The head of Mercedes-Benz' high-performance arm has confirmed that AMG is planning to introduce a number of new green-oriented elements to the division's vehicles. According to Chairman Volker Mornhinweg, AMG will deploy a micro-hybrid start/stop system on at least some vehicles in its lineup by 2010. AMG also is aiming at making significant cuts in overall fuel consumption, with the specific case in point being to boost efficiency on its 6.2-liter V8 by 30 percent. The division plans to reach that ambitious goal by complementing the start/stop package with a number of other technological powertrain tweaks introduced on the new Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID and making major reductions in vehicle curb weights.
No further details were given as to the exact timing and the degree of hybridization we can expect to see within the next 12-24 months. However, the changing character of the automotive market -- particularly in the U.S. which now accounts for 50 percent of AMG's worldwide sales -- has clearly left an imprint on the future mix. To confirm the point, Mornhinweg recently told CAR Magazine that the awesome 2009 SL65 AMG Black Edition will be the last of the breed to boast blatantly stratospheric output numbers -- the car's 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 makes 670 horsepower -- and that the 6.2-liter twin-turbo V8 in the upcoming SLC Gullwing supercar will be tuned to produce a more socially responsible 571 ponies.