The follow-up to Mercedes-benz’s much loved SLS AMG might be radically changing things up in order to compete with the current reign of European supercars. In a recent interview in Motor Trend AMG CEO Tobias Moers ekes out details that the next gullwing to come from Affalterbach could be mid-engined and a hybrid.
Keep in mind that these rumors are based off of comments skirting the question regarding AMG’s plans, if any, to take on rivals like the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1. If anything, it seems that Porsche seems to be squarely in the sights of the luxury automaker. “We want to be seen by the public on the same level as the other sports car maker in Germany.”
No, not that one, the one with a 887-horsepower AWD hybrid hypercar. Mercedes’ performance branch also wants to bring much of what its learned from its recent Formula 1 domination to its road cars, making race tech as street legal as possible. Between the kinetic energy boost system in the race cars as well as the SLS Electric Drive, AMG can certainly whip up a hybrid powertrain competitive enough to take on the 918 and its compatriots.
When it comes to all wheel drive, Moers states the front-engine layout in line with the SLS and its current AMG GT doesn’t lend itself easily to transaxle AWD. Considering that a hybrid hyper enough requires a mid-engine layout for its components anyway, one could be led to believe that if AMG is looking into taking on the big dogs, this may be the way things are headed.
As encouraging as it is to hear rumors of Mercedes secretly cooking up another supercar for us to ogle and experience, doesn’t the gullwing mean something more than a pair of funky doors? Call us crazy, but the SLS felt more like a powerful and spirited grand tourer than a hypercar-chasing track machine. If Mercedes wants to build something like that, fine, but maybe leave the iconic doors out of it.