The switch from V-8 to 4-cylinder power in the Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 is imminent, and it will add a plug-in hybrid system, all-wheel drive, improved fuel economy, and faster acceleration, but it will also add 780 lb.
Mercedes revealed the 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S E Performance sedan on Wednesday, and detailed the new turbo-4 plug-in hybrid powertrain developed with know-how from Mercedes’ Formula 1 program. The combination will produce 671 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque, and make the car capable of a 0-60 mph sprint of an estimated 3.3 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of up to 174 mph.
The new compact performance sedan will feature a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that will employ an electric exhaust gas turbocharger to help it produce 469 hp on its own. The turbo runs on the car’s 400-volt electrical architecture, which allows it to spool up quickly and reduce turbo lag. An electric motor will add up to 201 hp for 10-second stints to bring the total to 671 hp. The rear motor can also add 92 hp of continuous power.
The motor is found on the rear axle and is part of an assembly that includes a 2-speed transmission (that switches gears at 87 mph) and a limited-slip differential. A mechanical link via the all-wheel-drive system’s propellor shaft also allows the rear motor to send power to the front when needed, such as when the rear wheels slip. Mercedes AMG calls it the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system and includes a drift mode for when the rear tires just have too much tread.
A 6.1-kwh battery feeds the rear motor, and Mercedes says it’s been developed to deliver heady shots of power regularly. It can enable a very modest 8 miles of electric driving range (yet to be confirmed on the U.S. EPA cycle), and is recharged via a 3.7-kw onboard charger.
The M139 turbo-4 engine comes from the AMG A 45 and CLA 45, where it sits transversely up front. In the C 63 S E Performance, it sits longitudinally and is hooked to AMG’s 9-speed dual-clutch transmission that uses a wet clutch instead of a torque converter. The hybrid turbo-4 powertrain won’t sound like a V-8, but the sound from the exhaust will be enhanced and run through the speakers.
Mercedes-AMG will provide eight driving modes: Electric, Comfort, Battery Hold, Sport, Sport+, Race, Slippery, and programmable Individual. Drivers will also have a choice of four brake regeneration modes, labeled Levels 0-3. They’ll range from no regeneration to one-pedal driving, and the Race mode will default to the Level 1 mode, which approximates the drag produced by an automatic transmission.
The C 63 S E Performance will come with steel springs and adaptive dampers. Engineers increased the diameter of the dampers to improve ride quality, and they will come with three firmness settings. Standard rear-axle steering will turn the rear tires up to 2.5 degrees opposite of the fronts at speeds up to 62 mph and up to 0.7 degree with the fronts above that number. The brakes will use 6-piston front calipers and single-piston rear calipers, but Mercedes-AMG has yet to confirm the size of the rotors.
Compared to the standard C-Class, the C63’s front end is 2.0 inches longer, the body is 3.3 inches longer, and the front fenders are wider to accommodate a 3.0-inch wider front track. The wheelbase is 0.4 inch longer. A Mercedes-AMG representative said the body has 8-10 measures to make it stronger and estimates that it’s 20% to 30% stiffer longitudinally than the outgoing model.
While the car will carry much more weight than the model it replaces, the battery and motor at the rear end will give it a near-perfect 48/52 front/rear weight balance.
Mercedes showed just the sedan, but coupe and convertible body styles are likely to return. A wagon will be offered as well, though Mercedes hasn’t confirmed it’s coming to the U.S. Up front, the sedan gets a hood vent, a round black AMG badge instead of the Mercedes three-pointed star, and a unique grille and front fascia with active shutters behind the grille. The sides have pronounced skirts, and the rear features a diffuser and two trapezoidal tailpipes. The car rides on staggered 19-inch wheels standard, with optional 20s, including a set a forged wheels.
Inside, the C 63 S E Performance has standard sport seats or newly designed second-generation AMG Performance seats with open side bolsters. The digital instrument cluster and portrait-style center infotainment screen add hybrid and AMG displays and functions, including an AMG-specific Supersport theme for the instrument cluster.
The 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S E Performance will go on sale in the U.S. in the second half of next year. Prices have not yet been announced.
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