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Mercedes-Benz AMG Exec Says Hybrids Dominate Diesels In Future

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

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Mercedes-Benz in-house tuner AMG is best known for its thunderous, cacophonous V-8 gasoline engines. The brand's latest model is something of a departure, though.

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG still offers ballistic performance, but uses only a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine--albeit turbocharged to 355 horsepower.

AMG has now said that it's a trend it expects to continue--while hybrids knock high-performance diesels aside in the pursuit of both power and economy.

According to Edmunds (via our sister site Motor Authority), AMG Chairman Ola Källenius thinks hybrids will be the future of performance vehicles.

Diesel, says Källenius, doesn't deliver the aggressive characteristics of a gasoline engine--nor its pure throttle response, nor the NASCAR-style sounds common to many AMG products.

Hybrids, on the other hand, still allow automakers to use gasoline engines as a main source of propulsion, without sacrificing too much in the way of efficiency.

AMG will produce a hybrid vehicle "when the market is ready for it and in markets [that require it] due to their regulations".

AMG's more traditional engines will still continue for some years though, and even with improvements to regular gasoline engines the company hopes to return a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption by its 50th birthday in 2017.

Most of those changes will likely come through reduced capacity engines and turbocharging, as shown in the potent little CLA 45 AMG--but big engines will remain, and AMG says even its V-12 engines produce low enough emissions to meet regulations for several more years.

When the company does turn to hybrids--and it says such a change could be surprisingly quick, with the might of Mercedes-Benz behind it--it's likely to use techniques from the world of Formula One to harness energy--think flywheels and capacitors rather than heavy battery packs.

AMG isn't the first company you'd think of when high fuel efficiency is a priority, but performance car fans will be glad to know that even the quickest cars will get cleaner, use less fuel and cost less to run in future.

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Comments (14)
  1. "AMG has now said that it's a trend it expects to continue--while hybrids knock high-performance diesels aside in the pursuit of both power and economy."

    To quote Mr. Voelcker: "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" What nonsense, nonsense! Where do these people live, in their own little worlds? They need not look further than through their windows, if they do not wish to step outside, and see 95% of the cars on the streets are diesel! What unbelievable nonsense, and a source of major embarrassment for AMG!

    "Diesel, says Källenius, doesn't deliver the aggressive characteristics of a gasoline engine--nor its pure throttle response, nor the NASCAR-style sounds common to many AMG products."

    Wow, just wow. Typical "executive", out of touch with reality.
     
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  2. POINT 95% as in less than 1%. That's what you meant, right?
     
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  3. Sir AMG is in Germany. Diesels dominate there.
     
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  4. @Annatar: Yes, but they are NOT 95% of the vehicles on the road. Your sloppy use of figures undercuts your arguments. I couldn't find a 2012 figure easily, but the 2011 figure is 49%:
    http://www.thedieseldriver.com/2012/01/2011-diesel-sales-repor-market-share-in-germany-hit-49/
     
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  5. Even if the assumption about 50% were true, to ignore such a large market and make a claim that hybrids will dominate on a continent which has absolutely no reason and no incentive to embrace them reeks of either a cheap publicity stunt, or total disconnect from reality.

    Now, would you buy a vehicle whose design and implementation is headed by someone who is completely disconnected from reality? I do not know, maybe you would; I certainly would not.
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  6. @Annatar: No, not 95%. Roughly 50% across Europe in aggregate, with most markets between 40% and 60%, and as high as 80% in one or two of the smaller countries.
     
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  7. "Diesel, says Källenius, doesn't deliver the aggressive characteristics of a gasoline engine--nor its pure throttle response, nor the NASCAR-style sounds common to many AMG products."

    Make a diesel hybrid then, and let's see who wins, heh heh heh heh heh!
     
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  8. Mercedes. Daimler. Diesel. Lots of history there. Everyone loves competition so bring it on.
     
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  9. AMG is sadly mistaken when they say a diesel hybrid can't match the performance of a gasoline hybrid. A supercharged turbo diesel hybrid will match the performance of its gasoline counterpart and do it with greater fuel economy.

    The reason the biggest car companies haven't switched to turbo hybrid diesels is because it would make their gasoline engines including hybrids obsolescent over night
     
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  10. Sure, Richard, a competitive advantage that every single OEM in the world is willing to simultaneously forgo, right?

    If diesel hybrids were so easy to make, they'd be getting made by now, of course, as even 15 seconds of research would have instructed you.

    Yeah, automotive OEMs are well known for their willingness to forgo huge profits with new technology simply to keep one technology in the lead... Of course, that's not even close to being true and is almost the exact opposite of how technologies emerge, but you clearly don't intend to let facts enter into your comments, do you?

    Yeah, when even diesel-heavy European OEMs don't make diesel hybrids in volumes, you might want to question your laughable claim. Try a little research.
     
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  11. The Research and facts support my claim. Clearly you are among the many who do not know what they do not know.
    Gas 2
    "The all-new 2013 Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid has already sold out in Europe, making the Volvo hybrid one of the brand's most popular new car launches ever. It is the world's first production diesel plug-in hybrid car, and Volvo's first production hybrid"
     
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  12. @Richard: IIRC, the production volume of the V60 PHEV is roughly 2,500 vehicles. That's relatively easy to sell out. I would be very surprised if Volvo had any plans to sell high volumes of its very first commercial plug-in car, on which the company is almost surely losing money. Just for a bit of context ....
     
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  13. I would be surprised if other car makers didn't quickly follow Volvos example with a Diesel Hybrid of their own that reduced fuel consumption more than ever
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  14. "Yeah, automotive OEMs are well known for their willingness to forgo huge profits with new technology simply to keep one technology in the lead... "

    Diesels last two to three times longer than gasoline cars. While that might not be a factor in the consumer oriented, throw-away society like the United States, on the global market where owning a car is an expensive luxury it means most people would go up to three times as long before buying their next vehicle, so yes, building diesels in this context does imply forgoing huge profits.
     
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