Good grief, Mercedes has unveiled the long-awaited plug-in hybrid version of the Porsche Panamera-rivalling AMG GT 4dr, and the figures are beyond ridiculous.
To give it its full name, this is the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE. Much like the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, this PHEV will sit at the top of the GT 4dr range.
However, the Porsche makes do with a paltry 680hp, whilst the folk in Affalterbach have combined the usual AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with an F1-inspired high-performance battery and electric motor for a total of 842hp and 1,470Nm of torque.
We’ll repeat that just in case you glossed over it. That’s 842hp and 1,470Nm in a luxury four-door sedan/coupe thing. Madness. And if you needed yet another comparison, the non-hybrid GT 63 S makes 640hp.
AMG has used a P3 hybrid layout for the E Performance, which essentially means the electric motor sits on the rear axle with the battery above it. That battery is a 6.1kWh unit that weighs 89kg and Mercedes says has ‘twice the power density of conventional drive batteries’.
It has been designed for fast power delivery and maximum regeneration (there are four separate regen modes like on many EVs), so it’ll only do around 12km on electric power alone but the max 842hp is always available for all four wheels.
The setup also means optimised weight distribution, whilst direct battery cooling deploys a non-conductive liquid coolant that flows around all 560 cells individually so that EV power is never compromised. Complex, right?
The electric motor sends its power through a 2spd gearbox and an electronically controlled limited-slip diff to the rear wheels, although Merc’s 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system will steal some of its power for the front wheels if the rear begins to slip. The V8 still uses a 9spd dual shift gearbox, the 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in 2.9secs and top speed is 315km/h.
The PHEV gets a new front bumper and a rear bumper with an integrated charging port, as well as E Performance badges on the wings, but otherwise the looks remain fairly similar to before.
Being the new flagship means the E Performance comes with AMG’s RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension and ceramic brakes as standard, though, whilst the interior brings hybrid-specific displays and things like EV range and temperatures of the battery and electric motor on the instrument display.
An optional rear-seat screen can show your back seat passengers the same info too. Very cool.
There are seven drive modes – Electric (at speeds of up to around 81mph), Comfort, Sport, Sport+, RACE (which AMG feels the need to capitalise), Slippery and Individual.
There are also four settings for the AMG DYNAMICS system that uses sensors to ascertain the speed, lateral acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate to anticipate how the driver wants the car to behave. Those levels are Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master. No doubt everyone will be sticking it in Master straight away…
STORY Greg Potts