The V8 is no more! Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance heralds a new era with electrically-assisted 2.0 in-line four
Singapore - The idea of right-sizing is not a new thing, and we already experienced this in the past, with the down-sizing of AMG’s natural-breathing V8, from a six-point-something-something litre, to what we are now used to, a 4.0 V8 with twin-hair dryers.
The whole idea of shrinking this to an in-line four is probably going to be harder to swallow, especially for those who know what soulfulness a thumping V8 brings to the table.
But yeah… eventual net zero targets mean that automotive brands are increasingly forced to walk on a thinner tightrope, to bring cars which still can excite its buyers. So the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance is a result of this push. And you know all that money spent on Formula 1? Well it comes into play here. The top of the food chain C-Class gets the world’s most powerful production electrically assisted turbocharged 2.0 in-line four, paired to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission (Multi-Clutch Transmission). The in-line four is the same hand-assembled one found in both the CLA 45 and GLA 45 cars; it also gets a rear-mounted 400V two-speed electric motor, which upshifts at 13,500rpm. The electric whiz-bang bits, ups (system) power from previously, 503hp to what is now 680hp, while you get combined system torque of 1020Nm. This allows you to reach 100km/h in 3.4 seconds, though the electronically governed top speed of 280km/h is probably unreachable along Sepang’s longest straight.
There is more give here, BUT there is a big BUT. You will need to charge that AMG in-house developed 6.1kWh battery, in-order for things to work (properly). The pure-electric range of the car is 13km, meaning that you have no issue driving out of your estate before opening up that engine. Interestingly, Mercedes-AMG has also fed four levels of energy regeneration, allowing you more choice on how you would like to set the car up.
All that said, the small n’ mighty Merc is no longer a rear-driven car. I can now almost hear the disapprobation of RWD “purists”; but the deed is done! Affalterbach’s engineers have also fed in rear axle steer for a more dynamic handling package, and you can easily flick the C 63 S sideways, once drift mode is dialled in. There is also ‘Race’ drive mode, among the eight drive modes available, if you want to unleash all the AMG car has got, during track days, and if you do need to overtake… like real quickly, there is also a boost function.
Externally, the AMG car does not get bunged-out side haunches like you may find in the BMW M3 or Audi RS4 Avant. In-fact, it uses almost the same body shell as the vanilla sedan. Speaking of body shells, yes, there is also an estate too, but we are unsure if this one will reach our shores.
Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance
Engine 1991cc, inline4, with electrically assisted exhaust gas turbocharging
Engine Power/rpm 476hp/6750rpm
Engine Torque/rpm 545Nm/5250-5500rpm
Electric Motor Power 204hp
Electric Motor Torque 320Nm
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G
Top Speed 280km/h Electronically Limited