NEW YORK — The Mercedes-AMG brand will stop selling V-12 engines after it phases out the top-end 65 line that uses them.
Mercedes-Benz will continue to sell vehicles with V-12s, but the use is likely to be limited to the Maybach ultraluxury subbrand, Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers told Automotive News last week at the New York auto show. Maybach and AMG use the V-12s, and the AMG unit is responsible for the automaker's eight- and 12-cylinder engine development.
"There is still demand for a V-12, but if you move forward with a V-12 in the future, the investment will be too high, in my perspective," Moers said. "You have to increase power, and you have to move forward with the technology in that engine. We'd better invest our money into electrified V-8 vehicles."
The company's 6.0-liter V-12 is still capable enough for future vehicles, Moers said, but not at the high-performance power output level necessary going forward for AMG's top category.
The phaseout of 65 models already has begun. The Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition, a variant of the boxy G-class SUV, was announced in October ahead of the unveiling of the redesigned G class in January. There will be no G65 variant for the redesigned model.
The move away from a V-12 also will hold true for the next-generation AMG variants of the S class, Moers said. The sedan body style is due for a redesign around 2020. Maybach models powered by an AMG-engineered V-12 are expected to continue. In addition to the G class and S class, Mercedes-AMG also has a 65 model for the SL roadster.
But phasing out the V-12 for AMG doesn't mean the performance subbrand will be left with a hole at the top. Instead, it could open the door for an electrified V-8 powertrain. While that is possible, Moers said, no final plans are confirmed.