CLS Will Be AMG’s First Hybrid

Mercedes-AMG will introduce a new petrol-electric line-up, starting with the CLS this year, AMG’s first new hybrid is due to be revealed as part of the third-generation CLS range at the Los Angeles motor show in November before hitting the road in the middle of next year. The hybrid will sit at the top of the CLS range. AMG is not replacing its CLS 63 because it would compete directly with its upcoming GT four-door. The hybrid CLS will use an AMG-tuned version of Mercedes-Benz’s new 3.0-litre straight six petrol engine in conjunction with a 50kW electric motor.

New information suggests AMG will choose ‘53’ or ‘55’ badges to closely align its hybrid models with its existing naming conventions. AMG boss Tobias Moers said that the final name would have to unify the range but also refer to tradition. The combined system output of AMG’s hybrid CLS is expected to exceed 450bhp, likely ranking it more than 100bhp behind the current V8-engined CLS 63 S. However, the hybrid six-pot model’s electric torque-filling ability should ensure its performance matches that of the CLS 63 S. The removal of the CLS63 from the new generation clears space for AMG’s four-door GT, which is due next year and is inspired by the GT Concept seen at Geneva this year.

The GT four-door will use a twin-turbo V8 from the E63, with a hybrid range-topper producing about 800bhp. The hybrid CLS is expected to come with regenerative braking technology to help replenish its lithium ion batteries when on the move. This technology is already in use elsewhere in Mercedes’ range and would come as part of a 48V electric architecture. Other hybrid six-pot models will follow, using the CLS’s drivetrain. An AMG E-Class is the most likely next candidate, due to the CLS’s technical links with the E-Class. Sources suggest the electric and six-cylinder system will be the only drivetrain available on AMG coupe and convertible E-Classes. The saloon and estate will remain as V8 E63s.

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