Mercedes-AMG is considering the use of electric turbocharging for its next generation of compact performance cars featuring smaller capacity engines, Auto Express can reveal.
The Mercedes A45 AMG is currently the world’s most powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder car, developing 355bhp and 450Nm of torque. Yet, Mercedes-AMG head of compact car development, Steffen Jastrow, told us in order to keep running costs down without impacting performance, electric turbocharging is being considered for future models.
“Of course we need more power for the next-generation of cars, but electrification does not mean we have to use an electric drivetrain.” Jastrow told Auto Express. “They have to be faster and e-turbos are an option. We use them in motorsport, but the technology has to be payable [affordable] for the customer.”
The main benefit of using electric turbochargers is a reduction in turbo lag, which boost performance as well as fuel economy. Another advantage is that an electric turbocharger is also more compact than a multi-stage turbocharger.
The Mercedes A-Class, CLA and GLA ranges are the only models to currently make use of the downsized 355bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. If the e-turbo technology is to be adopted we’re unlikely to see it in production before 2017 when an all-new A-Class is due.
Mercedes' main rival Audi became one of the first manufacturers to publically express an interest in electric turbocharging, with the all-new A8 saloon to be the first production car to debut the technology when it arrives next year.