Bad news first: The The era of the V8 at Mercedes-AMG is officially over. The thunderous M177 4.0-litre twin-turbo eight-cylinder it is powered all AMG 63-series muscle machines since 2015 is not long for this land. Here’s what’s replacing it: A Formula 1-inspired hybrid drivetrain that marries the most powerful in the world production car four cylinders (with an electrically assisted turbocharger, no less) for an electric motor driving the rear axle via a two-speed gearbox. In the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance, the first AMG to sport the all-new transmission, that means a maximum of 671 hp and a whopping 752 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, that will help us get over the loss of the V8.
The all-new C63 marks a whole new era at AMG, a company that has spent nearly half a century turning Mercedes V8s into noisy tire shredders. The extremely elaborate transmission of the ’24 C63 starts from an impressive base: the M139L 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, first developed by AMG for the Mercedes-AMG A45, CLA45 and GLA45. In these models, the small turbo engine was the most powerful four-cylinder ever fitted to a production vehicle, developing 416 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Now, thanks to a clever electric turbocharged, this engine develops even more power: 469 hp at 6,750 rpm and 402 lb-ft from 5,000 to 5,500 rpm. That means the 1,991cc M139L breaks its own record as the most powerful production four-cylinder in history, producing a hair under 235 bhp per liter of displacement – or in other words, a touch more than 117 hp per cylinder.
This output is provided by a newly enlarged turbo with electric assist, meaning the turbo can spool up on electric power before exhaust pressure takes over, helping to eliminate lag and create responsive sharper. This is the first production car application of this electric turbocharger technology, which comes directly from today’s Formula 1 hybrid drivetrains and takes advantage of the new C63’s 400-volt electric architecture.
Of course, the huge new turbocharger isn’t the only example of increased electric power. The new C63 features a 201 horsepower, 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, the gasoline engine running through AMG’s nine-speed automatic transmission with a wet clutch in instead of a torque converter for more lively acceleration and gear changes.
According to Mercedes, the new muscular sedan can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and power from the longitudinally mounted petrol engine and rear axle electric motor can be transferred to the front axle when the rear wheels skate. The two-speed gearbox that transmits torque from the rear axle motor shifts automatically depending on speed and load; the lower of the two gears is good down to 87 mph. The engine 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 the axle motor sits 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 to fast feed and draw rather than the longest possible range.
The new C63 bears a passing resemblance to lesser C-Class sedans, but gets a ton of AMG-specific changes. The wheelbase was stretched 0.4 inches, with the front body stretched 2.2 inches. Overall, the new C63 is three inches wider at the front fenders and 3.3 inches longer from nose to tail. The new hybrid muscle sedan rolls on 19-inch staggered wheels and tires as standard, with 20 optional.
The compact performance sedan comes standard with rear-wheel steering, which makes the car more agile in tight corners and more stable during high-speed maneuvers on the highway, and rides on the AMG Ride Control adaptive suspension of Mercedes with steel springs. The new C63 offers eight drive modes: Electric, Comfort, Battery Boost, Sport, Sport+, Race, Slippery and Individual, each altering drivetrain power, steering, suspension and sound.
Because, yes, it’s a four-cylinder hybrid, and that means AMG had to resort to increased transmission noise to replace the pounding growl of that old twin-turbo V8. A single speaker in the front bumper and a dual-speaker soundbar in the rear emit warning noises when the C63 drives in pure EV mode; when moving under internal combustion power, the system picks up the sound from a pressure sensor in the exhaust system and “enriches[es] further before it is emitted to the interior via the entertainment audio system, thus allowing the AMG signature sound to be experienced. The C63 features iron rotor brakes with six-piston front and single-piston rear calipers, as well as four levels of regenerative braking ranging from near-zero regen to full one-pedal riding. .
Inside, there are screens and screens and ambient lighting and high-gloss trim and screens and screens.
Mercedes-AMG has yet to reveal when the new C63 SE Performance will go on sale, nor has the automaker revealed pricing. We will certainly learn all this information before Mercedes invites journalists to drive this vehicle for themselves.
We’ve known for some time that Mercedes-AMG would go in this direction. Big V8s are out of fashion (even though the AMG 4.0-liter V8 was not this big in the grand scheme of things). Some gearheads will cry and squeal about it. But if the alternative is this stuff – a C-Class with more power and torque than ever before, with pure plug-in electric driving capability and F1-inspired turbo and hybrid technology – that’s kinda silly. to cry over what has gone to the past.
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