Dangerous information first: The V8 era at Mercedes-AMG is officially over. The thunderous M177 4.0-liter twin-turbo eight-cylinder that’s powered every AMG 63-series muscle machine since 2015 is not long for this earth. Right here’s what’s going to exchange it: A System 1-inspired hybrid drivetrain that marries the world’s strongest production-car four-cylinder (with an electrically-boosted turbocharger, no much less) to an electrical motor driving the rear axle by way of a two-speed gearbox. Within the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency, the primary AMG to sport the all-new drivetrain, which means a most of 671 hp and a whopping 752 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, that’ll assist us recover from the lack of the V8.
The all-new C63 marks an entire new period at AMG, an organization that’s spent practically half a century turning Mercedes V8s into raucous tire-shredders. The ‘24 C63’s enormously elaborate drivetrain begins from a powerful basis: The M139L 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, first developed by AMG for the Mercedes-AMG A45, CLA45 and GLA45. In these fashions, the tiny turbo engine was essentially the most highly effective four-cylinder ever fitted to a manufacturing automobile, cranking out 416 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Now, due to a nifty electrical turbocharger setup, this engine pumps out much more energy: 469 hp at 6,750 rpm and 402 lb-ft from 5,000 to five,500 rpm. Meaning the 1,991-cc M139L shatters its personal document as essentially the most highly effective manufacturing four-cylinder in historical past, pumping out a hair lower than 235 hp per liter of displacement — or put one other method, a contact over 117 hp per cylinder.
That output comes courtesy of a newly enlarged turbo with electrical help, which means the turbo can spool up on electrical energy earlier than exhaust stress takes over, serving to to get rid of lag and create sharper response. That is the primary production-car utility of this electrical turbocharger expertise, which comes immediately from in the present day’s System 1 hybrid drivetrains and takes benefit of the brand new C63’s 400-volt electrical structure.
Of course, the new huge turbocharger isn’t the only instance of electric power boost. The new C63 has a 201-hp, 236 lb-ft electric motor driving the rear axle through a two-speed gearbox, assisting the gasoline engine during hard acceleration. With AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive with Drift Mode, the C63 puts a maximum of 671 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels, with the gasoline engine driving through AMG’s nine-speed automatic transmission with a wet clutch in place of a torque converter for snappier acceleration and gear shifts.
Mercedes says the new muscle sedan can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and power from both the longitudinally-mounted gas engine and the rear-axle electric motor can be shifted to the front axle when the rear wheels slip. The two-speed gearbox that transmits the rear-axle motor’s torque shifts automatically based on speed and load; the lower of the two ratios is good for up to 87 mph. The motor delivers 94 hp continuously, with the full 201 hp available in 10-second bursts.
The 400-volt, 6.1-kWh, 196-lb, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery driving the axle motor rests above the rear axle for optimum weight distribution. While the new C63 is technically a plug-in hybrid, and can reach speeds of up to 81 mph on electric power alone, Mercedes-AMG was quick to point out in a press release that “the battery is designed for fast power delivery and draw rather than longest possible range.”
The new C63 bears a passing resemblance to lesser C-class sedans, but benefits from a ton of AMG-specific changes. The wheelbase has been stretched by 0.4 inches, with the front-end bodywork lengthened by 2.2 inches. Overall, the new C63 is a full three inches wider at the front fenders and 3.3 inches longer nose-to-tail. The new hybrid muscle sedan rides on standard 19-inch staggered wheels and tires, with 20s optional.
The compact performance sedan has standard rear-wheel steering, which makes the car more nimble in tight turns and more stable during high-speed highway maneuvers, and rides on Mercedes’ AMG Ride Control adaptive suspension with steel springs. The new C63 offers a whopping eight drive modes: Electric, Comfort, Battery Hold, Sport, Sport+, Race, Slippery and Individual, each of which tweaks the drivetrain output, steering, suspension and sound.
Because, yes, this is a four-cylinder hybrid, and that means AMG had to resort to augmented drivetrain noises to replace the hammering rumble of that old twin-turbo V8. A single loudspeaker in the front bumper and a two-speaker soundbar at the rear emanate warning noises when the C63 is driving in pure EV mode; when traveling under internal-combustion power, the system picks up sound from a pressure sensor in the exhaust system and “enrich[es] it additional earlier than it’s emitted within the inside through the leisure sound system, thus making it potential to expertise the signature AMG sound.” The C63 has iron-rotor brakes with six-piston calipers up entrance and single-piston calipers within the rear, plus 4 ranges of regenerative braking starting from practically zero regen to full one-pedal driving.
Inside, it has screens and screens and ambient lighting and glossy trim and screens and screens.
Mercedes-AMG has not but revealed when the brand new C63 S E Efficiency will go on sale, nor has the automaker disclosed the worth. We will definitely study all of that data earlier than Mercedes invitations journalists to drive this automobile for themselves.
We’ve identified for awhile that Mercedes-AMG could be heading on this path. Massive V8s are going out of vogue (even when the AMG 4.0-liter V8 wasn’t that huge within the grand scheme of issues). Some gearheads will weep and gnash over this. But when the choice is stuff like this — a C-class with extra horsepower and torque than ever earlier than, with pure plug-in EV driving functionality and F1-inspired turbo and hybrid tech — it feels somewhat foolish crying over what’s gone to the previous.