DETROIT -- Mercedes-Benzs performance brand -- known for expensive, high-horsepower V-8s and V-12s -- is tinkering with hybrids, diesels and even four-cylinder engines.
AMGs new direction is the result of carbon dioxide and fuel economy regulations in a world concerned about global warming. Last year AMG sold a record 24,200 vehicles globally.
We are working very hard on different technologies to meet future requirements, Volker Mornhinweg, who heads AMG, said at the Detroit auto show.
Mornhinweg said AMG will decide in about a year whether to offer a hybrid- or diesel-powered powertrain next decade. Last autumn AMG asked US buyers about diesels, hybrids, performance and fuel consumption.
Said Mornhinweg: They said if you develop hybrids, diesels or optimization technologies for current combustion engines, do not reduce horsepower. Do not reduce performance.
Currently, AMG tunes only C class and larger Mercedes vehicles.