By now news has circulated 10-fold regarding Mercedes-Benz’s intention to suspend all V8 development. It came as a shock and a disappointment, considering the brand’s attachment to eight-cylinder configurations. At first Mercedes chalked it up to a green initiative, which led to the effective cancellation of the G-Wagon, as its only powerplant was a V8. Another reason was supply chain issues, which makes sense with the pandemic and the chip shortage. Now, AMG boss Philipp Scheimer, who handles Mercedes-Maybach and the G-Class, alluded to a different reason for the V8 embargo.
What is stopping the Mercedes-Benz V8?
There’s little detail right now, suffice it to say Road and Track quoted Scheimer as saying the V8 suspension is due to a “quality issue”. He would not elaborate, dooming the rest of us to wild speculation. He also said the problems vary from car to car, country to country, and requires retesting each model.
What owners are saying about Mercedes-Benz V8s
While there is clearly some issue with Mercedes-Benz and supplying V8s, Road and Track, and some AMG owners, aren’t buying Scheimer’s story. Some owners complained about putting in an order for a car and not hearing back for months, while others complain about having problems with their AMG from recent years. Aside from that, Mercedes-Benz supplies V8 engines to the Aston Martin Vantage, which has no intention of halting production.
Emissions could be stifling V8 development
A theory put forth is that Mercedes-Benz is halting production in order to iron out some emissions problems, which would effect U.S. sales, especially in the wake of Dieselgate. Despite whatever the problems may be, Scheimer said he believes there is a future for V8s. The supply chain issues, the supposed quality issue, and the push for green could all contribute to the V8’s hiatus.
Which Mercedes vehicles are currently affected?
Not all V8 Mercedes AMGs got the axe. The S-Class, including the Maybach, and the various 63 AMG models as well as the AMG GT Coupe and the SL 550 Roadster are free and clear of the V8 problems, as are 2021 models. It’s safe to say this problem is affecting every other V8 Mercedes.
What can Mercedes-Benz do to get out of this issue?
Without details it’s tough to understand how Mercedes can climb out of this hole. A potential catalyst could have been Mercedes’ shift to its future EV lineup, thus there aren’t enough engineers to oversee V8 development, but this only scrapes the surface. Taking into account the pandemic’s ravenous handling of the economy, the relentless war on pollution, and the simultaneous push for affordable technology, it’s no wonder Mercedes ran into some snags.
Clinging on to Scheimer’s suggestion that V8s have a future seems a bit like hobbling for the proverbial dangling carrot. Nevertheless, as this story develops, we’ll see how much more Mercedes and AMG’s stories will change, hopefully for the better.