Mercedes-AMG working on city car with 1992’s title-winning DTM engine | Top Gear
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Mercedes-AMG working on city car with 1992’s title-winning DTM engine

AMG reveals it’s been prepping a 367bhp, 9,500rpm urban runaround for 30 years

Published: 11 Nov 2022

Here's TopGear.com's roving correspondent, Cory Spondent, with his mostly incorrect exclusives from the world of motoring

Mercedes-AMG has been secretly building a motorsport-inspired city car featuring the engine and aerodynamic philosophy from its 1992 championship-winning DTM racer for the last 30 years.

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Sources have told TopGear.com that the top secret skunkworks project has been a ‘ruinously complicated’ three-decade effort to transplant Klaus Ludwig’s 367bhp 2.5-litre Evolution II engine and wind tunnel-honed rear wing into a very small car capable of being used on a daily basis and exempt from low emissions zones.

However, following the release of the F1-engined AMG One – which only took six years and was conceived as a ‘bit of a break’ from the city car project – engineers are now confident of having made quite literal breakthroughs in development.

“A Formula One engine is a walk in the park compared to an early Nineties four-cylinder DTM unit,” an AMG insider confessed. “Sure, they share commonalities in that both are high-revving units with big power and require complicated thermal management.

“But few people realise that DTM engines actually double up as battering rams. Getting the equivalent of a relatively small, relatively lightweight cast-iron sledgehammer through emissions regulations has been a nightmare.”

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The city car – internally dubbed the AMG Minus One – will be “a lightweight affair” and weigh in at just three tonnes thanks to extensive use of aluminium, carbon fibre and concrete. It will also feature an electric motor on the front axle for an emissions-free range of two miles.

Mercedes-AMG is confident of releasing the high-performance urban runaround in time for the global ban on combustion engines to come into force.

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