Mercedes-AMG May Give Up Rear-Wheel Drive Because They Think You Don’t Want It Anymore

Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster
[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]

It may be all-wheel drive from here on out.

Enthusiasts could file this news under “you don’t know what you had until it’s gone.” Autocar recently spoke to AMG boss Tobias Moers, who said customer demand is pushing the brand away from lightweight, rear-wheel drive sports cars. “Customers have given us the answer, and most want four-wheel drive,” he said.

Particularly as Mercedes-AMG builds more performance crossovers, it’s easy to understand that sort of logic. For those who want a purely rear-wheel drive tire shredder, though, that may come as unwelcome news. A reasonable interpretation of Moers’ statement would mean next-generation AMG models will be all-wheel drive. All of them — including the AMG GT. To justify that decision, he said that when an AMG E-Class was offered with rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, nearly 90 percent chose the AWD option, according to the Autocar report.

“When I ask customers about the GT, they ask me about all-wheel drive. Regarding our competition, this is the downside of the AMG in terms of usability.” BMW does now offer the M5 with all-wheel drive and buyers can chose from a wide range of Audis and Porsche 911 Carrera 4s and Turbos.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63
As the brand leans more toward crossovers, all-wheel drive will likely become the standard across the whole range. [Photo: Mercedes-Benz]

Expect more hybrids

Speaking to Autocar, Moers also said AMG has more or less extracted all the power the brand’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 can give on its own. Instead of reverting back to larger engines, the brand will almost certainly rely on hybrid technology moving forward.

Reports suggest every AMG from 2021 onward will include a hybrid system. That news does mesh with the all-wheel drive philosophy, as it is easier to do that using electric motors. At least, Mercedes-AMG could introduce more electric front axles while using the engine to power the rear wheels. That way AMG could have a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, in order to give the customers what they want while (somewhat) sating the purists.

Check out one of the newest AMG models below, the CLS 53: