Mercedes-Benz's in-house tuning division, AMG, celebrates its 45th birthday this month, and to celebrate they've dropped a hint about what we can expect from the German performance car specialist.
In a press photo released to coincide with the company's anniversary, AMG's current line up of 22 road cars is pictured next to eight cars under silver covers.
Three are hatchbacks with two looking to be about the size of the B-Class (the other is the recently-announced A 45 AMG), while the rest are a mixture of coupes, big sedans and a shooting brake roughly the size and shape of a C-Class wagon.
There's also one curiously-shaped car in the back row, which appears to be a compact SUV - possibly the upcoming GLA crossover.
These eight cars will be revealed over the next couple of years, with the first set to be the SLS AMG E-Cell electric car. Scheduled for a global debut at this year's Paris Motor Show, the SLS AMG E-CELL is powered by an all-electric drivetrain fed by lithium-ion batteries and is expected to go on sale overseas in early 2013.
The A45 AMG will follow, and will be a landmark car for AMG. Not only will it be the first AMG hatchback, but it will also be the first Mercedes-Benz AMG to be powered by a four-cylinder engine and the first to have its engine mounted East-West (below).
It will also be the first of what AMG says will be many four-wheel-drive performance cars from Mercedes.
AMG cars will also get lighter in the coming years. Under its AMG Performance 50 business plan, the use of carbon fibre composites will increase, and other lightweight technologies will be applied to new AMG models too.
AMG hopes its upcoming products will help take its annual sales to well over 300,000 cars per year by the end of 2017. With current sales volume topping 200,000 cars per year and demand for AMG vehicles booming in emerging markets like Russia and China (where sales have grown by over 50 percent since last year), AMG's goal seems conservative.
AMG also announced that it will be furthering its efforts to cut emissions, suggesting that the cylinder deactivation technology in the SLK 55 AMG's V8 could migrate to other models.
Of more interest, though, is AMG's confirmation of its commitment to V12 power. Mercedes-Benz has agreed to give sole responsibility for its V12 powerplants to AMG, and all future twelve-cylinder engines - turbo or otherwise - will be built at AMG's engine plant in Affalterbach, Germany.
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