Mercedes Vision AMG journeys into the future of electric performance
Mercedes' AMG performance division was one of the world's first automotive enterprises to fully exploit electric powertrain technology when it launched the breathtaking SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive nearly a decade ago. So it's exciting to note that the division is back in the electric lab, putting together its first ground-up electric performance car. The sculptural Vision AMG provides an initial glimpse at what that car might look like when it's luring folks into dealerships like an irresistible silver-skinned siren.
If you've been following Mercedes' concept cars for the past five or 10 years, the Vision AMG might give you the very same type of déjà vu we had the second we laid eyes on it. And it's not just the "Alubeam" silver paint it's become so fond of drenching its concepts in, but also the proportions and styling itself.
We've definitely seen the voluptuous flowing bodywork that looks like carefully dried liquid metal poured over a sleek mold, most memorably all over the 2013 AMG Vision Gran Turismo, where it came with a very different cabin-to-hood ratio and much more blistery fenders. The Vision AMG's stretched roofline that just doesn't want to end reminds us of the 2016 Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 and the 2015 Concept IAA. The latter also lends its slashed rear fascia.
But enough about the past, the Vision AMG is really about the future and what the first electric performance car developed entirely in Affalterbach might look like, a mix of stretched proportions and sporty, aerodynamic design cues that promises sedan-like comfort and heart-quickening coupe performance. The long wheelbase and roofline hint at generous amounts of leg and elbow room inside the four doors, while the raked windscreen, low roof and sharply pinched active rear spoiler tease how easily the car will slip through the wind as it expends electron flow.
Beyond the neat crease of the spoiler, Mercedes designers have purposefully minimized corners, joints, creases and other hard lines around the Vision AMG body, focusing on smooth, flowing surfaces. The strategy even applies to the side and rear windows, where the sliver paint flows upward off the rounded, three-dimensional belt line and C-pillars to erase the typical hard edge between window and bodywork.
We're not entirely convinced by the frontal combination of thin, sharp three-pointed star headlamps and oversized grille with gnashed teeth, which in our opinion, clash mightily. The grille feels like it should be smaller at the very least, or better yet, deleted completely in favor of something subtler. Happily, while Mercedes' announcement says that the headlamp light signature "points directly into the future," it makes no such declaration about the grille.
The Vision AMG's prognostic bodywork hangs off an early iteration of the AMG.EA electric platform that will launch in 2025, underpinning AMG's first electric car and future cars thereafter. Hard specs are as fluid as the bodywork at this point, but Mercedes says that power comes from a lightweight, highly potent axial flux motor developed by its new subsidiary, YASA.