Mercedes-AMG will ditch rear-wheel drive in future cars, offer AWD only
If you're bummed, don't blame the automaker, blame the buyers.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Once upon a time, a vast majority of
hopped-up AMG cars were powered through the rear wheels exclusively. But as time as gone on, they've moved more and more toward an all-AWD lineup. And, as it turns out, the endgame is to ditch rear-wheel drive altogether.
The next generation of Mercedes-AMG vehicles will pack all-wheel drive, Autocar reports, citing an interview with Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG. His answer is pretty straightforward: "Customers have given us the answer, and most want four-wheel drive," Moers told Autocar. This includes the Mercedes-AMG GT, which is currently only available in rear-wheel drive.
There's no nefarious reason behind this decision. Instead, it's all due to one word: Demand. Moers mentioned to Autocar that, when the E63 was offered in both RWD and AWD forms simultaneously, an overwhelming majority chose AWD. And those on the other side of the fence aren't seeing much greener grass, either: "When I ask customers about the GT, they ask me about all-wheel drive," Moers told Autocar. "Regarding our competition, this is the downside of the AMG in terms of usability. People in Munich, for example, always, always ask for four-wheel drive -- I think it's for safety and stability."
Thankfully, there's at least one sneaky way to bypass this shift. If you pick up the all-wheel-drive Mercedes-AMG E63, it packs a special drift mode that is capable of sending 100 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels, essentially giving the car part-time RWD. You could also hack apart the drivetrain with a reciprocating saw, I guess, but that would invalidate your warranty and probably mess up a whole host of vehicle systems in the process. Don't do that.
Autocar's interview with the AMG head honcho also reaffirmed a few things we already knew. Mercedes-AMG's V12 offers are still dead and gone, with the S65 Final Edition marking the big boy's departure. Moers told another outlet in 2018 that the next-generation C63 would be a hybrid, but now, it appears that the next generation of AMG's V8 engine -- the 4.0-liter found in everything with a 63 badge, as well as the GT -- will be electrified across the lineup. Let's hope it's the 805-horsepower version that Moers has promised will see the light of day.
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