Mercedes-AMG GT to turn hybrid and four-wheel drive. New GT will put more than 650bhp and 700lb ft to all four wheels in top-end guise.
SCOOP MERC-AMG’S NEW 911 992 BEATER
Mercedes-AMG is well into the development of a second-generation GT, which is due on sale in 2021 with a hybrid powertrain that will offer increased power and torque. The next iteration of AMG’s supercar will adopt a revised twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with new mild-hybrid assistance, as well as a transaxle re-engineered to accommodate a fully variable four-wheel-drive system in selected models. That move is set to endow it with significantly greater performance potential than its predecessor.
Insiders at Mercedes-AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany, suggest a series of driveline innovations will push the power output of future upper-end GT models beyond 650bhp. The innovations will include an electric boosting capability as part of a range of new mild-hybrid EQ Boost functions.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT is scheduled to reach UK showrooms in early 2022.
As well as increasing the power output, the addition of electric boosting via a starter/ alternator and new 48V electric architecture will bring a notable increase in torque to the GT’s upgraded V8 engine. The successor model to today’s GT R is set to generate up to 700lb ft.
As a point of reference, the most powerful current iteration of AMG’s V8, codenamed M178, resides in the GT63 S 4Matic 4-Door Coupé, where it kicks out 630bhp and 664lb ft with an initial range of EQ Boost functions. In today’s form, the GT R makes 577bhp and 516lb ft.
The new GT will once again be produced in both coupé and roadster bodystyles.
It’s scheduled to reach UK showrooms in early 2022. Key rivals for the new model include the Porsche 911, which is also set to adopt hybrid functions when the facelifted version of today’s 992-generation model is launched, and the Aston Martin Vantage.
But whereas Porsche is looking to go down the full plug-in hybrid route, including all-electric capability for limited distances, this has been ruled out for future Mercedes- AMG GT models because of packaging concerns.
One source told Drive-My: “With a 75-litre fuel tank behind the cabin, we’re already at the limit on packaging. For worthwhile distances on electric, you need a battery with at least 12kWh of capacity. As well as commanding space, it also adds quite significantly to the weight.”
Key to the future of the GT is a decision by Mercedes-Benz to twin it with the successor to the SL. Both models share vital elements of their platform, driveline and interior in a move that, AMG insiders told Drive-My, has helped to streamline and lower the cost of their development despite the adoption of new technology.
Among that new tech is a four-wheel-drive system that can rapidly balance drive between the front and rear axles as well as a torque vectoring function to vary the amount of power sent to each individual rear wheel.
Together with a newly developed transaxle, the added traction of the new four-wheel-drive system should rectify one of the existing, rear-drive-only GT’s weaknesses – namely its standing-start acceleration in comparison with the supercar competition. But, like today’s E63, it will feature a Drift function, which sends power exclusively to the rear wheels. Although the GT is set to retain its existing two-seat layout, the new SL will adopt a roomier 2+2 interior – a move, Drive-My has been told, that’s aimed at ensuring the models appeal to different customers. The basis for the second-generation GT is a revised aluminium spaceframe that is claimed to weigh less than the 233kg structure used by the existing model. The weight saving has been achieved in part by the adoption of more cast aluminium components within load-bearing areas. Mercedes-AMG is also said to have met its aim of increased rigidity, most notably in the front end of the new spaceframe, which uses a newly designed transverse member with what is described as “improved torsional properties”.
The new GT is expected to feature a more contemporary exterior, described as being “a bigger step away from the current GT as it was from the earlier SLS”. The more modern approach is also said to be reflected inside, with new Formula 1-inspired digital graphics among the early design proposals.
Current model will be replaced by coupé and roadster variants.
Next SL will share much underlying tech with the new GT.
AMG LINES UP 680BHP GT BLACK SERIES
Mercedes-AMG will crown its current GT range with a long-rumoured Black Series model in the second half of 2020. Spied in prototype form sporting large bonnet vents and a fixed rear wing, the run-out Black Series will feature the current twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 taken to its limit, with an output of 680bhp mooted by insiders. That should bring the 0-62mph time below 3.5sec and push the top speed beyond 200mph. Expect the price for the Black Series to move towards – and maybe even beyond – the £200,000 mark.
SPY SHOT MER C-AMG GT BLACK SERIES