Outstanding performance and a wide usable engine speed range, a low power-to-weight ratio, sound design, a low specific fuel consumption and exhaust emission values, ease of maintenance and pedestrian protection – the requirements for newly developed engines are both varied and demanding. The primary development goals for the engineers and product strategists at Mercedes-AMG GmbH are dynamic responsiveness, great agility, exhilarating liveliness and a high torque even at low engine speeds.
Focusing on outstanding output and torque characteristics and decidedly sporty performance requires sophisticated technologies and solutions that are often based on motor sports engineering – which means that for mile after mile, the AMG driver benefits from almost 50 years of experience in international motor racing.
The development of a Mercedes-AMG engine is a journey of innovation, excruciating testing and technical achievement. This starts with fundamental packaging research, analyses of basic mechanical functions, the oil and coolant circuits, the power characteristics with various intake duct and camshaft configurationsas well as fuel characteristics – all studied by means of flow simulations and on the dynamic simulation test benches at Mercedes-AMG. Within the Mercedes-AMG test bench laboratory, which was taken into commission in 2004, engines with outputs exceeding 735 kW (1000 hp) can be dynamically tested.
The test facilities at Mercedes-AMG are able to simulate any road and environmental conditions to reproduce any conceivable type of operation. Cold or hot starting, mountain passes, stop-and-go traffic or fast laps on the Nürburgring Nordschleife – AMG engines are required to give their utmost. Even the intake air temperatures and densities can be varied by computer control, and the engines can be alternately filled with hot and cold coolant. Fuels of different grades are also available.
The goal of the detailed bench tests is to verify the performance of all the engine components, including the peripheral units. All the measurement data for the engines examined are systematically compared, and evaluated using reproducible test methods. For example, to ensure the very highest quality standards, the V8 biturbo engines themselves were required to undergo 17,000 hours of endurance testing.
At the same time the first test engines need to prove their worth in practical trials. Whether in the icy cold of northern Sweden, the merciless heat of Death Valley, oxygen-depleted air on the 4300 m high Mount Evans in Colorado (USA), lapping the high-speed circuits in Nardo (Italy) and Papenburg (Germany) or in stop-and-go traffic in inner-city Stuttgart – the standardized test program of Mercedes-AMG includes all climatic zones and route profiles. This rigorous testing results in engines able to withstand the very highest demands on the day-to-day practicality, reliability and long-term durability of a new engine/transmission combination.
All in all, the different AMG test vehicles cover around 700,000 kilometers of mixed endurance testing on the roads when developing a new engine.
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