produce battery-electric vehicle because “otherwise there will not be an AMG”.
These future models will be exclusively developed with Mercedes-AMG performance focus as its parent company, Mercedes-Benz, is instead concentrating on driving range and battery efficiency.
However, Mr Moers did confirm that Mercedes-AMG’s 6.0-litre V12 is on borrowed time, with the twin-turbocharged engine to finish its production run when the current-generation S65 sports car’s life cycle ends.
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