Mercedes-Benz Execs Talk 13 New Models, Electric Cars, and Hybrid AMGs
C/D: Why isn’t Mercedes making a big investment in carbon fiber like BMW and the Volkswagen Group have?
Källenius: Carbon fiber is for a hypercar. Taking out weight is a decathlon. You need to work with all the materials. Right now, the industry is at a peak; every new car going forward will shave off weight.
C/D: What drove the decision to replace AMG’s Performance package with S models?
Källenius: It’s a matter of total cost of ownership. Residual values increase for a model rather than a package. It also gives us another opportunity to create a new class within AMG. We won’t have an S model for every AMG, but we will certainly roll it out to other cars.
- First Drive: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT Coupe
- First Drive: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4MATIC
- Future Cars: Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 Concept
C/D: We just drove the SLS AMG Black Series and had an absolute riot. What car gets the Black Series treatment next?
Källenius: Black Series has to be the top of the totem pole. They have two doors and a strong connection to both the road and the track. The SLS AMG Black Series is derived from the SLS AMG GT3. The CLK63 AMG Black Series was based on the DTM. There will be no inflation of the Black Series. You don’t put it on your 10-year plan. It’s engineers gone wild.
C/D: The SLS AMG was the first car completely developed by AMG. Will AMG be charged with developing the SLS’s successor?
Weber: For the customer it’s irrelevant, but the SLS perfectly fits AMG. They have demonstrated they can do it.
Källenius: It was a dream come true for the engineers in Affalterbach. We have said that Mercedes-Benz is in the super-sports-car market to stay. As long as the market is strong and healthy, we will serve our customers.