What will the world look like when performance brands start going electric?

3w ago

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What will the world look like when performance brands start going electric?

When you think of AMG, you think of thunderous ‘hot V’ V8s. When you think of Audi Sport and M Sport, you think of frighteningly-effective twin turbocharging, and maybe even the odd V10. Jag has its SVR supercharged V8, Alfa has its Quadrifoglio turbo V6, and Porsche RS has the ability to make keen drivers go weak at the knees with their chassis know-how.

But step back and take in the vibe of the automotive industry these days and you quickly realise that electric motors are really getting into their stride.

Every brand mentioned above has made declarations about moving towards electrification, with some of them having already made some big moves. The e-tron, I-Pace and EQC have started the ball rolling, but what will it be like when the performance sub brands within these companies start to leave internal combustion behind as well?

Try to imagine a Geneva Motor Show where the Audi Sport stand has R8s and RS6s that don’t have engines. An AMG stand that instead of ‘Black Series’ has EQC stuck to the backs and sides of its most powerful products.

It’ll certainly be an interesting thing to adjust to. There are plenty of militant petrolheads who already get uptight about normal cars going electric, so you can imagine what they’ll be like when the cream of the performance car crop starts to move away from its petrol-powered pillar.

I think if they do it right, everything will be fine. Let’s take the Porsche Taycan as an example. Despite the initial worries that a company that values driving purity above anything else was going electric so soon, the Taycan has matured throughout its development from the Mission E concept, to a point where most people are pretty damn excited to see the finished car on the road.

If anyone can get electric performance cars right, you have to imagine it’ll be the current powerhouses that have all the R&D capabilities to produce top-level driving products.

A Mercedes-AMG EQC will be an absolute beast (especially seeing as Merc has experience with EV supercars already with the chrome blue SLS AMG Electric Drive), and the only thing that will stop people embracing it is simply getting behind the wheel and giving them a shot.

Yes, when these kind of cars first appear, battery technology may still be at a place where they all end up over two tonnes, but they’ll make it work.

Also, electrification has revolutionised motorsport, the source of technological progression that always seeps down to the road. F1 cars have embraced electric motor technology for half a decade now, the LMP1 era has been dominated by hybrid cars and Formula E is quickly becoming one of the most exciting series out there.

What’s to stop Audi Sport taking its Formula E knowhow and creating one hell of an electric R8 out of it? Or the EQC guys producing an AMG GT with tech sourced straight from the single-seater piloted by Mr Vandoorne?

We’re many years away from a total ban on petrol engines, so cylinders in a V-formation will still sit in plenty of AMG, RS and M engine bays going forward. But it’s worth thinking about the future of performance cars when electrification properly hits home. It may be less noisy, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be bad.

W​hich of these brands do you think will nail going electric the most? Cast your vote in the poll below!

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