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Mercedes-AMG next to use electric turbochargers?

The company is considering electrically-driven forced induction for its next-generation compact cars.

Mercedes-AMG has joined the list of companies considering electrically-driven forced induction for upcoming vehicles.

The technology has already been confirmed for production by rival Audi and could make its way into a variety of engines ranging from the Volkswagen Polo's 1.0-liter straight three to the Bugatti Chiron's massive 8.0-liter W16.

Mercedes-AMG's head of compact car development, Steffen Jastrow, suggests the 'e-turbo' could allow the company to downsize engines in its smaller cars without sacrificing performance.

"Of course we need more power for the next-generation of cars, but electrification does not mean we have to use an electric drivetrain.” he told Auto Express. "They have to be faster and e-turbos are an option."

The executive suggests Daimler already has experience building the electric compressors for race cars, but engineers would need to reduce costs for practical integration in high-volume production vehicles.

Audi has detailed plans to embrace a 48-volt electrical system in future vehicles, requiring special alternators and likely a lithium-ion battery. The higher voltage is said to be necessary to effectively drive electric compressors, which are said to nearly eliminate turbo lag.

Mercedes already manages to squeeze an impressive 355 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that powers the CLA45 AMG. A forthcoming refresh is expected to add at least another 20 ponies, and an electric turbocharger is unlikely to appear until the next-generation A-Class makes its debut a few years down the road.

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