The brand new 2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance has a really huge identify and a really small engine. However with a large 671 hp (680 PS) on faucet from it’s electrically-assisted 2.0 liters, it’d persuade you to not care that it’s swapped a V8 for a turbocharged 4, and traded a low-speed growl for an artificial digital pedestrian warning noise.
Make no mistake, this can be a racially completely different scorching C-Class to those we’ve recognized earlier than, and that features the AMG C43 that just lately downgraded from a V6 to a turbo 4. Carmakers typically concentrate on one main change, like shifting from rear- to all-wheel drive, or downsizing from a V8 to a V6, when changing one era of efficiency automobile with one other. However this time it appears like AMG has skipped three generations: in a single fell swoop it has turned the C63 from a rear-wheel drive turbocharged V8 to a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.
The engine is AMG’s M139L 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder as seen on the SL43 roadster and the C63’s little brother, the C43. Like these vehicles it options an electrically-driven turbocharger, however for the C63 the blower is way greater. So whereas the SL43’s fuel motor peaks at 376 hp (381 PS), and the C43 tops out at 402 hp (408 PS), the C63 kicks each into the weeds with a 470 hp (476 PS) output. That doesn’t solely match the outdated base mannequin C63’s V8 for muscle regardless of being half the scale, it makes this new model of the M139 probably the most highly effective four-cylinder manufacturing engine on the earth, and with 402 lb-ft (545 Nm), it have to be the torquiest too.
And that’s earlier than we’ve factored within the electrical increase that’s additionally new for 2023. That increase occurs on the rear wheels courtesy of a 150 kW (201 hp /204 PS) electrical motor packed into the rear axle along with an electronically-controlled restricted slip differential and a two-speed drive unit. It will probably energy the automobile as an EV at as much as 78 mph (125 km/h) and for as much as 8 miles (13 km), if pushed gently, which makes it sound like a PHEV from a decade in the past, however that’s as a result of AMG has prioritised energy over effectivity for this hybrid system.
Drawing from a 6.1 kWh battery the motor delivers its 150 KW most for as much as 10 seconds at a time, however is all the time readily available with a minimum of 70 kW (94 hp / 95 PS), and engages its second gear from 87 mph (140 km/h) as soon as it kissed its 13,500 rpm rev limiter.
The end result is a reasonably spectacular mixed gas-electric output of 671 hp (680 PS) and 752 lb-ft (1,020 Nm), making the C63 not solely much more highly effective than the outdated V8-engined C63 S and its 503 hp, or the 503-hp BMW M3 Competition however punchier than tremendous sedans from the category above just like the 617-hp BMW M5 Competitors. Zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) takes 3.4 seconds (down from 4.0 seconds for the outdated C63 S) and the 155 mph (250 km/h) prime pace could be raised to 170 mph (280 km/h) with an appropriate bung to your Mercedes seller at order time.
Choose from rear-, all-wheel drive, and EV modes
The electrical motor acts solely on the rear axle, and you’ll configure the fuel motor to do the identical. However for the primary time the mannequin operates by default in all-wheel drive. Energy flows to the 4Matic+ four-paw transmission through a traditional nine-speed epicyclic auto, however one fitted with a moist clutch pack as an alternative of a torque converter.
Rear-axle steering additionally makes its debut on the brand new C63, and carbon brakes be part of a listing of ordinary gear that features adaptive dampers for the steel-spring suspension and an AMG Dynamics drive mode selector with a brand new “Grasp” mode that enables the sort of oversteer antics C63s have develop into well-known for. Drivers additionally get AMG-specific graphics within the digital instrument cluster and head-up show, plus a button on the steering wheel giving 4 ranges of vitality restoration starting from virtually nonexistent to robust sufficient to permit one-pedal driving.
Different new options embrace a slim hood vent that helps distinguish the C63 from the C43 which additionally will get the toothy Panamericana grille and flared entrance fenders that add a large 3 inches (76 mm) to the nostril’s width. The fenders put on “Turbo E Efficiency” badges beneath their retro-style vents, and for the primary time, there’s an AMG badge on the hood as an alternative of a conventional Mercedes one.
Wagon reserved for European consumers
Up to now we’ve been referring particularly to the C63 sedan, however all the pieces we’ve lined additionally applies to the wagon, which sadly, just like the new BMW M3 Touring, is more likely to be off-limits to North American consumers. The long-roof model takes the identical 3.4 seconds to hit 62 mph and, identical to the sedan, rolls on 19-inch wheels except you improve to 20s through an choices listing that features a revised model of the elective AMG Efficiency seat with vented facet bolsters. About the one main variations between the sedan and wagon physique kinds is that in the event you tick the field to raise the wagon’s 155 mph pace limiter you solely achieve 13 mph (20 km/h), not 19 mph (30 km/h) and that the wagon carries a 75 lbs (34 kg) weight penalty.
Smaller engine, greater waistline
Yeah, let’s speak in regards to the weight. Overlook any notions that lopping off 4 cylinders may make this C63 lighter than the final one. The brand new greater physique, hybrid package and all-wheel drive transmission destroys that dream. Mercedes-AMG listed the final C63 S sedan at 3,704 lbs (1,680 kg) in European trim, however this one comes out at 4,489 lbs (2,036 kg). That’s like driving round within the outdated automobile with three thick-set buddies or 4 slim ones. And although the brand new automobile is clearly quicker, greener (156 g/km vs 196 g/km), and can guzzle far much less gasoline (34 mpg U.S. / 41 mpg UK on the EC cycle, says AMG), it’s important to marvel what impact that additional ballast may have on the dealing with.
One path to reducing that weight can be to carry on for the non-S C63 Mercedes is more likely to announce later to compete with the non-competition variations of the BMW M3, although downgrading will inevitably be taking a horsepower hit and nonetheless gained’t make it as gentle as a previous-generation C63.
Mercedes hasn’t launched the pricing particulars for the 2023 C63 AMG, however although the 671 hp output out-punches the $80,800 BMW M3 Competition xDrive’s by a large 168 hp (170 PS), we’d anticipate the AMG to return in pretty shut on value.
Which might you purchase? Would you fortunately commerce a few of the 2023 C63’s horses for a six- or eight-cylinder engine? Drop a remark beneath and tell us.