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Mercedes-AMG considering turbo fours, hybrid sixes for future performance sedans

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:30:00 EST

Think of the letters AMG and you'll probably end up picturing a performance sedan with a big V8. Such has become, after all, the Mercedes turning division's calling card. But with the introduction of its 2.0-liter turbo four, AMG is working at turning that notion on its head.

The highly potent engine produces 355 horsepower and is presently installed in the A45 AMG hatchback, CLA45 AMG sedan and GLA45 AMG crossover, giving Benz's smallest family a full range of performance models. But that might not be the full extent of the high-strung four-pot's use.

Speaking with AMG boss Tobias Moers, Britain's What Car? magazine reports that Affalterbach is considering slotting the same engine into larger models, particularly performance sedans like the C-Class. As we recently reported, Mercedes is already preparing to up the power from the turbo V6 in the C400 to slot a C450 Sport in below the C63 AMG. The C450 is expected to offer around 367 horsepower where the CLA45 AMG et al pack 355, but the lighter weight of the four-cylinder engine would likely offset the truancy of those extra dozen horses. Of course such a prospect would be much further down the pipeline than the C450 Sport which is expected to arrive much sooner.

Another possibility Moers mentioned as a future powertrain possibility for AMG would be a roadgoing derivative of the turbocharged, hybrid V6 developed by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. The outfit in Brixworth, England, was once known as Ilmor and develops engines for Formula One. Now that the team's new engine is out there dominating the sport and development is frozen, the AMG road car division could tap the talents of their racing counterparts to develop a similar engine for the road.

What Moers denied, however, was the prospect of AMG doing a performance diesel. Apparently the market for such models is too small and the benefits over a gasoline engine too negligible for AMG to consider going the same route that BMW's M division and Audi Quattro GmbH – not to mention the likes of Porsche and Maserati – already have.

By Noah Joseph

See also: 2015 Mercedes C-Class order guide leaked, Mercedes-AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut, Daimler names Bernd Pischetsrieder to supervisory board.