September 30, 2023

Character counts. No, I’m not giving relationship recommendation, however I’ve been pondering the position that the powertrain performs in defining the character of a automobile, a thought that bubbled up after a few weeks spent with two very completely different automobiles with the identical heroic engine.

Constructed and developed by AMG, this now-nine-year-old twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 transforms any automobile right into a ballistic missile. It barks on startup and roars like a Kansas thunderstorm below acceleration. Carry off the fuel and the exhaust breaks into applause. Even probably the most law-abiding driver is powerless in opposition to its charms. It doesn’t matter what model or what this engine finds itself in, it’s going to hit you proper within the guttiwuts. Unapologetically V-8 in rhythm and pulse, it turns hydrocarbons into endorphins.

mercedes benz g wagen g63

Michael Simari|Automobile and Driver

When Aston put the AMG V-8 into the Vantage for 2019, the two-seat sports activities automobile turned a legit Porsche 911 competitor. Even a delicate push on the throttle wakes the twin-turbocharged torque. Push more durable and 60 mph falls in 3.3 seconds. Good vibes run by means of the aluminum construction, into the seat, and out the exhaust. A McDonald’s run to get a sausage biscuit earlier than the swap to lunch takes on the urgency of a qualifying lap at Sebring within the Vantage GTE racer. Identical 4.0-liter V-8, comparable stakes.

On the opposite facet of the galaxy, the AMG V-8 finds itself within the G63, a 5783-pound SUV with the drag coefficient of a ranch house. Up 506 horsepower on the unique 71-hp G-wagen, the G63 has maintained its go-anywhere functionality however at this time is extra prone to be parked on Rodeo Drive than in entrance of an embassy in Rabat. Even in a automobile as distractingly and delightfully absurd as a G-wagen, the engine is a scene stealer. Speed up arduous and the rear finish squats whereas V-8 sound rushes out of the facet exhaust. Facet exhaust!

I’ve but to drive the brand new C63 that technical editor Mike Sutton critiques HERE, however the massive information there may be {that a} turbocharged 2.0-liter 4 and an electrical motor have changed that V-8. The C63’s setup makes extra energy than the V-8 ever did, however at what price? A powertrain’s character is extra than simply acceleration, and I’m prepared to commerce a bit pace to maintain the V-8’s character.

Electrical automobiles press the problem additional. EVs would possibly violently press us into the seat, however the drama, explosions, and heat feeling that come from a machine expending effort are lacking. Mercedes is planning an electrical G-class known as the EQG, which is able to undoubtedly be fast sufficient to end in a cervical collar. But it surely’ll be fireworks and not using a report, The Darkish Knight on mute.

What occurs to the driving expertise when energy and, consequently, acceleration change into the driveline differentiator? Neck-snapping thrust is gorgeous, however will we spend extra if that further energy doesn’t include the sound of 12, 10, eight, six, 5, 4, or three cylinders? If my automobile is fast, however a extra highly effective one is offered, I wouldn’t simply spend for extra energy. I’d spend for character, although, as a result of character counts.