AMG's throaty engines are going green and, in some cases, silent.
Mercedes-Benz is taking a dual-pronged strategy to electrify the performance subbrand — with plug-in hybrids and all-electric models — as the luxury automaker targets lower emissions.
The first electrified Mercedes- AMGs debut this year with a U.S. launch expected in 2022.
"With our new drive strategy, we are transporting our hallmark DNA into an electrified future," Mercedes-AMG global boss Philipp Schiemer said. "We are ... opening ourselves up to new target groups who can experience Mercedes-AMG as the performance luxury brand of the 21st century."
The urgency to hit emission targets and avoid costly fines is driving Mercedes to rethink its broader product line. Globally, Daimler's passenger-car brand estimates at least 50 percent of its sedans, coupes and utility vehicles will be electrified by 2030, while the number of combustion-engine variants will fall by 70 percent.
Targeting the AMG line for electrification could give Mercedes the biggest bang for its buck in reducing overall fleet emissions.
"Combining a fuel-efficient engine with electric motors limits the gas needed for everyday driving and provides that extra boost of power when it comes time to showcase why that AMG badge is on the trunk," said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.
With plug-in hybrids, Mercedes is priming the market for all-electric AMG models while also providing some insurance against the range anxiety tied to battery-electric vehicles.
"As emissions regulations get tighter and buyers become more accustomed to electric vehicles, AMG can widen the availability of fully electric models, eventually replacing the hybrid-electric models," Fiorani said.