With AMG no longer focused on chasing big horsepower numbers, efficiency could quickly become the new performance benchmark for the Affalterbach tuner. To that end, Mercedes' performance arm may be cutting the displacement of its engines in addition to the debut of new direct-injection and stop-start technology.

A range of new diesel models, advanced lightweight materials and construction methods are currently in development, as well as hybrid systems, and by next year AMG will reportedly introduce engine stop-start and direct-injection technology into its lineup.

But pulling down engine displacement from the 6.2L found in the company's '63'-branded AMG models to 4.6-5.5L could help push efficiency even higher. In order to keep power levels up to current standards, however, forced induction would be used, reports the Dutch AutoWeek. Though the addition of twin turbos could conceivably produce more power more efficiently, it will definitely add to the cost of the already expensive cars.

The more readily-available and less-expensive alternatives are perhaps more likely to come to fruition, especially in the short term. According to AutoTelegraaf, the AMG stop-start set-up will work much like any other engine stop-start system, shutting down the engine when the vehicle sits in traffic and then kick-starting it into life once the brake pedal is released or the accelerator depressed. The direct-injection system will be based on the second-generation system already launched in the Mercedes Benz C350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY model.

AMG has set itself an internal goal of reducing fuel consumption of its lineup 30% by 2012, but to achieve this engineers will require much more advanced technology than engine stop-start and direct-injection systems. While fuel-efficient diesels and hybrid models are still several years away, we have already seen the first implementation of AMG’s new green initiatives in vehicles like the SL65 Black Series. The car’s advanced composite materials and other weight-saving construction techniques are set to filter across to future models.