Hybrids, AMG Coexist Peacefully at Benz



The Mercedes stand at theLos Angeles auto show was a study in contrasts: on the one hand, a diesel-powered S-Class hybrid concept, and on the other, the blazing-fast C63 AMG that TheCarConnection.com reviews next week.

The S400 Bluetec Hybrid combines a V-8 clean diesel engine that develops 265 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque with hybrid technology. Top speed is limited to 155 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration comes in 7.2 seconds. This S-Class model gets 40.5 miles to the gallon. Mercedes says the Bluetec concept is an indicator of future powertrains — perhaps including the Benz version of the two-mode hybrid found in other L.A. debutantes from Dodge, Chrysler and GM.


Elsewhere on the Benz stand, the premiere of the C63 AMG marks 40 years of the AMG brand on the North American market. The naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-8 engine develops 451 hp and provides acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.


Volker Mornhinweg, Mercedes-AMG Chairman of the Board, told TheCarConnection.com that the U.S. is the most important market for AMG models: of a total of 20,000 units sold annually, 50 percent are sold Stateside.


And although the AMG models have the best fuel efficiency in their niche, AMG is looking into improving this further.


“Since performance is the main goal, measures will be taken step by step,” says Mr. Mornhinweg. “Think of brake regeneration and other systems that will improve the mpg figures.”

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