2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency: First look

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The phrase is out, and the fanboys aren’t blissful. The brand new Mercedes-AMG C63 received’t have a V8 underneath the bonnet.

It will get worse. The successor to AMG’s autobahn-storming, BMW M3-bashing sedan is in reality a plug-in hybrid with a four-cylinder engine. That sound you hear is C63 aficionados sobbing into their beers.

However AMG chief technical officer Jochen Hermann is unrepentant.

“We may have simply achieved one other V8 C63,” he says. “However we’d have been caught up to now.”

And also you solely must take a detailed look underneath the pores and skin to see the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency may be very a lot a muscle automotive of the long run. 

Sure, it’s a plug-in hybrid constructed round a four-cylinder internal-combustion engine, however that’s the place the similarities with, say, a Mitsubishi Outlander finish.

Most of the new C63’s key applied sciences and working ideas are derived from a 1.6-litre hybrid that’s the most superior and highest-performing powertrain ever to hold the three-pointed star – the EQ10 Energy+ powertrain used within the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Method 1 racers.

This hybrid is all about efficiency, not gas financial system.

The headline numbers are spectacular: 500kW and 1020Nm, 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds, and a high pace of 280km/h with the elective AMG Driver’s Package deal fitted (250km/h in any other case). It’s probably the most highly effective C63 ever, faster than the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 automotive it replaces, and the 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 mannequin earlier than that.

What’s extra spectacular than the numbers, nevertheless, is how they’re produced.

The C63’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 350kW model of AMG’s M139l inline 4 and a 150kW e-motor mounted on the rear axle, each supported by a sturdy 400V electrical structure.

The M139l four-banger underneath the bonnet drives all 4 wheels by way of AMG’s confirmed Speedshift multi-clutch nine-speed automated transmission.

As within the C43 and SL43, the engine contains a 48V electrical turbocharger that delivers sooner response, however within the C63 the turbocharger is bigger and powered by the 400V system. Additionally built-in into the 400V system is the belt-driven starter-alternator.

The e-motor drives the rear wheels by way of its personal automated two-speed transmission, which shifts to excessive gear at 140km/h, and an built-in electronically managed limited-slip differential.

It additionally sends drive ahead by way of a separate propellor shaft to a clutch unit on the rear of the nine-speed transmission, from which it may be distributed to the entrance wheels when wanted.

AMG improvement engineer Peter Szalay says this setup avoids having to place the e-motor’s torque by way of the AMG Speedshift transmission, which is proscribed to about 1000Nm, and permits it to freely distribute torque to the entrance and rear axles as wanted. 

Extra importantly, says Szalay, had the ICE and the e-motor shared the identical output shaft, the system couldn’t ship most energy as a result of the facility peaks of each happen at totally different revs.

“We didn’t put the e-motor ‘on high’ of the inner combustion engine,” he explains. “As an alternative, we’ve got a ‘digital’ engine that gives the output demanded by the driving force within the quickest, most responsive manner, utilizing the very best traits of each.”

Key to creating the C63’s powertrain work is the AMG-developed 400V electrical structure and high-performance 6.1kWh battery, which is mounted on the rear of the automotive.

Although the compact 89kg battery will be recharged by way of a plug and can ship an EV driving vary of 13km at speeds as much as 125km/h, that’s not what it’s primarily designed to do. 

As an alternative, it’s designed to ship fast bursts of vitality when required by the e-motor – a kickdown operate ensures the complete 150kW of the e-motor is obtainable on demand in any of the C63’s eight drive modes.

It additionally ensures it’s in a position to be replenished quickly – both by the engine, or by way of recuperation charges of greater than 120kW underneath heavy braking/within the highest of the 4 out there regen settings. 

To outlive that kind of punishment the battery has a cooling system that circulates a high-tech coolant immediately round every of its 580 cells to make sure it’s all the time on the optimum temperate to ship most efficiency.

This C63 is the primary with all-wheel drive, and never simply to assist the chassis address the hybrid powertrain’s hefty energy flows.

“Our prospects had been asking for it,” says Peter Szagay. “It was the following logical step.”

Putting in the e-motor, battery pack, and related {hardware} on the again axle has delivered a 50/50 entrance to rear weight distribution. Customary suspension is by means of metal springs with AMG’s adaptive shocks. There are three totally different damping maps – Consolation, Sport, and Sport+. 

Customary is also rear-wheel steering – although as that is an AMG, the working parameters are totally different from these on the common C-Class. At speeds as much as 100km/h, the rear wheels will steer as much as 2.5 levels in the wrong way to the fronts to enhance turn-in response.

Over that pace, the wheels will steer as much as 0.7 levels in the identical course because the fronts to assist with high-speed stability.

Customary wheels are 19-inch items with 20s out there as an choice. The tyre setup is staggered – on the 20-inch-wheel geared up vehicles we noticed, the fronts had been 265/35 and the rears 275/35.

Visually, the brand new C63 wears acquainted AMG styling traits, from the grille’s menacingly toothy grimace to the massive calibre quad exhaust peeking out from underneath the rear bumper. However there’s operate behind the shape.

The entrance monitor is 76mm wider than that of the usual C-Class, and the wheelbase has elevated 10mm. That, and the necessity to bundle extra heavy-duty cooling methods on the entrance of the automotive, imply the brand new C63 can also be 50mm longer from the bottom of the A-pillar to the vanguard of the entrance bumper, and 83mm longer.

Your complete entrance clip is thus distinctive to the C63, with the bonnet that includes a rear-facing vent that’s a nod to massive opening on the AMG GT3 race vehicles. In contrast to the GT3 vents, that are used to assist generate entrance axle downforce, the C63’s a lot smaller opening is only used to free sizzling air from the engine bay.

AMG followers will discover the inside atmosphere very acquainted, with Alcantara and distinction stitching, carbon fibre trim, and splashes of distinction color used all through. New efficiency entrance seats are 2kg lighter than these of the outgoing mannequin, and the dial underneath the left spoke of the AMG efficiency steering wheel can be utilized to alter regen modes.

Each sedan and wagon variations of the brand new C63 can be out there in Europe when the automotive goes on sale early subsequent 12 months.

Although the upper load house ground is extra noticeable behind the wagon than within the boot of the sedan, AMG engineers have achieved an excellent job of packaging the e-motor and battery on the rear of the automotive. Each are nonetheless usable, on a regular basis automobiles.

After all, what you all need to know is that this: What does this four-cylinder plug-in hybrid C63 go like? And what kind of noise does it make? Does it ship the sound and fury we so cherished in regards to the earlier C63s?

We’ve been hurled across the difficult race circuit at Mercedes-Benz’s proving floor in Immendingen in southern Germany in a calmly camo’d pre-production automotive, with AMG’s Jochen Hermann on the wheel, so we’ve got some solutions.

However we’re not allowed to inform you till subsequent month. Keep tuned.

MORE: Everything Mercedes-AMG C63



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