The trend of vehicle electrification has prompted some manufacturers to declare an all-electric future for their model line-up. This is not the case with Mercedes-Benz though, or at least its high-performance subsidiary, Mercedes-AMG. Mercedes-Benz Vice President for Vehicle Development, Joerg Bartels told CarSales Australia that there is still room in the future product plan for the Mercedes-AMG V8 engine beyond 2030.
The global product boss acknowledges that EVs will revolutionise the performance car segment. But even with that, he believes there is still not enough reason to axe the V8 engine.
Talking to the Australian publication, he said, “In the end, it has to fulfil our overall CO2 strategy, and we have a clear path on that one: being CO2 neutral at the end of the ’30s, by 2039. And from 2030 we just want to be pure electric.”
“But if there’s still a customer demand (for petrol V8s) in some regions, and it’s still part of our offering, why should we stop it?” he adds.
Mercedes-Benz has announced its ‘Ambition 2030’ strategy which implies an all-electric line-up by 2030. But this is only for regions “where market conditions allow it”. This means high-value performance petrol-powered vehicles could live on beyond 2030.
Commenting on the demand for high-performance combustion engines, Mr. Bartels said, “But some customers will still demand six or eight cylinders … You can find technical solutions for every request and every regulation, but sometimes it’s combined with higher costs and the customer are not always willing to pay for it.”
On the matter of synthetic fuels to achieve carbon neutrality (like the ones currently being tested by Porsche and Toyota) the product boss questions the overall effectiveness. He says, “We have looked into it, of course. But in an energetic way, it doesn’t really make sense. How many kilograms of CO2 do you produce to generate the synthetic fuels?
The main goal for brands and regions now is to achieve carbon neutrality and reduce emissions. Electric vehicles (EVs) are not the only way to achieve this and some even question the effectiveness of EVs themselves. In achieving the two goals, emission regulations have become much tighter over the years.
On the increasingly strict regulations, Joerg Bartels said, “When we talk about European regulations it’s probably going to be hard from the middle of the 2020s from that point on (to justify combustion engine development), maybe. But the final regulations for EU7 are not yet out.”
Although Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG are committed to a carbon-neutral future, there is high promise of the Mercedes-AMG V8 engine to be continuously produced beyond 2030, should the demand allow it.