Once upon a time, you could count upon Mercedes-Benz preferred tuner AMG to push traditional combustion engines to their limits. But we leave in a new day and age where hybrid drivetrains are proving to be even more potent than the nigh-unlimited displacement once afforded by low gas prices.
Motor Trend reports Mercedes AMG is planning to build a new supercar with a hybrid drivetrain that would put it on the same performance plane as the Porsche 918 Spyder. It’s just the latest salvo in the growing conflict I’ve taken to calling the hybrid horsepower wars. These automakers have gone beyond seeing hybrids simply as fuel sippers, and more as a new way to make even more absurd levels of horsepower.
Indeed, it would appear that Mercedes hasn’t been able to find a seat at the high-end of the ultra-performance car market. True, the gullwing-wearing SLS AMG proved popular with buyers, and an electric version even managed to impress Jeremy Clarkson. But Mercedes hasn’t had a ready answer for the top trio of hybrid hypercars, namely the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, and of course the LaFerrari.
Enter AMG, which has refocused its mission to bring Mercedes race car technology to production vehicles, including some of the hybrid systems developed for Formula 1. The in-house tuner has already said it was going to pursue both four-cylinder and hybrid projects, but this is going to be more of a halo car loaded with serious racing technology. If that sounds expensive, well, it’s a freakin’ Mercedes, so you better believe it’ll set you back six, maybe even seven figures…if it’s even built. There’s no time frame, name, or other details to really go on beyond Motor Trend’s piece.
AMG hasn’t shied away from electrification projects in the past, and if they could combine a 700 horsepower twin-turbo V8 with half as much power from a pair of electric motors, you’re looking at a 1,000+ horsepower Mercedes hybrid supercar. It’s about time Mercedes takes up its battle banner and enters the Hybrid Horsepower War with a menacing machine all its own.