Mercedes-AMG’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine used in the tuner’s compact cars like the A45 and CLA45 produces 355 horsepower, but Audi has upped the ante with its 362-hp RS 3 Sportback. Mercedes-AMG isn’t one to back away from a challenge and is reported to be looking at some serious performance upgrades for its next-generation compact range, including the addition of electrically-aided turbochargers.
“[The cars] have to be faster and e-turbos are an option,” Mercedes-AMG head of compact car development Steffen Jastrow told Auto Express. “We use them in motorsport, but the technology has to be payable [affordable] for the customer.”
Electrically-aided turbochargers, most commonly referred to as “E-Boost”, is expected to debut in the production world in a high-performance version of the new Audi Q7. It allows engineers to add a bigger turbo for more power while at the same time eliminate turbo lag. E-Boost systems rely on an electric motor to spool up the turbo at low engine rpm and then pass things over to the exhaust gases like in a conventional turbo once the revs build up.
Mercedes-Benz is not expected to replace any of its compact cars for several years, so it may be some time until we see a Mercedes-AMG version with E-Boost technology. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing any more power extracted from the tuner’s current turbo four. An updated A-Class is due later this year and its Mercedes-AMG-tuned A45 variant should deliver more than the current model’s 355 hp. And any change on the updated A45 should filter across to our own updated CLA45 and GLA45 due next year and in 2017, respectively.
Other technologies planned for Mercedes’ compact range include the Dynamic Select system that allows you to adjust a number of vehicle systems to switch between economy and sporty driving. One of the systems that Dynamic Select will adjust is the suspension, thanks to new adaptive damping that is also making its way into Mercedes’ compact cars soon.