The space-age powerplant will deliver 503 horsepower to the AMG GTS’ rear wheels when its released, but the ‘nanoslide-coated’ engine will be available in various states of tune, depending on its application.
It will be dialed back slightly to around 475 horsepower for the AMG GT, the ‘entry-level’ version of the range topping AMG GTS which is due later this year. It will also likely be fitted to the upcoming C63 AMG, GLK SUV (which may be a coupe), E63 AMG, S63 AMG, and most likely several others.
In fact, sources are saying the V8 will appear in nearly every rear-wheel drive AMG car, however the monstrous, 630-hp biturbo M279 V12 will stick around for those who want to moonlight as locomotive conductors.
The reason for the widespread utilization of the M178 is not just its impressive stats; the biturbo’s 4.0-liter displacement can save buyers money on taxes. In some markets, like China, the government increases vehicle tax collection rates based on displacement, and anything over 4.0-liters falls into the most expensive category. Audi and Bentley have recently announced 4.0-liter V8s for the same reason.
Tax considerations aside, the M178 looks to be an awesome engine. It’s compact, light, and because of its oil pan-less dry-sump system, it can be mounted very low in the engine bay, reducing the vehicle’s center of gravity.
Furthermore, it has internally mounted turbos that spool very quickly, allowing its peak torque of 479 pound-feet to arrive at just 1,750 rpm.