Nearly half of the current Mercedes-AMG performance lineup is rear-wheel drive, but that could change—including, according to a recent report, on the AMG GT range. That would take some getting used to, but people just want four-wheel drive instead, as far as AMG can tell. (Update: Mercedes-AMG said it did not confirm that all upcoming models will be all- or four-wheel drive.)
That’s according to Autocar, which talked about what the future of Mercedes’ performance-badged cars will look like with AMG boss Tobias Moers recently. Autocar wrote that the future certainly doesn’t look to be RWD, despite 19 of the 49 AMG models—from roadsters to wagons—having it right now.
Instead, Autocar reports that Moers wants to move toward powering all four wheels on all AMG models. Moers didn’t say what kind of system would be in newly 4WD AMGs, should they happen, but non-RWD AMG models—aside from the AMG G 63 G-Wagen—have Mercedes’ 4Matic 4WD system, which can variably distribute torque between the front and rear axles.
“Back in the days when we had an AMG E-Class as rear-wheel drive and with four-wheel drive as an option, over 90% chose 4WD. In the new E63 with drift mode, you have a real rear-wheel-drive car but with four-wheel drive also.”
When asked if even the AMG GT flagship would adopt such a system, Moers said: “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. People in Munich, for example, always, always ask for four-wheel drive – I think it’s for safety and stability.”
The latest E63 AMG uses a clutch-based four-wheel-drive system that’s able to send up to 100% of engine torque to either axle. The E63 S’s Drift mode can disengage the front driveshafts entirely allowing a traditional rear-drive system, if requested.
The story said “all next-generation” AMGs “look set to feature four-wheel drive as standard,” but didn’t use a direct quote from Moers to say that—thus, don’t take it as prophecy just yet. Jalopnik reached out to AMG to confirm that statement, and will update this story if we hear back.
But a switch to standard 4WD, according to a manual count from Mercedes’ AMG website, would mean the next generation of the AMG-badged SLC 43, SL 63 and S 65 sedan, along with every variation of the C 63, C 63 S and two-door GT ranges, would shift 4WD. All of those variations make for 19 different cars, since Mercedes has more car models than most of us have choices of outfits.
The one choice that customers might not have in the next few years is one for just RWD on their new AMG, but it sounds like most of them weren’t going for that choice anyway.
Update: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 8:17 a.m. ET: A Mercedes spokesperson got back to Jalopnik, saying Moers did not confirm that all upcoming AMG vehicles will run with AWD. (The spokesperson referred to AWD and 4WD as noted.)
The representative said Mercedes-AMG has customer requests, and that there may “be a chance” that the next generation of the GT will have AWD variants, but that the situation isn’t that “all next-generation models including the GT range will come four-wheel driven.”
It’s too early for that kind of statement, and for deciding which system may be used in upcoming four- or all-wheel-drive models, they said, since there are still a lot of possibilities out there. But, on the vehicles that do get variants that send power to all four wheels, the spokesperson said Mercedes will “go further on with system(s) where power can be transferred to either and both axles.”