Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

AMG’s performance hybrids are just the beginning, with a new, bespoke EV already well into development.

Mercedes-AMG is already two years into the development of a high-performance electric car that will rival the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S. Confirmed in an interview with AMG boss Tobias Moers at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, the new model will be underpinned by Mercedes’ upcoming e-platform that will follow the precedent set by Tesla and Porsche in employing a skateboard-style battery layout.

The AMG car will differ greatly from the incoming wave of next-generation Mercedes-Benz EVs (previewed by the Vision EQS pictured above), with Moers confirming: ‘We (AMG) are developing a battery, which meets our requirements regarding performance, both in and out. High-powered electric motors, too.’

The powertrain will have a different set of requirements and performance targets compared to the components in development by Mercedes, with AMG targeting the new Porsche Taycan in terms of performance and range, and Moers claiming it as the new industry benchmark.

The specific form this new AMG will take is more vague, however. ‘There is room for a lot of creativity regarding a purpose-designed BEV platform [derived] from Mercedes, as well there is a lot of room for creative moments,’ Moers said.

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

The standard 718 Cayman GT4 has only been with us since July, but we’ve already spotted a hardcore variant testing at the Nürburgring during Industry Pool. The model will likely adopt the ‘RS’ moniker – a first for the Cayman range – boosting aero, power and reducing weight.

We’re rather fond of the Porsche Cayman GT4 in standard form, with a handful of components from the glorious 911 GT3, a 4-litre naturally aspirated flat-six and a manual gearbox to go with it. Of course, this clearly wasn’t enough, and so Stuttgart’s boffins have set to work on a harder variant…

> New 2019 Porsche Cayman GT4 review – it’s a bit special

At the front, we can see that Porsche has fitted a new carbonfibre GT3 RS Weissach-style bonnet, complete with NACA ducts for increased brake cooling. Behind the B-pillar, on both driver and passenger sides, sit a set of louvers, presumably to provide the NA six with more air.

Most notable is the new rear wing, sporting more height and rake than on the standard GT4. The unit seen on the test car is also hung in the swan neck manner, and has much larger end plates, though as this is a prototype, it’s possible that these features won’t make it to production.

In standard 718 GT4 form, the 992-derived flat-six produces 414bhp and boasts an 8000rpm red line, but of course, these figures won’t stay untouched. As it’s a naturally aspirated unit, we don’t expect to see drastic increases, but a figure in the region of 440bhp wouldn’t be out of the question. The real question is how that power will get to the ground…

Though the GT4 is currently offered exclusively in manual form, a PDK option is on the horizon, and with the PDK-only 992 911 already on the market, perhaps an increase in power will see Porsche drop the manual from the GT4 altogether. Should both be available, we’ll receive six-speed manual and seven-speed PDK transmissions.

Elsewhere, the diffuser and exhaust system appear to be untouched. However, we’d be surprised if Porsche didn’t offer an optional sports exhaust system. The same 20-inch wheels and GT3-derived brakes as on the standard car can be seen on this prototype, and although wheel diameter is unlikely to see an increase, a lighter option may be on the table. PCCBs will be an option as before.

Based on the £40,000 premium the GT3 RS carries over the GT3, we’d expect a hardcore GT4 to sit at around the £100,000 mark. As for a reveal date, don’t expect to see much before the end of the year.

Wiesmann teases all-new V8 supercar ahead of 2020 reveal

Small-scale German sports car manufacturer Wiesmann has teased its first new model in almost a decade. Codenamed Project Gecko, after the brand’s logo, we’ll get our first look at it at some point in 2020.

Wiesmann says the new model will be an evolution of the MF5, a model that made its debut at 2008’s Geneva motor show. Featuring BMW ’s glorious 5-litre V10 from the E60 M5, it produced a very healthy 500bhp for a 3.9sec 0-62mph time and 193mph top speed – respectable numbers even today.

> Wiesmann GT MF5

The marque’s latest effort will continue its long-standing partnership with BMW, this time using a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8. Assuming this is in reference to the unit found in the G90 M5, Project Gecko could boast almost 600bhp, and given its sub-1380kg kerb weight, that should result in some rather impressive performance numbers indeed.

Advertisement – Article continues below

The lack of weight in the preceding MF5 gave it a 0.8sec 0-62mph advantage over the M5 it was based on, so given the use of modern lightweight construction methods and a significant bump in power, we can expect a sub-3.0sec 0-62mph time and a top speed in excess of 200mph. It might not come with the NA V10’s whaling 8500rpm red line, but it’ll certainly perform…

As with all of Wiesmann’s products, Project Gecko will focus on driver engagement, with lightweight construction, a front mid-engined, RWD layout and perfect 50:50 weight distribution all helping to achieve this.

Wiesmann’s chief executive, Roheen Berry, said: ‘This last true independent manufacturer of German sports cars is back and has an exciting future to look forward to. When we set out on this journey we said we wanted to re-engineer an icon and we are on track to do exactly that.’

Production at its Dülmen, Germany factory will begin next year, and although pricing is yet to be announced, the waiting list is already open. Expect further details to surface in the coming months.