Now that AMG is no longer focused on chasing big horsepower numbers, efficiency is quickly become the new performance benchmark for the Affalterbach-based tuner. Not even exclusive performance firms like AMG are immune to the effects of stricter emissions and fuel economy standards being phased in over the next decade, so expect to see downsized engines, more diesels and even hybrid engines introduced by the performance house.

According to a new report, AMG will replace its still-new 6.2L V8 and 6.0L V12 twin-turbo engines with a brand new 5.0L V8 twin-turbo. There are several reasons behind the decision: the new 6.2L has horrendous fuel consumption at full throttle and it lacks the low-end grunt of the previous supercharged 5.5L V8.

There will be several versions of the new force-fed 5.0L mill, a base version with 570hp and 665lb-ft of torque to replace the 6.2L V8 and a high-output 700hp/885lb-ft unit to replace the 612hp V12. There will also be a hybrid variant dubbed ‘BluePower’. Other innovations include a new electrically operated direct-drive gearbox that provides faster and more efficient gearshifts than the current range of automatics.

One of the last cars to feature the current 6.2L engine will be the upcoming ‘SLC’ gullwing supercar due in 2010. It will feature a transaxle drivetrain, eight-speed auto and a power output in excess of 600hp.