Winter sales of AMGs in the UK will definitely heat up now Mercedes has finally figured out how to convert its all-wheel drive 4Matic system to RHD, rear-wheel drive cars.
You'll not be doing this in next AMG C-Class
That was the message from global
AMG boss Tobias Moers
at the LA Motor Show, who told us the first UK model to pair the new 4Matic system to a RWD car will be the new C-Class that launches next year. That coincides with a new focus on four-wheel drive at AMG. So much so that Moers told us that "pretty much every AMG" will be offered with the 4Matic system as an option.
He wouldn't elaborate but we think that it only leaves the SLK and potentially next year's 911-rival as rear-wheel drive only (although that's not for certain), given the A-, CLA and GLA45 are all four-wheel drive, as is the S-Class and its forthcoming coupe derivative.
What has spurred on AMG to roll out the 4Matics is the immense take-up for the lightweight AWD system in Germany. Moers told us that where 4Matic is offered alongside a standard rear-wheel drive AMG car, for example with E63 and CLS63, the split is a whopping 94 per cent to 4Matic. As Moers said, "If in a four-wheel driven car it's easier for normal customers to be faster on track than a rear-wheel drive, then it's got to be a good thing."
Downsized (relative term) turbo V8 coming
He reckoned we'll take to it in equally large numbers. "So far it's a shame we don't have it in the UK, where you have the weather. It's a big part of the success with the A45," he said.
Harris was convinced
driving an E63 4Matic - "Perhaps the fastest way yet devised for travelling pretty much anywhere on the public highway with several people on board," he declared.
Expanding on our previous chat at Frankfurt, Moers also came close to admitting the rumoured downsizing of the twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 to a 4.0, also a V8. "Look at China. Beyond 4.0 is getting very expensive for their displacement tax, so 4.0-litre is a good size," he said. Don't think we need to worry it'll make less than 557hp.
Of course it'll be a while before we get our hands on four-wheel drive in a V8 car, but hopefully the C40 AMG 4Matic (or whatever it'll be called) comes pretty hard on the heels of the standard C-Class launch early next year.