Mercedes-AMG’s new hybrids can recharge their batteries by drifting

Mercedes-AMG recently confirmed that they are moving to electric power – in both hybrid and fully-electric guises. But aside from some of the key facts, the company has kept most of its operational features under wraps.

As is usual these days, Mercedes-AMG will be revealing these in a slow-drip manner to build up hype for its new car – and we’ve already just got a taste of what’s to come in the near future, thanks to a new “Inside AMG” video on the company’s own YouTube channel.

We’ve all heard of regenerative braking, which recharges the batteries every time you brake on an electrified vehicle. But AMG being AMG, they’ve of course gone one up from the conventional and built a new charging solution that refills the batteries while drifting. As Felix, the video host rightly says, “that’s the most AMG thing I’ve ever heard”.

“One Easter egg out of the software development: when drifting, you can also recuperate,” said Mercedes-AMG hybrid strategy developer, Jochen Schmitz. “We use the electric system to slow down or take the load out of the ICE, putting it into the battery. And then, when the slippery condition is over, the ICE is already at full load, and you can accelerate much faster.”

Now, the company didn’t go into too much detail on how this whole drifting-charging system works, but if we had to guess, it’ll be tied into the slip-limiting traction control system, like the central yellow dial seen on the Mercedes-AMG GT R.

Essentially, instead of cutting engine power to maintain the ideal slip angle, the traction control system now leaves the ICE at full bore, while regulating the power at the wheel via the electric motors, which recharges the batteries à la regenerative. Or at least that’s how we think it works.

Aside from this little tidbit, the video is also jam-packed full of interesting information about the hybrid technologies on the upcoming Mercedes-AMG cars, such as the different driving modes and how the P3 hybrid system can alter the strength of the regenerative braking.

If you’re like us and would nerd out over the smallest details, be sure to check out the video in full above. The drifting bit is at 12:17.


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