It was kind of expected yet I still don’t know how I feel about. The crazy ruckus that is AMG will eventually sound more tame. That doesn’t mean performance will dwindle however, which puts us in an odd predicament.
With a recently published interview on Autocar, Daimler CEO Ola Källenius, discussed the future of AMG. “We have to get to the point where the means of propulsion is not considered important, because AMG is all about the experience of customers,” said Källenius, “That is why we are starting to work not just on electrified AMGs but also our first fully electric AMGs.”
It is the nature of a performance vehicle to cater to multiple senses. It’s not just the sex appeal or bonkers 0-60 or 1/4 mile times. It’s not all about the brand or badge. It’s about how it makes you feel when you drive. Part of my lust for AMG comes from the noise and dynamics. It’s a German sledge hammer for the road. Raw power comes from multiple engine options depending on your flavor of AMG. The A-Class for example features a 2.0L 4-cylinder that can make over 400hp in S trim. The C class features a 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 with 385hp on the C43, while the C63S dials it up to over 500hp thanks to a turbocharged 4.0L V8 with a loud and angry exhaust. With AMG vehicles passing six-figures, the numbers (and sound) get even more bonkers.
When you start making vehicles more efficient by shrinking the engines down, adding turbos and electric motors, etc., the noise profiles change dramatically. Those tail-happy V8 C63’s and E63’s with roaring V8s might soon be nostalgia whether we like it or not.
So where’s the shift? Well, the future C63 (or whatever name they give it) will likely lose the V8 entirely and feature either a hybrid-electric V6 or their new turbo 4 cylinder engine with more electronic thrust to compensate. Just a few years ago we lost the 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 in the C63 to the more modern and fuel efficient 4.0L turbo V8. Although the 4.0L V8 performed better in every metric, it didn’t quite sound the same. It’s likely that the noise will be even further diluted with engines continue to shrink and we rely more on electric motors.
Mercedes AMG, and their mad scientists in Affalterbach, will likely continue to find ways to make even the smallest engines sound powerful. After all, the noise is still part of the experience right? Here’s to hoping we continue to be blessed by the car Gods with cars that are just as enjoyable to drive as they are fast, because both are not always 1 to 1.