Mercedes-AMG C63 2024 Silences Doubts with the 671-HP Wallop Hybrid

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  • The Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance 2024 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 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque.
  • AMG claims it will accelerate to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 174 mph when properly equipped.

In the past, Mercedes might have called a car like this the 190E 2.0-16 Turbo, but in this day and age, the 2.0 liter capacity is sufficient for the model designation Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance. “63” is an almost magical number, as it traditionally represents the highest-ranking Mercedes and AMG V-8 engines. But hey, that’s in the past.

The new C63 S, as we’ll mention next for the sake of brevity, uses a four-cylinder plug-in-hybrid powertrain to produce 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. This ended the era of compact V-8 sedans by AMG, which had begun with the W202 C43 AMG, including the wild C63 model with the legendary 6.2-liter V-8, and culminating with the outgoing C63 and its twin-turbo 4.0. liter V-8.

Why kill the V-8? First, the new C class isn’t designed for anything bigger than four. But more importantly, the political and regulatory climate, especially in Europe, favors electric and hybrid vehicles. With its new plug-in-hybrid system, AMG has made the best of this situation and added a number of outstanding performance-oriented features. Yes, the C63 can go 8 miles on electricity alone, but that’s not what this car or powertrain is all about.

Engine and Performance

In fact, it’s about immediate acceleration and an extra boost via a “kick-down” feature reminiscent of today’s Formula 1 cars or video games. The numbers also look good: Sprinting to 60 mph takes a claimed 3.3 seconds, and the top speed is set at 155 or 174 mph.

The engine is an M139 turbocharged 2.0-liter four taken from the CLA45 and GLA45 models, tweaked to be mounted longitudinally, as on 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 we know from the GT63 S E-Performance, with a rear-mounted 201-horsepower electric motor operating via a two-speed transmission. The main gearbox is an AMG nine-speed wet clutch MCT transmission. And the power is channeled to all four wheels through an all-wheel-drive system. That’s also true of electric motors: Even in fully electric mode, it’s an all-wheel-drive car.

The driver can do many things to change the character of this car. There are no less than eight driving modes, plus four modes for regenerative braking. AMG hopes to make up for the V-8’s loss of sound through artificial sound effects, which are transmitted into the cabin for the benefit of passengers and through external speakers for the benefit of bystanders. The press release talks about “low frequency, speed modulated sound.”

Chassis and Body Modification

The chassis has been extensively tweaked to cope with the strength and weight of the C63 S. It weighs in at 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 different settings. Rear wheel steering is always available, for better agility at lower speeds and better stability at higher speeds.

The body of the C63 has been extensively modified, especially the front. It’s longer and wider than the regular C-class, and even the wheelbase has been increased. The vents on the front hood serve as a visual indicator of the status of this model, as does the rear spoiler. For the first time, the hood features a special AMG badge. The C63 S has tires measuring 265 at the front and 275 at the rear, and is available with 19 or 20-inch wheels.

While other markets get a choice of sedans or station wagons, North America only gets sedans. And that’s a shame, not only because the station wagon looks good, but also because it compensates for the loss of luggage space, as the battery and electric motor eat up the sedan’s trunk compartment.

The move towards four cylinders is bold, but perhaps inevitable for a brand that wants to stay relevant. The competition is mixed: the Audi RS5 sticks to a turbocharged V-6, all-wheel drive and automatic gearbox; The BMW M3 has straight six and offers a choice of rear or all-wheel drive and a manual or automatic transmission. The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing comes with a turbocharged V-6, rear-wheel drive and transmission options, while Lexus pairs a rear-wheel drive, automatic IS500 only with a classic naturally aspirated V-8.

The only four-cylinder in the group, the C63 S offers standard all-wheel drive and, like every AMG, only automatic. But it tries to cover the competition with its hybrid functionality — and far more horsepower than the rest.

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