The boss of AMG reckons its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine will live on for another ten years, despite ongoing efforts to electrify the Mercedes brand.
Talking to Road and Track, Philipp Scheimer, head of the Top End Vehicle Group at Mercedes, said that the V8 definitely has a future. By the way, the Top End Vehicle Group includes AMG, Maybach and the G-Class.
Schiemer said: “I think for the next ten years we will see the V8s, for sure. We have a lot of customers who love their cars and I still think that we will see those people buying the [V8] cars for a long time.”
“We have a very high demand all over the world,” he added, meaning the V8-powered race cars competing in GT3 and GT4 championships in Europe, America, China and Australia as well as the array of Mercedes-AMG V8 road cars.
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The current 4.0-litre V8 will probably be the last of its kind from AMG, even if it lives into the 2030s. It will still be updated but AMG isn’t planning on replacing it with another eight-cylinder due to electrification taking over.
Part of those updates include connecting it to a high-performance plug-in hybrid set-up as seen in the GT 63 S E-Performance, which developed a system output of 620kW and 1400Nm. Even that is looking like a limited-time powertrain, as Mercedes has already stopped development of PHEVs in favour of full electrification.
During the Munich Motor Show, Markus Schafer, Daimler board member responsible for research and development, told Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper that “no further new developments are planned” with regard to plug-in hyrids.
“The investments have been made, to that extent, we are using them.”
We could see the powertrains go into more models in the near future, however. MG Chief Technical Officer, Jochen Hermann, also spoke to Road and Track, saying that there are a lot of tricks to extract more performance with plug-in hybrid powertrains, lots of which will come over time.
“I think it’s the thrill we have with this new layout,” Hermann said. “It’s complicated, to be honest. And actually, we had a tough time to get it to a point where we could say, ‘ok, this is where we want it to be.’”
“And the thing is, now having gone through all this we know there’s so much more that we can do with a powertrain layout like this.”