How can electric sports cars overcome range riddles? Mercedes AMG has the clues

  • There is a fine balancing act that makers of performance cars have to play precariously in evolving times of today.
File photo of Mercedes AMG EQS 53.
File photo of Mercedes AMG EQS 53.

Who does not want to be inside a roaring mean machine that thunders down a race track at lightning quick speeds? Did someone say climate activists? Possible, but while fuel-guzzling performance cars may be far from ideal for the environment, there is a shift on the horizon and the electric wave is taking over. Just that these aren't exactly mile-munchers and re-powering them isn't just a matter of sticking in a fuel gun for a few minutes.

There is a fine balancing act that makers of performance cars have to play - play precariously at that - in evolving times of today. Electrics are inevitable but Mercedes AMG believes it need not be at the cost of sports cars that have long been famed for fist-clenching thrills. The AMG EQS is a clear case in point where zero-emission powertrain meets with delicious dollops of driving delight. And that's great on the controlled confines of a race track but out in the real world, can be a wrecker of per-charge range.

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For Jochen Hermann, it is a very real challenge but one that also presents a range of opportunities. “The car is not the limit, it is the charge space," the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Mercedes AMG explained during a media interaction on Thursday. “I am confident that fully electric sports cars have a market but yes, a certain minimum range is required."

Hermann though believes that fully electric AMG models from Mercedes benefit from being extremely aerodynamic. “So it is really going to be about a quick charging set up and bigger battery to hold to charge, moving forward," he says.

Jochen Hermann, CTO at Mercedes-AMG
Jochen Hermann, CTO at Mercedes-AMG

But can such cars really brag about running a marathon while being trained for sprints. Hermann admits that really long-range AMGs may not be possible in the foreseeable future and points towards the non-AMG, fully-electric Mercedes cars to this end. EVs like the EQS - launched in India last year - have a claimed range of over 800 kms while globally, the Vision EQXX EV concept - again, already showcased in India, has a claimed range in four digits. Even the EQB SUV, launched in December of 2022 at 74.50 lakh (ex-showroom), has a respectable figure of over 400 kms per charge. But while the EQS and EQB may not be built for racetrack thrills, there is always the hybrid step that is there for the taking with mean machines like the Mercedes AMG GT 63 S E Performance that has a 6 kWh battery as well as a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 motor.

Clearly then, Mercedes-AMG is weighing its options with every model development and launch. Rome wasn't built in a day and German high-performance, high-range, zero-emission mean machines won't be either.

First Published Date: 11 May 2023, 14:57 PM IST

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