That’s the big thing, then. Although the Mercedes-AMG range continues to diversify, from flat-topped supercars to seven-seat SUVs, nothing breaks down quite like the C63. Take one regular Mercedes van or wagon, install a great V8 engine, and watch the buyers pour in. The method extends to that C-Class AMG that existed before the W204 also C63, C55 and C43, which means switching from arguably more tradition here than anywhere else.
It’s some switching too. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 has been replaced by the M139’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder AMG A45 (and new C43), with an electrically powered exhaust gas turbo and 204-hp electric motor. Half the cylinder size and half cylinder size of the C63, but a massive increase in performance: It’s a C-Class with 680 horsepower (or 500 kW), with 752 lb-ft of system torque. They are staggering numbers. Only the engine alone generates 476 horsepower at 6750 rpm (or 238 horsepower per liter) and 402 lb-ft, supplemented by 204 hp and 236 lb-ft from the electric motor. (We don’t know how the system’s torque number was arrived at either; the technical information says it depends on the gear set.) Regardless of the power source, there is no doubt that the new C63 has traditionally outperformed the AMG. The saloon and estate both hit 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, with a potential for 174 mph depending on the top speed limiter. And that’s before tuners broke the set code – could this be the first 2.0-liter car in history capable of 200 mph?
Now, it’s clear that making the C63’s 680-horsepower, hybrid, four-cylinder engine, wasn’t a moment’s work, and neither is trying to explain it. During the installation of the C43, the ICE’s turbocharged engine was now fitted with a larger blower to increase output from 406 hp in that car to 476 hp now. Or the same amount that old supercharged V8 AMG ’55s used to collect back in the day. As AMG tradition has now become, the turbo is electrically assisted to help it spool faster and maintain boost pressure even when the throttle is raised; The output of the C63 specified here should cause some delay, so the engineers did everything to mitigate that. The belt-driven starter is also part of the ICE package again, starting the engine and taking care of the attachments. The familiar nine-speed MCT is a standard fit as well, as is the Drift-mode capable 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
Then you get a very new school Benz – ie very F1 inspired, very AMG E performance. The C63 follows the model set by the GT 63 SE Performance, where the goal of electrification is to significantly increase performance for minimal weight gain – rather than creating an AMG PHEV with a massive electric range. Key numbers are the C63 rated at 156 g/km, and 41 mpg with eight miles of electric range. But there is much more than that.
C63 Hybrid P3; The Electric Drive Unit (EDU) consists of a 204-horsepower engine, a two-speed gearbox, and electronically controlled limited slip on the rear axle. Above it is the 400-volt, 560-cell, 6.1 kWh battery, with a continuous output of 70 kW and 150 kW peaking for 10 seconds. Each individual liquid battery cell (!) is cooled by 14 liters of coolant to maintain its operating temperature at an average of 45 degrees no matter how you use it. “Even during fast laps in hybrid mode on the racetrack, where acceleration (discharging the battery) and deceleration (charging the battery) are frequent, the energy storage system retains its high performance capability.”
AMG points to some of the advantages of its hybrid design, with weight being key among them. The battery itself weighs 89 kg, which is 1.7 kW per kilo; It appears that conventional batteries without direct cooling are usually half as efficient. Moreover, since the motor is located on the rear axle, the electric motor can provide thrust instantly; The same goes for eLSD as well – everything can respond more quickly. The EDU site is also said to benefit weight distribution, and boasts a “very high recovery efficiency”. The C63 can be powered by purely electric power at 125 km/h, or 77 mph, with charging via a 3.7 kW charger (and four brake recovery modes), a charging station or at home.
How will all of this actually work? Lots of driving modes, for one thing – more than the usual AMG standard. There are eight of them now within the AMG Dynamic Select – electric, comfort, battery-mounted, sporty, sporty +, racing, slippery and individual, each differing in the amount of role the electric motor plays in addition to the usual AMG Ride Control suspension and steering parameters. Four-wheel steering is now standard on the C63 for the first time, too, with three weight-assist settings – Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The AMG Dynamics control system is also standard fit, with Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master customization differently for the different driving modes (or as per your choice in individual mode). AMG says the Race modes reduce yaw damping while boosting agility and feedback. Wound up to race with Master AMG Dynamics’ setup, the C63 offers “slightly over-steering balance to the vehicle, more direct steering and more fluid cornering behaviour.” The AMG impact isn’t just about software, as the C63 benefits from custom dampers, composite brakes and a front axle overhauled with new knuckles and control arms.
Interestingly, too, the newly electrified rear axle can manage traction before the electronic stability program intervenes, reducing the torque splitting the difference. It is calculated that this means stability control intervenes later or not at all, which should be good news. Drift Mode only got a passing cue in the C63 version, as we’re all supposed to be familiar with how that works by now.
More time, which is understandable, was devoted to how the C63 sounds. More important than ever, given the allure of the missing V8 engine. So there is a loudspeaker to warn pedestrians, while those inside are treated to an “immediately recognizable” AMG sound. This is accomplished by recording the engine sound before it is enriched (their words, ours now) and then sending it through the audio system (with some help from external speakers as well). Complicated, then, but what else did you expect?
Elsewhere, the new C63 is a reassuringly familiar AMG. It’s a more luxurious and moody C-Class, as is the ’63’—it doesn’t scream 680 horsepower at you, either as a four-door or five-door saloon. However, there are some changes once we get into the nitty-gritty. Both are built from “heavily modified” AMG shells, with wider front wings and an additional 50mm of length at the front end. Both models actually have an extra 10mm in the wheelbase, with the saloon 76mm longer than the standard overall and the wagon 83mm. The AMG bespoke grille is standard, and for the first time ever, the AMG badge replaces a Mercedes on the bonnet. There’s E Performance badges too, four exhausts in the best C63 tradition, standard 19-inch wheels and several exterior options: two carbon fiber packages, two AMG Night packages and an AMG Aerodynamics package. For those buyers who want to scream a little more around 700 HP.
The interior follows the exterior of a C-Class with a few AMG upgrades, including dedicated hybrid infotainment screens and an AMG Performance wheel with more buttons than ever before. The second generation of AMG Performance seats will be an option for C63 customers, as it features “seat side bolsters with weight-saving vents that also allow for better ventilation”. You won’t have to worry too much about dropping kilograms; Lightweight hybrid technology is still piling on, which means that by EC measurements, the C63 is a 2,111kg or 2,145kg saloon…
Aside from the bumper carb weight, there seems to be plenty to encourage, even for those of us who wear black V8 badges. Buzz didn’t stop the GT 4-door from being epic, and the A45 with a less powerful version of that engine is an unforgettable hot hatch. Plus, well, when was the last AMG anything less than stellar? We remain cautiously optimistic. If you’re inclined to strongly disagree, we refer you to AMG Technical Director Jochen Hermann: “With its high-performance hybrid and electrically assisted exhaust turbocharged, the new C 63 SE Performance is a masterpiece that takes a fresh approach. The powertrain offers a new driving experience. Absolutely.The immediate response of the electric motor in the rear axle, the rapid build-up of torque as well as the rapid power output as well as the intake of our battery are very special features.Add to this standard – fit the rear axle steering and fully variable all-wheel drive system with drift mode – the new C 63 demonstrates once again The other is the high level of technical expertise that AMG possesses.” Or in other words: heavy, extremely complex, outrageously strong and fast. Like AMG then.