By on January 11, 2017

SLS AMG Electric rear

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance AMG division, and the company decided to celebrate by offering a new Anniversary Edition GT Coupe and letting slip that it will build electric vehicles in the future.

While Mercedes-Benz formerly provided an extremely limited-production SLS AMG Electric Drive in 2014, that EV’s restricted functionality and stratospheric price tag left the impression that the technology wasn’t yet ready. The juiced SLS turned out to be more of an experiment than anything but, now that the experiment is over, it sounds like they’ll be taking a serious stab at electrified AMGs. 

Ola Källenius, Mercedes’ research and development head, told Car and Driver that AMG genuinely plans to embrace both hybrid and pure EV models in the future — possibly even adapting vehicles from Daimler’s imminent EQ electric mobility arm.

“I don’t think they are opposite extremes,” he said. “AMG has always been about driving performance and offering customers a superior experience, but at the same time—and I think this is the sweet spot of AMG—they are cars you can really drive every day as well. Electrification will find its way into AMG, and for me it’s not impossible that you’ll have a fully electric version or an AMG variant of an EQ.”

Mercedes is already keen to implement its new 48-volt hybrid system into mainstream cars, and AMG is placing a hybridized 1.6-liter Formula One engine into its maniacal-sounding “Project One” hypercar. It also recently confirmed that vehicle would surpass 1,000 horsepower, so it’s not likely to be something you’ll see in every parking garage — if ever.

While we don’t have even a loose timeframe of when Mercedes-AMG’s might launch its first large-volume EV, Benz has assured us that it is an unavoidable part of automotive progress. “It’s just a matter of time before we go more and more electric,” Källenius said.

Meanwhile, the Project One should arrive at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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