Mercedes-AMG had to “transform” the company to build the hybrid C63

Mercedes-AMG, or AMG as it is simply known, is a German tuning company that has been turning regular Mercedes-Benz into high-performance cars since 1967. But moving away from just using internal combustion engines required a complete change in the way it worked.

“We not only had to develop the car, [but] we had to transform the company,” René Szczepek, Head of Vehicle Dynamics Development at AMG, told CarExpert on the occasion of the launch of the new C63 SE Performance in Spain last month.

Mr. Szczepek refers to the way in which the Mercedes-AMG engineers had to change their working relationships as the development of all vehicle components had to be done simultaneously and involving all teams.

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delivered Recognition: car expert

“The turbocharger man was never in the game to talk to someone developing an energy management system to charge or accelerate the car… So the turbocharger guys [previously] I never spoke to the battery or electric motor man, but we had to have it [this],” he said.

“We know we can build fast cars for a race track, but now we had to prove that we can learn quickly and develop new skills. We had to learn as fast as we could and that’s an ongoing process, even if the world quickly moves to electric cars or whatever, so it’s not a problem for us now where the world ends – will it be electric, will it be internal combustion engine?”

According to Szczepek, AMG has transformed to be ready for any scenario, including an all-electric or hybrid future, or possibly a continuation of the internal combustion engine (using synthetic fuels).

delivered Recognition: car expert

“We know that as a company we are capable of building high-performance cars and we have proven that in the past. Give us a big engine, we know what we’re dealing with with chassis and suspension, go out and have fun and I’m sure you’ll be fast,” he added.

“The next step for AMG was that we had to make our engines more efficient, so we developed on the combustion side because nobody knows where politics is going.

“Is the combustion engine coming back? Will it be electrified? Will it be both together? So we’ve evolved the 2.0 liter in-line combustion engine so that the power you had in the V8 is now just 2 litres. In addition, we now have knowledge on the electrical side and are learning how to address battery levels.”

Rapid regulatory change in Europe currently sees an end to the internal combustion engine by 2035, but it is not yet clear if synthetic fuels or other alternatives will find a way to be exempt.

delivered Recognition: car expert

“We have to be prepared, even if others decide. We know where we’re going and we’re ready for the future, we can handle internal combustion engines, we can handle electric vehicles. We can overcome the challenges to integrate both into a hybrid car. You can’t imagine the challenges of development!”

AMG currently employs 3000 people and while the engine is still being built in Affalterbach and the battery is being developed by AMG, assembly of the new C 63 for the Australian market is expected to take place outside of South Africa. Mercedes-AMG had to “transform” the company to build the hybrid C63

James Brien

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