The new four-door will “at least match” the 600kW promised by AMG when it first revealed plans for a petrol-electric drivetrain with the unveiling of the GT concept in 2017. This would provide the GT73e with 100kW more than its hybridised Panamera rival, which packs a combined 500kW from its electrified V8.
Total torque output should be impressive, too, extending to somewhere in the region of 1,000Nm. The high overall torque load is made possible because the torque from the electric motor is not restricted by the gearbox and four-wheel drive system. Instead, it is fed directly to the rear wheels.
The four-wheel-drive GT73e won’t be AMG’s most powerful road-going model, though. That honour goes to the delayed One hypercar, which is motivated by a Formula 1-derived electrified V6 with over 750kW and 1355Nm.
Electrical energy for the P3’s rear-mounted motor is supplied by a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery pack under the floor of the GT73e’s boot. Its capacity and chemical process remain under wraps less than six months before the new model’s planned unveiling, but insiders suggest it will use the same cells as the newly unveiled plug-in hybrid version of the fifth-generation C-Class.
Despite a substantial increase in kerb weight from the use of an electric motor and battery, the GT73e promises to crack 0-100km/h in under 3.0sec, undercutting the GT63’s claimed 3.2sec sprint time.
The added performance will be combined with an ability to run on electric power only. Exact figures have not yet been made official, but recent plug-in hybrid Mercedes models have offered ranges of up to 100 kilometres from batteries of between 25.4kWh and 31.2kWh in capacity, as well as DC charging compatibility.
The original Hammer
The Mercedes-Benz AMG 300CE Hammer made its debut at the 1987 Geneva motor show. Based on the 300CE, it swapped that model’s petrol straight six for the 5.6-litre V8 from the 560 SEL: the fabled M117. The original model offered 265kW and 510Nm.
However, the legend wasn’t complete until Mercedes-Benz began offering a second output option, which upsized the M117 to 6.0 litres, with power increasing to 287kW. The engine modifications were overseen by Erhard Melcher – the ‘M’ in ‘AMG’, and one of the performance division’s original founders. Key changes included a new four-valve cylinder head (in place of the standard two-valve set-up), reworked camshafts and lighter pistons.
The 300CE Hammer was renowned more for its segment-leading torque output than outright power, and at 565Nm it was prodigious for performance cars of the time, helping to provide the model with a 0-100km/h time of 4.8sec and 305km/h top speed.
The increased output arrived alongside substantial drivetrain and chassis modifications. These included an upgraded four-speed automatic gearbox, limited-slip differential, larger brakes, a reworked suspension system supporting standard 17-inch wheels and 235/45 front and 265/40 rear tyres, and a ducktail-style rear wing for greater downforce.
There were also minor upgrades to the interior, most notably Recaro front seats and a sports steering wheel. At the top of the range, there was also a Breitcoupe (wide-body) styling option, of which just 12 examples are claimed to have been built.
The left-hand-drive-only 300CE Hammer Breitcoupe cost around £120,000 (AUD$215,000) at its launch, which equates to roughly £300,000 (circa AUD$540,000) today.