The venerable AMG 6.0 litre 12-cylinder petrol engine is living its last days, says Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers. According to GoAuto, the engine will be phased out after the current lifecycle of the S 65, effectively removing the model from the company’s portfolio.

However, at the Paris Motor Show, Moers told the Australian publication that his team will focus on developing hybrid technology for the 4.0 litre bi-turbo V8, which will improve the performance and efficiency of new AMG models.

“The V8 is a pretty efficient engine,” said Moers, adding that AMG had already downsized its V8s from 6.3 litres to 5.5 litres and now 4.0 litres for efficiency and to meet emissions regulations. “In combination with an electrified powertrain, it could be a longer lifecycle than what everybody thinks,” he added.

The new electrified V8 will reportedly be featured in a future variant of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe as a plug-in hybrid, possibly packing as much as 800 horsepower. The plan is to fit it with a 630-hp V8, mated to electric motors that produce over 100 kW (134 hp).

Moers said AMG’s current strategy on electrification was to develop hybrids across its range, with some using technology derived from its halo model, the AMG Project One hypercar. There, it uses a 1.6 litre turbocharged and direct-injected V6 (11,000 rpm rev limit) from an F1 car with high-performance electric motors to produce over 1,000 hp, propelling the Project One from zero to 200 km/h in under six seconds and onwards to a top speed of over 350 km/h.

When asked if he could see a time when the V8 would have to be retired, Moers said “nobody in the industry is able to predict the V8 engine ends, say, in 2028 – that’s impossible. It’s all about how clever are you as a company, to put the money in. And it should not be a bet – it should be a well-prepared strategy.”

On the flip side, the AMG chief said it’s more challenging to produce a long-term strategy now due to the rapid developments in technology, changes in customer demands and regulations. “I’m not so confident with having a 10-year plan and strategy because the world we live in is too fast, so you have to adjust your strategy and your targets almost every year – half a year.”

“It is okay to see the next five years, but things happen that have an impact in four years. So you have to adjust the strategy every day,” he said, adding that the current 4.0 litre V8 is deployed in various tunes to suit the sedan, SUV and sports car range. The engine is still young, so there’s no plans to replace it in the foreseeable future.

As for EVs, Moers conceded that AMG would one day develop all-electric cars because “otherwise there will not be an AMG.” The EVs will entirely be developed by AMG as performance electric vehicles, because AMG’s parent company Mercedes-Benz is focusing on range and efficiency via its EQ sub-brand.