As automakers shift into being more EV-friendly, the cost of doing business is growing, and Mercedes is looking to ease the transition to electrification by cutting costs. That means that we can expect some models, engines, and even platforms to get shelved, indefinitely, as the Mercedes EQ brand starts to stake its claim to a chunk of the ever-growing EV market.
In an interview with Autocar, Mercedes’ R&D boss, Markus Schafer, exposed exactly what the company is doing as it prepares to keep costs in check.
We are reviewing our product portfolio, especially as we announced so many pure EVs. Knowing the complexity after the growth in the last couple of years means we are definitely reviewing our current lineup. The idea is to streamline – taking car variants out, but also platforms, powertrains, and components.
In other words, a lot of Mercedes models in the future will ride on shared platforms, a huge change from the brand’s lineup right now. Schafer didn’t exactly specify what models were at risk of being cut, but he did mention that the G-Class, SL, AMG GT, and S-Class all have their own stand-alone platforms.
In the future, we will have the same underpinnings with various cars and you will see the results pretty soon.
As far as engines are concerned, there’s not a lot to report quite yet, however, you can’t expect the large engines to last forever, especially when help from electricity can make up for fewer cylinders. Schafer was adamant that the brand’s V-8s and the V-12 won’t necessarily be axed altogether but did specify that “four-cylinder engines will make more sense than a V12.”
So a few years down the road, Mercedes will have more electric models, and there will (probably) be fewer trim levels of its current models. Models like the GT and S-Class, for example, could eventually share an adaptable platform. And, the V-12 will likely be discontinued within five years, speculation derived from the fact that emissions regulations are going to make them obsolete. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but you can definitely expect the Mercedes brand to change in the coming years.