Porsche Panamera rival will be sold in petrol-electric guises with an 805bhp flagship
The production version of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept will be sold with a range of EQ Power-branded petrol-electric hybrid drivelines featuring differing battery capacities, outputs and electric ranges, sources at the performance car division’s parent company Mercedes-Benz have revealed.
The new Mercedes-AMG model has been conceived as an upmarket replacement for today’s CLS63. The production version is due to make its world debut at the Geneva motor show next March and UK sales are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2018.
It will be launched with a 604bhp twin-turbo 4.0-litre petrol V8
It will be launched with the same 604bhp twin-turbo 4.0-litre petrol V8, nine-speed gearbox and fully variable four-wheel drive system as the latest E63 S 4Matic, on which it is largely based. However, Mercedes officials say there are also concrete plans for it to be sold with hybrid drivelines from 2019 onwards.
The decision to develop the GT Concept’s new EQ Power hybrid driveline with up to three differing battery capacities will allow Mercedes-AMG to offer the five-door liftback rival to the Porsche Panamera with a choice of outputs and ranges.
Although the finer details are still under wraps, Autocar has been told the range-topping hybrid model is set to produce the same 805bhp and offer a similar 31-mile electric range as the driveline in the concept at this year’s Geneva motor show.
Less powerful versions are also under development. They are said to include a base EQ Power hybrid driveline for the four-seat GT with 671bhp and a 19-mile range as well as a mid-range variant with 738bhp and a 25-mile range.
Whether all three units will be made available on the production version of the GT Concept has yet to be confirmed, but sources suggest their modular nature will allow them to feature in other AMG models, including successors to the GT Coupé and Roadster.
The hybrid driveline for the production version of the GT Concept uses AMG’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine mounted longitudinally up front in combination with an electric motor sited within the rear axle.
The V8 can send power to all four wheels, while the electric motor delivers power exclusively to the rear wheels.
AMG says the GT Concept’s electric motor is networked with a combination of extremely light batteries. These have been developed in partnership with High Performance Powertrains – the British-based AMG sister company behind the 1000bhp petrol-electric driveline shown in the Project One hypercar at Frankfurt two months ago.
The operating strategy of the new petrol-electric powerplant has been derived from the hybrid unit used by the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 team, with the battery charged while the car is being driven, both through brake energy recuperation and with the aid
of the petrol engine.
FORMULA E TIE-UP WILL HELP AMG
Mercedes-Benz’s entry into the all-electric Formula E championship in 2018/19 will boost performance arm AMG’s development of hybrid and electric powertrains for the future, according to AMG development boss Drummond Jacoy.
The firm’s recent Project One concept uses a powertrain similar to the hybrid employed by Mercedes in Formula 1.
“We work with Mercedes High Performance Engines who build the F 1 engines, and now we’ll align with the Formula E project,” said Jacoy. “The entry is very recent, very now, and we’ve not sorted out exactly how it’s going to work – but there will be a close link to us as AMG.”