The next Mercedes-AMG C63 won’t pack a fire-breathing V8, but…
Downsizing has been the name of Mercedes’ performance game these past few years. First the AMG C-Class lost its massive 6.2-liter V8 in favor of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo setup, and now the automaker is lopping off half that capacity in the upcoming C63 AMG. Yes, in case you missed it, Mercedes is shifting the entire C-Class lineup, including its tire-shredding AMG model to a turbocharged four-cylinder family.
Mind you, electrification will come into play here, and that’s what Mercedes just announced in the latest update on its hybrid powertrains. The gasoline engine, for its part, is no slouch in pulling its weight either. We’re talking about the new M139 2.0-liter engine that makes 416 horsepower in the CLA 45 S. In the Mercedes-AMG C63, though, it will get a bump to about 443 horsepower, as well as an electric turbocharger to maintain boost pressure, and make more consistent power. To make good on the “hybrid” part of performance hybrid, Mercedes-AMG will combine that engine with a 201 horsepower electric motor. The “Electric Drive Unit” on the rear axle makes that power and 236 lb-ft on its own, so working in tandem should result in a total power output well north of 600 horsepower.
For reference, the outgoing C63 manages 503 horsepower, so this will be quite a jump. At the very least, the extra oomph will offset the added weight, since the hybrid powertrain will make this C63 heavier than its predecessors. The electric motor alone, Mercedes says, weighs 196 pounds. While it is a rear-mounted unit, the motor can transfer power to the front wheels (as can the gas engine, through the standard 9-speed automatic transmission) when the car senses slip at the back.
But that’s not all
On the weight front, Mercedes used its F1 know-how to build a 6.1-kWh, 400-volt battery pack. Not only did that translate to direct cooling for all 560 battery cells — constantly circulating around 14 liters of coolant keeps the cells at a stable temperature of 45 degrees celsius no matter how hard you’re hammering the car on the track — but AMG can also use this technology with their V8 engine as well.
In both four-cylinder and eight-cylinder configurations, that rear drive unit uses a two-speed transmission to allow high-torque starts, and continuous pulling power at speeds above 87 mph.
Enter the Mercedes-AMG GT73, which you can see above. This model brings in “bi-turbo E-performance”, and you’ll be able to see that by a badge on the fender. Apart from just a bunch of words, though, the extra grunt from the V8 allows for a combined output of 804 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes says the AMG Performance models with these hybrid powertrains can stand on par with the most powerful V8 biturbo models today. They can achieve 0-60 in “well under 4.0 seconds”, while this GT73 can pull it off in under three seconds.
Not enough for you? If you have the means, the Project One hypercar (remember that?) will actually reach customers later this year, says Mercedes. For us mere mortals, here’s the message Mercedes-AMG is trying to convey. The old-school days of pure V8 power may be closing, but insane horsepower isn’t going anywhere thanks to electrification. The new AMG C63 and GT73? Oh yeah, they should be able to snap your neck the first time you try a 0-60 run.