The glory days of naturally aspirated petrol engines, the big-banging V8s and V12s, are history – at least for go-fast house Mercedes-AMG.
And it doesn’t matter that technology has made petrol engines so efficient … there is no place in the future for a return to naturally aspirated, even with an electric motor to help things along.
That’s the word from Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers (below). “We can’t go back to naturally aspirated, even once electric technology is sorted,” he said. “We will never again be able to go back to natural aspiration.”
Performance diesel engines are also so yesterday, Moers told reporters on the sidelines of the New York motor show.
“You know my opinion about performance diesels and I’ve always had that opinion,” he said. Moers was referring to an interview in 2014 when he said diesel doesn’t make sense for Mercedes-AMG.
“We had a diesel, long years ago – in the early 2000s we had a diesel. But in time, diesel is a very limited customership, and petrol engines are getting more and more efficient.
“The future is in hybrid petrol engines. Everyday driveability is an advantage and there is still room for doing more with petrol engines.
“If you combine that technology with electric technology, I think that is going to be the future for performance.”
Moers acknowledges there’s work to do before hybrid technology provides the answers engineers are looking for.
“Range is an issue yes, definitely,” he said. “At AMG we focus on having a performance battery, we want a system that is always on, that we can draw heavily from.”
Such a battery is a power cell that can stand up to prolonged use at speed, either on the racetrack or daily hustle.
“We (Mercedes-AMG) are the spearhead with performance batteries. We see a lot of countries moving forward with emissions targets and electric is the future of performance, with more efficient cars, more power and longer battery range.”