Affalterbach, Germany - In this age of ever-stricter emissions regulations and the engine-downsizing that inevitably follows suit, any engine with more than four cylinders can consider itself an endangered species.

At the very top of that list you’ll find that brutal behemoth that is the V12, which is still being kept on life support by supercar makers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini and the German Big Three: Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

However, Mercedes-AMG is set to fall off that list, with the firm’s current 6-litre V12 set to be killed off at the end of the current S65’s life cycle, which can’t be more than a few years off. The twin-turbo V12 currently produces 463kW in the S65.

Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers confirmed this in a recent interview with Australian website GoAuto, but he did shed light on a happier prospect - the current V8 is sticking around for the foreseeable future and it’s set to become even more potent.

Moers said that the current 4-litre V8 is a “pretty efficient” engine and that when paired with an electric powertrain, it could have a “longer life cycle than what everybody thinks.”

Moers added: “Nobody in the industry is able to predict when the V8 engine ends, say, in 2028 – that’s impossible. It is all about how clever you are as a company, to put the money in. And it should not be a bet – it should be a well-prepared strategy.”

So what exactly does Mercedes-AMG have in the pipeline?

GoAuto reports that a hybridised version of the current 470kW twin-turbo V8 will be mated to a 100kW or more electric motor to form a flagship for the newly introduced GT 4-Door range.

The publication added that the eventual plan is to have hybrids across the range in one form or another.

IOL Motoring