Who wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a roaring machine roaring down a track at lightning speed? Did someone say climate activists? It’s possible, but while gas-guzzling performance cars may be far from an ideal environment, changes are afoot on the horizon and the airwaves are taking over. It’s just that these aren’t exactly mile chewers and re-powering them isn’t just a matter of sticking to the gas gun for a few minutes.
In today’s ever-evolving era, performance automakers have to strike a delicate balancing act — and play precariously at this point. Electric cars are inevitable, but Mercedes-AMG thinks it doesn’t have to come at the expense of sports cars long known for their fist-clenching thrills. The AMG EQS is a clear example of a zero-emissions powertrain paired with delicious driving pleasure. That’s great in the controlled confines of a track, but in the real world, it can kill range-per-charge.
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For Jochen Hermann, this is a very real challenge, but it also brings a series of opportunities. “The car is not the limit, it’s the charging space,” explained Mercedes-AMG’s chief technology officer (CTO) during a media interaction on Thursday. “I believe there is a market for an all-electric sports car, but, yes, there must be a minimum range.”
According to Hermann, Mercedes’ all-electric AMG models benefit from extremely high aerodynamic performance. “So it’s really about the fast charge setup and bigger batteries to keep that charge going, going forward,” he said.
But can such a car really boast of running a marathon while training for sprints? Hermann acknowledged that a true long-range AMG might not be possible for the foreseeable future, pointing to non-AMG all-electric Mercedes vehicles for that. EVs such as the EQS launched in India last year claimed a range of over 800km, while globally the Vision EQXX EV concept was shown again in India with a claimed four-figure range. Or even the EQB SUV due in December 2022 ¥7.45 million (ex-showroom), with a range of more than 400 kilometers per charge. But while the EQS and EQB may not be built for track thrills, there are always hybrid steps that can be taken with an average machine like the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 SE Performance, which has a 6 kWh battery and a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine.
Clearly, Mercedes-AMG is weighing the development and launch of each model. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Germany’s high performance, high-range, zero-emissions means neither will the machines.
First published date: May 11, 2023 at 14:57 PM CST