Mercedes-AMG is about to say goodbye to the internal combustion engine once and for all, and what will come in its place is nothing short of striking.
The German luxury brand used its Capital Markets Day investor summit at the Maybourne Riviera hotel above Monte Carlo to launch something big on Thursday evening – the all-new Vision AMG. The sleek concept, which Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell helped unveil, offers a glimpse of what to expect from the automaker’s high-performance sub-brand as it moves away from engines gasoline later in the decade.
Further reinforcing Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to electrification, the Vision AMG four-door concept has been developed to introduce the all-new AMG.EA electric platform that will drive future performance models from the Affalterbach team. Complementing the nascent powertrain setup are styling cues made feasible by the lack of an internal combustion engine.
“It started as a blank sheet of paper; we started this architecture from scratch and it’s a very important architecture because it’s the electric future of AMG,” said Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz design director. “For us as designers, proportion is everything. The problem with most electric cars is that you have six inches of battery, which makes the car taller and the center of gravity higher. It was a great opportunity for really different proportions.
The motorsport-inspired Vision AMG is defined by its low profile, long wheelbase and roof that tapers into an elongated, fastback rear, similar to that of the brand’s Vision EQXX concept, which recently covered more than 620 miles on a single charge.
“The rear of the EQXX is optimized for efficiency, while the rear [on the Vision AMG] is optimized for both efficiency and performance,” says Wagener, adding that he was inspired by Le Mans race cars from the 1970s. , which means we can do exposed fenders, I’ve always liked those, but with a combustion engine, it was always difficult to do because the hood is already high, to expose the fenders, you would have to make it even higher. These are now going to be a signature not only for AMG, but also for future Mercedes electric models in general.”
Other notable aesthetic elements include six shiny faux exhaust pipes and the latest reimagining of the automaker’s trademark Panamericana grille, a design cue introduced in 1952 on car competitors in the eponymous endurance competition of that year in Mexico. This iteration, however, features bright vertical bars set against solid fascia.
“In the digital age, we have brought this [Panamericana Grille] to a car that no longer needs a radiator,” says Wagener. “We kept it flush, integrated into the body color and almost just as a light signature.” Part of this new signature incorporates minimalist three-pointed star logo-shaped headlights. According to Wagener, “the entire front end makes it look more like a technological device than a supercar.”
It is, however, a supercar. For this particular concept, the AMG.EA platform is being touted as comprising an advanced high-voltage battery configuration paired with an equally advanced axial flux motor from Yasa, the electric motor specialist under the Mercedes Group umbrella- Benz. As far as production goes, Wagener will only insinuate that the Vision AMG must have “crazy horsepower”. To emphasize this point, the vehicle sits on the same F1 wheels used by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, which also inspired the livery.
“I was really excited to see what it was going to look like,” Russell said at the premiere. “When can we drive it?” he asked, looking around at the group of attendees. “Who should we ask?”
However, some of the thunder of the concept may have been stolen about an hour later. That’s when Mercedes revealed that one of two 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes became the world’s most expensive car when it sold for $142.8 million on May 5. This car (and its sky-high price tag) is going to be hard for anyone to forget, but the Vision AMG was a sign that Mercedes’ future has the potential to be just as impressive as its past.
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