AMG Could Have A Hybrid Model On Sale By 2020
European CO2 regulations are driving every carmaker to previously unthinkable solutions in order to reduce emissions. And so far those unthinkable solutions, like a turbocharged Ferrari, have been pretty good.
AMG has its development eye on the year 2021, when EU regulations will include every car sold by Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler when calculating fleet average emissions, and says that the deadline could mean a hybrid AMG by 2020.
Those are the words of the company’s R&D boss, Thomas Weber, to Autocar. Weber says a hybrid system right now wouldn’t work only because AMG customers “wouldn’t buy it.” In five years, though, not only will the pressure have forced the situation, but the low-six-figure segment might also be populated by heresies like a diesel and hybrid Bentleys, and a hybrid or electric Porsche 911, to break the ice.
Acceptance is coming down from the top via supercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918, and up from the bottom with the near-term incorporation of electric turbos and e-boost systems. And whenever the German challengers to Tesla arrive, that will be another huge step to changing the public’s mind.
E-boost is what Weber said the division is looking at right now, perhaps like the kind in Mercedes’ Bluetec Hybrid that employs an innocuous battery and motor. Regenerative braking would keep the battery charged. Weber said he likes it because it’s proven, it’s light, it’s cheap, and it’s already used in high-volume applications. But we would not be surprised to see a more robust implementation by the time 2020 gets here.