Forget Apple Car — Mercedes-AMG is the one to watch for killer electric cars

Mercedes will make AMG performance EVs
(Image credit: Mercedes)

If the Tesla Model S is anything to go by, electric vehicles are far from slow machines, thanks to the instant delivery of power and torque from an electric motor. But there’s an argument that EVs aren’t as dynamic to drive as their internal combustion engine counterparts (ICE). Mercedes AMD could change that this year. 

The German car maker has revealed that it will make high-performance AMG versions of its EQ eclectic car sub-brand. That means you can expect Merc’s future EVs to be tuned to maximize performance and deliver a more thrilling driving experience when it comes to handling, braking and tackling corners. So forget the attention the Apple Car is getting, as Merc is the one to watch this year for EVs. 

For the uninitiated, AMG is Mercedes’ high-performance brand, which takes its existing cars and tunes them for faster acceleration, top-speed and more dynamic handling. AMG cars also get a few design tweaks, from AMG branding to sporty seats, plus several more performance-oriented driving modes.

This year will see the AMG division get its hands on Mercedes’ upcoming EVs, starting with electric versions of the AMG E43 sedan and AMG CLS 53. Both these cars will have a pair of electric motors to deliver power to the front and rear wheels of the cars for all-wheel drive.

Mercedes said the electric powertrain on these models will kick out the same performance as the current bi-turbo V8 engine found in the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT. Expect such cars to give the current high-end suite of eclectic cars a run for their money in both a straight line and in the corners.

Mercedes-AMG EV drivetrain

(Image credit: Mercedes)

Drawing inspiration from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, AMG EVs will use the i-Booster braking tech that allows for energy recuperation to be carried out under braking; the system will also have hydraulic braking, which should go some way to mitigate the unusual braking feeling regenerative systems can have. 

On top of this electric tech below the hood, you’re likely to find a suite of AMG-specific design tweaks on the reworked EVs, such as a new radiator grille, a spoiler lip and a diffuser, undoubtedly channeling the more sharp and aggressive look of AMG cars over their standard counterparts.

But there are some people not yet ready to move away from traditional gas-guzzling cars, so Mercedes has also detailed how its E-Performance strategy will bring in electric motors to existing high-performance drivetrains. Expect AMG cars with a V8 Biturbo engine at the front and a performance-tuned electric motor in the back. The electric motor will likely be used less as a greener alternative to an ICE and more as an augmentation to the engine, delivering extra bursts of power when overtaking or pulling out of a corner. 

So while Mercedes makes a push towards more EVs, including the tech-heavy EQS, it’s not looking like it’s going to leave behind the performance segment of its brand — and for driving enthusiasts, that's a very good thing. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.