• Jan 22, 2010
When we think of AMG, the first thing that comes to mind is a herculean 6.3-liter V8 engine that delivers hellacious thrust. We don't give rear-wheel drive much think time because with Mercedes-Benz and AMG, it's a given. That will change for Mercedes in the next couple years with the introduction of a new family of small, premium front-wheel-drive vehicles.
A report from Motor Trend claims that the next Mercedes A-Class and B-Class are reportedly among five new FWD vehicles based on the German automaker's forthcoming MFA platform. But while FWD platforms may be essential to Mercedes-Benz's goal of 1.5 million vehicles per year by 2015, MT tells us that AMG wants nothing of it. AMG will reportedly re-engineer the MFA platform for rear-wheel drive for future performance applications. That's right, you've read that correctly–re-engineer a front-wheel-drive platform for rear-wheel-drive fun. That sounds expensive and a bit impractical to us, but apparently the idea has legs within the hallowed halls of Mercedes' performance unit.

We figure the 6.3-liter is out of the question too, and MT says insiders at AMG insist that a turbocharged four-cylinder engine could be tuned to deliver the over the top torque and horsepower that customers have come to expect. Word is that a decision to modify the MFA platform for RWD is due by the end of the month, and we know what we're hoping for.

[Source: Motor Trend]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't understand why they feel the need to sell 1.5million cars per year globally. It becomes very difficult to maintain prestige when there are inexpensive Benzes.

      Even in the early 90s, Benzes were pretty rare. Remember the song Baby Got Back? He mentions the word "Mercedes" and "Benz" like today's rappers mention mention Bentley. "Hey Lady, you wanna roll my Mercedes?" "Wanna get in my Benz?"

      Can you imagine rappers today saying that in their songs? of course not.

      I guess the pressure to sustained growth of a public company and exclusivity just don't mix.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Rap didn't pay like it does now, remember biggie smalls talking the "excel with cell"... yeah, Hyundai Excel... fond memories, no?
        I do agree with you, by definition Luxury means exclusive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The better idea would be to go with an AWD setup, with rear bias (despite the FWD and likely transverse origins) and torque vectoring. It could be a new type of AMG to bring back memories of old school Audis. Use the funds to lose weight in the transition (despite the weight of AWD).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Completely agree. Going AWD makes 10000x more sense than trying to convert a FWD car to RWD - especially in the A and B class which would presumably be on the cheaper side.

        Hell, aren't most Audi's pretty much a "jerry-rigged" AWD system grafted onto a FWD platform? Or also look at the new Opel Insignia/Buick Regal - the lower end models are FWD, but then they add AWD to the top-range model. That means like a much more logical way to go.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mercedes has done it before.
      the original Vito was FWD and the later(current) model is RWD.
      it has the same suspension as found on the vw transporter/van but there is a differential in the center.

      although, i think the original vito looks cooler from the backside.
      the expensive versions have airbags on the rear axle.
      i was stunned, when i saw that, it-s pretty uncommon here, atleast standard.


      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, seeing as AMG is the performance arm of Mercedes-Benz, I'm not so much surprised as I am delighted.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is not a new idea. The Rover 75, originally a FWD flagship cruiser, in order to better make use of the coming V8, was reengineered to RWD, and this facilitated the performance MG version of the 75.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The A and B Mercedes use a "sandwich" chassis, in which the mechanical components are below the floor and the engine is hugely tilted to the front. This basis, in the first generation A-Class, was used to a very special version called the A38 AMG, which used two 1.9 L powertrains, one in the front and the other in the rear. More about this beast:

      http://map009.blogspot.com/2007/12/awesome-a38-amg-w168.html

      So AMG can convert a "sandwich" FWD Benz to RWD not by using a longitudinal engine in the front, a driveshaft and a rear differential, but transfering the powertrain to the rear, due to a platform that allows an engine in the rear since the beginning of its project. So I can't figure that we can consider this as a financial shortcut as it was in the MG ZT.
      As the transverse powertrains of the A and B has the diff placed behind the engine (as most of the cars using this layout, except for the original Mini and the Toyota iQ), this hypotetical RWD AMG would not have a hanging engine as a 911, but a mid-rear engine, as Mitsubishi does with the i.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good luck to them and kudos for not just taking the FWD way out.

      But it kinda sounds like an engineering compromise, and possibly a mess.

      But good luck to them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      AMG is awesome.