Michael Schiebe, new AMG boss: We still believe in high-performance hybrids

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Installed on 1 March 2023, new Mercedes-AMG boss Michael Schiebe gave an interview to German auto motor und sport magazine. The main topics were the positioning of the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT and the controversy surrounding the new PHEV system in the Mercedes-AMG C63.

Mercedes will present the second generation Mercedes-AMG GT at Pebble Beach in a few days. New AMG boss Michael Schiebe said in an interview with German magazine Auto motor und sport that the new AMG GT will be sportier than the AMG SL due to its fixed roof and will have wider wheels on the front. Like the AMG SL, the new AMG GT will be more practical as it will have a 2+2 seating configuration, all-wheel drive, and integral steering. Schiebe also promises a wider range of adjustments for driving modes and by default, suspension.

In our test drive with the new AMG SL 63, we criticized the stiff suspension even in Comfort mode.

Asked about a possible future electric AMG, Schiebe replied that in 2012 when the AMG SLS Electric came out, he was in charge of e-mobility at Mercedes, and AMG SLS Electric Drive was a car ahead of its time.

Today, the technologies exist but are not yet ready for series production. Schiebe says they will be in 2025-2026, and then Mercedes-AMG will also have AMG electric models that will meet the brand’s requirements in terms of track and road dynamics, as well as range.

At this point, the interview comes at a delicate moment when the editor of auto motor und sport asks Schiebe about the new AMG C 63 S E Performance powered by a PHEV system based on a four-cylinder engine that does not work very well.

Schiebe tries to explain that AMG stands for technological leadership, and the PHEV system is innovative and revolutionary. He says that the PHEV system is not the problem and that controversy has arisen over the use of a 4-cylinder engine.

Schiebe says there is no criticism of the same PHEV system using a V8 engine in the new Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance which has been very well received by the market. And he says: “So are we having a technology discussion or an emotional one? Because the performance figures of the AMG C 63 S E Performance speak for themselves. I can understand V8 enthusiasts getting frustrated. But we have other models for them. ”

However, when the editor of auto motor und sport says that in the test they conducted with the AMG C 63 S E Performance, the interaction between the drivetrain components didn’t seem to be fine-tuned, Michael Schiebe admits that Mercedes is still working on optimizations and has improvements to make before they deliver the first AMG C 63 S E Performance to customers.

Schiebe says the all-new powertrain is the cause of controversy and debate but Mercedes believes in the performance hybrid because of the huge torque and optimal weight distribution that favors driving dynamics. In addition, Schiebe says the PHEV system is a good basis for the future development of electric models.

Schiebe was also asked how the AMG range will look like in the future. He answered that AMG will continue to invest in its own platforms, such as the MSA platform for the AMG SL and GT, as well as the dedicated electric platform AMG.EA. “I can’t say how many variants there will be in the future, but there is a growing demand for AMG products.”