Tobias Moers is the type of guy you want running your performance automaker.
The boss of Mercedes-Benz AMG looks the part. His casual answers belie his intensity for the details in what he does; Moers drives all AMG models and is intensely involved in engineering. He tracks his cars—often. He talks softly, but his words carry a lot of weight.
Moers knows what his cars need to compete among high-performance marques in the future, and especially among electrified powertrains with instant torque and acceleration.
“There’s more to come. Wait and see,” Moers said with a wry smile at the 2019 New York International Auto Show in April.
It’s a different kind of electrification.
“Electric turbochargers,” he said. As soon as the next generation of AMG cars, he added.
The admission from the AMG boss isn’t much of a surprise: the AMG One is the only gasoline production vehicle on the planet with electric turbochargers. That it could arrive in the next generation of AMG cars is surprising, especially given the expense and electrical architecture needed to create the amount of electricity needed to feed electric turbochargers.
Electric turbocharging would be different than what’s available in current AMG 53 models that use an electric compressor to supplement the turbochargers at low rpm, before exhaust gasses can spool the turbochargers. Moers says true electric turbos haven’t yet been used on any production cars so far.
Mercedes-AMG Project One concept, 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show
Not only would electric turbos virtually eliminate lag in engines, but also they could produce energy to be harvested back into the system.
“You’ll have 80—eight-zero—kilowatts. You don't need that 80 kilowatts for speeding up the turbocharger, but you can use for harvesting…harvesting energy,” he said.
That means that whatever power leftover from keeping the turbochargers on boil could be filtered into the driveline for more performance.
Moers said AMG has had mass-produced electric turbochargers in its pipeline for “a while now,” beyond the AMG One—and that it’s likely that e-turbos will be the first trickle-down from the hypercar moonshot.
“We're going to pick pieces…sure. (But) It's a total different experience driving that car than everything else,” he said.
The One’s flattened battery technology may make it into other AMG models down the road, but Moers admits that with its newest halo car engineers are pressing against a performance threshold that challenges physical limits that, until recently, seemed impossibilities.
“Everything is different,” he said. “We are moving in big steps forward.”
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