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These Mercedes Cars Won’t Get an AMG Variant

AMG sprinkles its magic on nearly every Mercedes—except for just a few models. AMG chief Tobias Moers reminded us of the fact while we were at the 2019 Frankfurt auto show, which hosted unveilings of many models including a new GLB 35 AMG. A compact three-row family crossover isn’t our first association with the sport-focused AMG, but then again, this ridiculousness wasn’t either until a few years ago.

So what Mercedes models don’t get the full AMG treatment? Aside from commercial vans, the first is the B-Class. Once offered in the U.S. exclusively as an electric car, the new B-Class is a tall family-oriented hatchback whose strongest AMG connection is the European AMG Line package, which adds flashier 18-inch wheels, a body kit, a lowered suspension, and an upgraded steering system.

B-Classers seeking a sportier experience might go with the sleeker A 35 hatch or sedan; we’ll get the latter body style in the U.S. Powered by a 302-hp turbo-four mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, A 35 models have standard all-wheel drive and a manufacturer-estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds. Not bad, considering a full A 45 with an even more powerful four-cylinder engine is also on the way. Either way, such cars may function as customers’ entry into the subbrand.

The second is the current-generation EQC. Moers tells us that Mercedes‘ new fully electric crossover won’t get a full AMG model (but an AMG Line package will be available). The electric car is propelled by a 402-hp powertrain, and the automaker says you’ll reach 60 in under 5 seconds. When we drove the EQC earlier this year, we found it “breezes briskly away from the lights then comes over all calm and deliberate. … With 1,438 pounds of battery between the wheels, the EQC, unsurprisingly perhaps, drives bigger than it looks.”

That’s not to say Mercedes-AMG won’t go electric. The next C- and S-Class full AMG models will be plug-in hybrids, and Moers hints at an AMG derivative of the platform underpinning the EQS concept.

The question we have about AMG models isn’t whether Mercedes-AMG can, but whether it should. Are there enough customers to justify a GLB 35 or even GLB 45? Mercedes will soon find out.

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