European automakers are increasing their reliance on turbocharged petrol engines and hybrid technologies to adhere to and be ready for even more stringent CO2 emission norms formulated by the European Union.
Most companies are considering this strategy for their high performance cars now, Mercedes-Benz being the latest one. The German automaker could launch an AMG hybrid by 2020, says a new report from Autocar.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, told the publication that there is increasing pressure on the brand’s high performance AMG to reduce CO2 emissions of its model lines and hybrid technology may be the most effective solution for this issue.
Prof. Dr. Weber said: “Every car line has to reduce fuel consumption — even AMG. No one part of our business can be carried on the back of another. It’s a huge task to reduce AMG fuel consumption but we’ve realised that it’s also a huge opportunity”.
By 2020, 95% of Mercedes passenger cars sold in Europe will have to have CO2 emissions rating of not more than 101 g/km. By 2021, the European Union’s latest regulations will become fully effective and then, the all the Mercedes passenger cars sold in Europe will have to have CO2 emissions rating of not more than 101 g/km. Hefty fines will be imposed on parent company Daimler if these regulations are not adhered to.
“But in our development department, we are already planning for the time when we will have to offer them something special. We have to be prepared that, by 2020, it could be necessary to introduce an AMG hybrid.”
The company is considering its hybrid setup from the current Bluetec Hybrid models. Apart from the fact the technology is already developed, a major benefit is that it’s in large-volume production too.
A downside of hybrid technology in case of high performance cars is that it contradicts the core idea behind these cars due to the bulky weight of batteries. So, the hybrid setup will need to be light and of course, cheap too, as we’re talking about volume-production models and not a limited-production exotic model like the BMW i8 that buyers with deep pockets will buy regardless of the price tag.
“A simple e-boost solution (similar to Mercedes’ current Bluetec Hybrid set-up, with a relatively small battery and motor) could help us to add power and regenerate energy by braking,” Prof. Dr. Weber said. “It also has the advantage of already being in large-volume production. The system has to be light and cheap”.