According to a new report from Auto Express, Mercedes-AMG is looking into using electric turbochargers as a way to boost performance. Supposedly, the technology would be applied to the company’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which is used in the CLA45.
Driving the decision is the desire to make the current crop of small cars faster. Going with electric turbos isn’t something new to Mercedes-AMG, considering that the automaker has experience with them in motorsports applications. The big challenge, says the Auto Express report, is making the technology affordable for consumers.
This news comes after rival German automaker Audi is rumored to be using an electric turbo setup in the next-generation Q7 crossover. If that is genuinely the case, it’s only a matter of time before Audi applies the technology to smaller vehicles, constituting a real threat to Mercedes-AMG.
This is why competition is great for enthusiasts.
The idea with electric turbochargers is that a motor actually spools the turbo when the engine is running low rpms. As the engine gets going, the electric motor cuts off and the turbocharger runs off exhaust gases, just like normal. Thanks to the innovative design, turbo lag is actually eliminated, unlike so many other designs that have been introduced in the past, which in fact haven’t taken care of the problem altogether.
Don’t hold your breath too long for an electric turbo in a Mercedes model. The automaker just finished launching or updating its entire small model lineup, so it’ll be a few years before anything happens. That’s probably a good thing, because it gives Mercedes plenty of time to play with the tech and cost-saving measures. Also, don’t look for electric turbos to pop up in the S-Class or other larger models, because reportedly that’s not going to happen.