Mercedes-AMG will take a swing at crosstown rival Porsche when it releases a range-topping evolution of the four-door GT powered by an 800-plus-horsepower gasoline-electric system. Tentatively called GT 73e, the high-performance sedan will make its debut in the coming months, and it will land in showrooms as a 2022 model.
If the idea of a plug-in GT with supercar-like power sounds familiar, it's likely because Mercedes-AMG previewed the model with a thinly-veiled concept presented at the 2017 edition of the Geneva auto show. At its core, the GT Concept announced the production model; on a secondary level, it illustrated AMG's spin on hybrid technology. British magazine Autocar learned from unnamed sources that the system will be built around an updated version of the non-electrified sedan's twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine. It will work jointly with an electric motor integrated into the rear axle and linked to a small battery pack. Significantly, the motor will spin the rear wheels directly.
Some hybrid systems place the electric motor in the gearbox; AMG will house it within the rear axle to bypass the transmission and the four-wheel-drive hardware. It's a solution that lets engineers dial in more torque. Official details are not available, but Autocar pegs the drivetrain's output at over 805 horsepower and 740 pound-feet of torque, which should be enough for a sub-three-second sprint from zero to 60 mph and a top speed of over 300 mph.
When it lands, the GT 73e will tussle against the Turbo S E-Hybrid variant of the Porsche Panamera, which received significant updates in 2020. Its hybrid system develops 689 horses and 742 pound-feet of torque thanks in part to a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 and an electric motor. It takes three seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop.
Big power will be accompanied by a big price tag. We expect the GT 73e will cost more than the 630-horsepower GT 63, which currently sits at the top of the range with a starting price of $161,900. Full details will emerge soon.
Looking ahead, the new S-Class and the next SL (which will only be offered in AMG flavor) will get the 73e system, too. Similar technology will power the upcoming C 63, which will ditch its V8 and downsize to a turbo four. All four cars will be part of the E-Performance sub-brand that Mercedes-AMG (itself a sub-brand) announced in 2021.
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