The new five-door Mercedes-AMG model has been conceived as an upmarket replacement for today’s CLS 63 and a rival to the Porsche Panamera. The production version is due to make its world debut at the Geneva motor show next March, with sales in international markets are scheduled to begin in September, 2018. Sources at Mercedes-Benz have revealed that the production version of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept will be sold with a range of EQ Power-branded petrol-electric hybrid drivelines featuring differing battery capacities, outputs and electric ranges.
The car will be launched with the same 612hp, twin-turbo, 4.0-litre, petrol V8, nine-speed automatic gearbox and fully variable four-wheel drive system as the latest E63 S 4Matic, upon which it is largely based. However, Mercedes officials say there are also concrete plans for it to be sold with hybrid drivelines from 2019 onwards.
The decision to develop the car's new hybrid driveline with three differing battery capacities will allow Mercedes-AMG to offer the car with varying power outputs and ranges.
Although the finer details are still under wraps, our sister publication, Autocar UK, has been told that the range-topping hybrid model is set to produce the same 816hp and offer a similar 50km electric range as the GT Concept.
The other versions under development are said to include a base hybrid driveline with 680hp and a 30km range and a mid-range variant with 748hp and a 40km range.
Sources suggest these units' modular nature will allow them to feature in other AMG models, including the successors to the GT Coupé and Roadster.
The hybrid driveline for the production version of the GT Concept uses AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, mounted longitudinally up front, in combination with an electric motor sited within the rear axle. The engine can send power to all four wheels, while the motor delivers power exclusively to the rear wheels.
AMG says the motor is networked with a combination of extremely light batteries. These have been developed in partnership with High Performance Powertrains, the British-based AMG sister company behind the 1014hp petrol-electric driveline of the upcoming Project One Hypercar.
The operation of the new petrol-electric powerplant has been derived from the hybrid unit used by the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 team, with the battery charged while the car is being driven through brake energy recuperation and the aid of the petrol engine.
Mercedes-Benz’s entry into the electric Formula E championship in 2018/19 will boost AMG’s development of hybrid and electric powertrains for the future, according to the company's development boss, Drummond Jacoy.
The firm’s recent Project One concept uses a powertrain similar to the hybrid employed by Mercedes in Formula 1.
“We work with Mercedes High Performance Engines who build the F1 engines, and now we’ll align with the Formula E project,” said Jacoy. “The entry is very recent, very now, and we’ve not sorted out exactly how it’s going to work – but there will be a close link to us as AMG.”