The recipe for performance is changing.
With the unstoppable wave of electrification upon us, plenty of questions have been levelled at high-performance marques, wondering what the future will hold for them. One of the marques most frequently under fire is Mercedes-AMG, what with its long history of employing large, naturally-aspirated engines (especially V8s) to power their cars into the imaginations of hoons across the globe.
While some quarters have remained coy, AMG feels that the integration of electrification is not only inevitable, but natural. In an interview with Autocar, Mercedes-AMG’s vehicle development director Drummond Jacoy said the brand and its products would have to go through a phase of reinvention, to better integrate itself with the future of the automotive industry.
It’s easy to forget that AMG has worked with electric powertrains in the past, like the SLS-AMG which was a pure electric supercar. On the burner presently are petrol-electric hybrids like the Project One hypercar and the GT Concept from the Geneva show this year, so it seems that electrification is rife within the company.
“It’s obvious we’re not going to make the world happy with V8s for the next 200 years, and AMG has shown in the past, with the electric SLS years ago, that it has capabilities in all-electric drive. That was a very impressive vehicle for its time, and we’ve nurtured that technology and the learning we have from hybrid vehicles.” — Drummond Jacoy, Director of Vehicle Development, Mercedes-AMG
Jacoy also reckons that they have an upper-hand when it comes to the future of electrified performance cars, given their strong integration with parent company Mercedes-Benz, and their presence and input throughout the development process of new vehicles bearing the three-pointed star. “As soon as Mercedes starts a car, we look at what we can do. We will have to reinvent ourselves there [in terms of electric powertrains] obviously, because the sound of a V8 is not going to be there if it’s a pure-electric vehicle. It’s not starting from scratch. But we’re going to have to look at what the AMG story is with an electric vehicle.”
With companies like Volvo-offshoot Polestar already going head-first into the future of electrified or even pure-electric high-performance vehicles, only time will tell if Mercedes-AMG will be able to ‘reinvent’ itself in time, or if they’ll be left to play catchup with less-established but more versatile performance brands.