No powertrain format is as much of an antithesis to the pure electric motor as the big dirty great V8.
There are more polluting engines with more cylinders out there, sure, but V8s used to be fitted in everything. They feature in family sedans, wagons, and SUVs to this day. Heck, Aston Martin even wedged one into its tiny Cygnet hatchback a few years ago.
The arrival of steep emissions regulations has seen the V8 begin to be phased out of mainstream production, with Mercedes-Benz among those slowly removing V8s from their line-up. Although that’s not to say that the three-pointed star will be getting rid of the bent eight completely in the short term.
In a recent interview with American outlet Road & Track, Mercedes-AMG boss Philipp Scheimer says that eight-cylinder engines do have some kind of future … at least with Mercedes themselves.
“I think there will be a future, yes,” he said, specifically referring to Mercedes’ own 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8.
“I think for the next ten years we will see V8s, for sure. We have a lot of customers who love their cars and I still think that we will see those people buying the cars for a long time. We have really a very high demand all over the world.”
While on one hand Mercedes is slowly removing V8s from its models (as evidenced by the decision to fit the next-generation AMG C 63 with a turbocharged four-cylinder instead), on the other hand it is still developing the 4.0-litre.
Most recently it debuted the first 4.0-litre V8 plug-in hybrid via the GT 63 S E-Performance. With a power output of 620kW, it’s actually the most powerful AMG ever produced.
Reading between the lines, Scheimer’s words likely point to electrified versions of the 4.0 becoming the norm in AMG’s future bruisers. It’s most likely to appear in the rest of the AMG GT line-up, as well as the next-gen S 63 and E 63.