Mercedes Plans Electric Sports Cars
Daimler says battery-electric sports cars are in the works for its Mercedes-Benz unit.
CEO Ola Kallenius tells Manager Magazin that an EV platform specifically for sports cars is likely as the Mercedes brand adds plug-in high-performance vehicles.
“We have a very comprehensive portfolio [of electrified vehicles],” adds Chief Operating Officer Harald Wilhelm in an interview with Bloomberg Television, “and sports cars will go electric as well.”
Mercedes-AMG One hypercar (Images: Daimler)
Let’s Get Racy
Daimler’s “electric first” strategy aims to generate half its passenger car sales from plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles by 2030. The rollout next year will include five EQ-series electrics and 20 plug-in models.
The company has said it plans in 2021 to offer the Mercedes-AMG One, a plug-in hybrid supercar powered by a street version of the 1,000-hp hybrid powertrain used in Formula One race cars.
Mercedes also will debut the EQS, an all-electric variant of its S-Class large sedan in 2021.
Two weeks ago, Daimler revealed the EQC 4x42 test platform for future electric SUVs. The drivable demo features a ride height of 11.5 inches, more than twice the clearance of the conventional EQC crossover. The platform also offers a fording depth of 15.7 inches.
Daimler’s “portal” axle system enhances ground clearance.
The unusually tall clearances are made possible by an offset axle system first seen in the outrageous G 63 AMG 6x6 SUV show car unveiled by Daimler in 2013.
In conventional vehicles, the centerline of the wheels aligns with the centerline of the axle. The EQC 4x42 platform features “portal” axles that employ gearsets at the end of the axle to lower the centerline of the axle hubs. Mercedes says the 4x42 suspension itself attached to the same body mounting points as the standard EQC suspension.
Daimler’s EV plans will begin to get real next year and continue with a steady stream of new products through the end of the decade. The company also expects its electrified models to become profitable by 2025.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.
Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”