The auto industry is no stranger to change with manufacturers often finding themselves needing to rapidly adapt to the ever-changing industry trends and advancements in automotive technology. Recently, Mercedes-AMG announced that it will soon make one of its biggest changes in modern times, and begin the development of purely electric vehicles.
In an interview with Autocar, Daimler CEO Ola Källenius specifically addressed the need for AMG-developed cars to consider the use of alternative fuels. By doing so, the automaker hopes to retain the soul of an AMG while delivering the practicality and benefits of a high-end electric car. Allegedly, it's not about how the power is delivered, but how the driver feels behind the wheel.
“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.”
Of course, this isn't AMG's first tango with electrification. While the automaker has toyed with hybridization for some time, it has previously brought a limited-production all-electric car to market some time ago.
Enter the SLS AMG Electric Drive: one of the most modern examples of the rapid advancement which has occurred in electric cars over the past decade. In 2013, its 60-kWh battery pack was good for only 120 miles of range, but when pushed to the limit, it proved difficult for the car to complete two laps around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Fast forward to 2019 and the SLS Electric Drive, which was once the most powerful production EV in the world, looks and is obsolete. In less than a decade, other automakers have produced luxury sedans boasting more horsepower and three times the range of the SLS at a fraction of the cost. Of course, those cars aren't as purpose-built as the SLS, but the example still stands.
It's hard to think about such an iconic automaker giving up the lively roar of its high-displacement German V8s in favor of electrification. But with peer pressure mounding from cars like the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S Performance, and environmental agencies dishing out stricter regulations, AMG's decision to build its own line of electric performance cars begins to make sense.
Although Källenius didn't hint at which AMG automobiles would be getting the battery treatment, rumors have already begun swirling of an AMG-built variant of the Mercedes Vision EQS concept, which debuted earlier this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. For now, all we know is to expect some form of hybridization across AMG's lineup beginning in the next few years.