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AMG will be making a hybrid

This is no dream and you’re not under the influence of illegal drugs. German creators of automotive insanity AMG will be making a hybrid and it’s closer than you think.

Now before you call AMG a big softie and have a petrolhead hissy fit, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, it won’t arrive until 2020 so there’s enough time to get your head around the news.

Secondly, and more importantly, a change to EU regulations in 2021 will mean all cars under the Daimler (parent company of Mercedes) umbrella will have an effect on the fleet emissions average. That means AMG will have to pull its weight and a hybrid is the key to doing so.

AMG admits there is no chance its current customers would buy a hybrid, but in five years time it believes perceptions will change, in part thanks to cars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder making the mixture of electric and combustion more palatable.

Weber told Autocar: “Every car line has to reduce fuel consumption — even AMG,” said Weber. “No one part of our business can be carried on the back of another. It’s a huge task to reduce AMG fuel consumption but we’ve realised that it’s also a huge opportunity.

“We haven’t done it so far, because right now the customer wouldn’t buy it,” Weber said. “AMG customers tell us they want the sportiest performance option available in any given sector of the performance market. We don’t know when they will be ready for hybrid.

“But in our development department, we are already planning for the time when we will have to offer them something special. We have to be prepared that, by 2020, it could be necessary to introduce an AMG hybrid.”

Research & Development boss Thomas Weber said the hybrid system will go the e-boost route, meaning improved power output from an electric motor that is recharged by regenerative braking, like in its current Bluetec Hybrid setup. But in five years time the benefits could be even more significant.

Failing to comply with the new EU regulations would mean large fines for Daimler, which it will be keen to avoid. It may seem like a sad move, but if it means we can still have extremely fast AMGs will we really care?


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