2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 Silences Doubters with a 671-HP Hybrid Wallop
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance swaps the old V-8 for a new plug-in-hybrid setup.
The powertrain uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four and an electric motor to combine for 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque.
AMG claims it will accelerate to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and go on to a top speed of 174 mph when properly equipped.
In the distant past, Mercedes might have called a car like this the 190E 2.0-16 Turbo, but in this time and age, 2.0 liters of displacement suffice for the model designation Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance. The "63" is an almost magical number, as it has traditionally stood for Mercedes and AMG V-8 engines of the highest order. But hey, that was the past.
The new C63 S, as we shall henceforth call it in the interest of brevity, utilizes a four-cylinder plug-in-hybrid powertrain to produce 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. It ends the era of compact V-8 sedans by AMG, which had begun with the W202 C43 AMG, included the wild C63 models with the legendary 6.2-liter V-8, and culminated with the outgoing C63 and its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8.
Why kill the V-8? First off, the new C-class isn’t designed for anything bigger than a four. But more importantly, the political and regulatory climate—especially in Europe—favors electric vehicles and hybrids. With the new plug-in-hybrid system, AMG has made the best out of the situation and added a remarkable number of performance-oriented features. Yes, the C63 can go 8 miles on electricity only, but that is not what this car or this powertrain is about.
Engine and Performance
It is, in fact, about immediate acceleration and extra boost via a "kick-down” feature that's reminiscent of current Formula 1 cars or video games. The numbers look good, too: The sprint to 60 mph takes a claimed 3.3 seconds, and top speed is governed at 155 or 174 mph.
The engine is the M139 turbocharged 2.0-liter four taken from the CLA45 and GLA45 models, tweaked to be longitudinally mounted, as it is in the C43 and SL43. But only in the C63 S does it come with an electrically assisted turbocharger, increasing its power to 469 horsepower. This engine is mated to the P3 hybrid system that we know from the GT63 S E-Performance, with a rear-mounted, 201-horsepower electric motor that operates through a two-speed transmission. The main gearbox is AMG’s nine-speed wet-clutch MCT transmission. And the power is channeled to all four wheels through an all-wheel-drive system. That goes for the electric motor as well: Even in fully electric mode, this is an all-wheel-drive car.
The driver can do a lot to tweak the character of this car. There are no less than eight driving modes, plus four modes for the regenerative braking. AMG hopes to make up for the loss of the V-8 sound through artificial sound effects, which are transmitted into the cabin for the benefit of the occupants and through external speakers for the benefit of bystanders. The press release speaks of a "low-frequency, speed-modulated sound."
Chassis and Body Modifications
The chassis has been tweaked extensively to cope with the power and weight of the C63 S. It tips the scales at a whopping 4654 pounds, which is S-class territory. The front axle and rear elastokinematics are AMG-exclusive and the steel suspension uses adaptive dampers that work in three distinct settings. Rear-wheel steering is always on board, for more agility at lower speeds and more stability at higher speeds.
The C63's body has been modified extensively, especially the front end. It is longer and wider than the regular C-class, and even the wheelbase has grown. An air outlet on the front hood serves as a visual indicator of this model’s status, as does the rear spoiler. For the first time, the hood sports AMG’s specific coat of arms. The C63 S has staggered-width tires measuring 265-width in the front and 275-width in the rear, and is available with either 19- or 20-inch wheels.
While other markets get a choice of sedan or station wagon, North America gets the sedan only. And that’s a pity, not just because the station wagon looks good, but also because it could have compensated for the loss of trunk space, as the battery and electric motor eat into the sedan's luggage compartment.
Moving towards a four-cylinder is daring, but perhaps inevitable for a brand that wants to stay relevant. The competition is diverse: Audi’s RS5 sticks to a turbocharged V-6, all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox; the BMW M3 has a straight-six and offers a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and manual or automatic transmission. Cadillac’s CT4-V Blackwing comes with a turbocharged V-6, rear-wheel drive, and a choice of transmissions, while Lexus is fitting its rear-wheel-drive, automatic-only IS500 with a classic, naturally aspirated V-8.
The only four-cylinder among the group, the C63 S offers standard all-wheel drive and, like every AMG, is automatic only. But it attempts to eclipse the competition with its hybrid functions—and far more horsepower than any of them.
You Might Also Like