Mercedes-Benz is joining Audi in analyzing electric turbochargers for its production cars. But while Ingolstadt will roll out its first e-turbo in its A8 luxury sedan, Stuttgart is studying the technology for use in small performance cars, like the A45, CLA45, and GLA45 AMG models.
Auto Express spoke to Mercedes-AMG compact car boss Steffen Jastrow about the cutting-edge tech, which reduces turbo lag, improves fuel economy, and occupies less space under the hood than a standard turbo.
“Of course we need more power for the next-generation of cars, but electrification does not mean we have to use an electric drivetrain.” Jastrow said. “They have to be faster and e-turbos are an option. We use them in motorsport, but the technology has to be payable for the customer.”
As AE tells it, bringing the price of e-turbos down from the A8’s luxury car level to the relatively affordable sums demanded by compact AMG models will still take some time. So don’t count on seeing a Mercedes with an electric turbocharger until the new A-Class arrives in 2017, at the earliest.