Mercedes-AMG launches first performance plug-in hybrid

The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance has its public outing at the IAA Munich auto show on Sept 6.

The coupe-styled, four-door car is capable of 12 km (7 miles) of zero-emission driving on a full charge.

The model’s hybrid powertrain is derived from the power pack in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One race car.

A 201-hp (204-PS) electric motor, packaged with the 6.1-kilowatt-hour battery, is located above the rear axle to improve weight distribution and vehicle handling, Mercedes said. The motor acts directly on the rear axle, delivering extra power when launching from a standstill, accelerating or overtaking.

The electric motor is integrated with an electrically shifted two-speed gearbox and the electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential.

The battery features a new thermal management system designed to ensure even heat distribution in the battery — critical to the power pack’s performance and longevity.

AMG engineers developed new modules that are only millimeters thin to individually cool 560 lithium ion cells in the battery. About 15 liters of coolant circulate from top to bottom through the battery past each cell with the help of a specially developed electric pump.

The thermal management system ensures the battery operates at a consistent temperature averaging 113 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of how often it is charged or discharged. That allows the sports car to pull off successive fast laps in hybrid mode on the racetrack.

Direct cooling also makes it possible to use high power-density cells, reducing overall battery weight and size.

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