Mercedes-Benz currently offers PHEV variants of the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class under the EQ Power badge, with GLC and GLE versions coming soon. The firm will launch 20 PHEV variants by the end of 2020, with an A-Class using a new plug-in powertrain developed specifically for compact cars due imminently.
The models all feature the firm’s third-generation PHEV system. This uses an electric motor that produces 121bhp and 325lb ft and offers around 31 miles of electric-only range. Mercedes is working to extend that range with the next S-Class, due in 2020, which is expected to use a system that offers 62 miles of zero-emission power.
Future Mercedes PHEV performance models, including those in the Mercedes-AMG line-up, are likely to use a version of that system but branded EQ Power+ (matching the team’s Formula 1 car) and tuned for extra performance at the expense of some range.
“The battery itself and the application, including the electric motor, will be the same, and you can have a significant boost [in performance] that will reduce the range, but the experience will be better,” said Overmeyer. “Same battery, same drivetrain, different application. In an SUV, it might offer 100km [62 miles]. It might only be 60km or 70km [37-43 miles] in an AMG.”
Although the need to reduce average fleet emissions is pushing manufacturers towards electric and other highly efficient tech, Overmeyer said high-performance AMG models will remain a key part of the Mercedes line-up.
“They are the technical icons of our brand,” he said. “We should also never forget that the new world, these electric vehicles, need to be funded, and it’s being funded by our existing high-profit vehicles.”