More AMGs 'could use four-cylinder engines'

* A45 AMG motor could be fitted to larger models * 355bhp unit could sit alongside V8s in range * AMG boss rules out diesels, but hints at hybrids...

More AMGs 'could use four-cylinder engines'

Mercedes performance brand AMG should consider fitting its potent 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine into a wider range of models, the firm’s boss has suggested.

The A45 AMG, GLA45 AMG and CLA45 AMG all use the four-cylinder motor, which produces 355bhp and has the most of any 2.0-litre production engine. All of those cars are part of Mercedes’ ‘compact’ range, but AMG boss Tobias Moers says that the engine’s qualities could be put to good use in other models - even ones that have traditionally used AMG’s trademark V8 units.

‘It’s probably something we should consider,’ he said. ‘We haven’t decided anything but in my own mind, as an engineer, I think it could be an interesting solution to have a high-powered four-cylinder petrol engine in a car that’s not a compact - maybe even a saloon. There are markets in the world where engine size affects taxes, and this could be an interesting technical answer to that.’

Installing the four-cylinder engine into a larger model wouldn’t necessarily preclude that car from having a V8; Mercedes has had more than one AMG variant in the range before, and as an example, it could conceivably sell a C45 AMG alongside a C63 AMG.

Moers reiterated that the critical acclaim for AMG's first four-cylinder engine would not alter the firm's rejection of diesel power, however. ‘The market for highly tuned diesel performance cars is very small,’ he said, ‘and in any case, you can have a performance diesel and it doesn’t necessarily give you such a big difference over a more modern, efficient, performance petrol engine.’

He confirmed that Mercedes’ burgeoning F1 success with a V6 hybrid is making that type of technology a more appealing option, though. ‘The guys in Brixworth [the UK base for Mercedes' F1 motors] pulled down the shutters and closed the curtains for a year and a half because they were working on the new F1 rules,’ he said, ‘but now they are open again. We have had a good relationship with them before and now this hybrid technology is something that we can start looking at.’