New Mercedes-AMG C 63 goes hybrid

Ben Chia

Mercedes-AMG has unveiled the new C 63, which gets hybrid power for the first time, as well as world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine; likely Singapore arrival 2023 


Mercedes-AMG has announced the new C 63, which ditches its predecessor’s iconic V8 powerplant for an all-new hybrid drivetrain. Details for Singapore have not been confirmed but the car is likely to arrive here some time next year.

The car’s full name is the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance, and it features a hybrid setup that consists of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 476hp up front, and an electric motor with 204hp at the rear axle. The total combined output is rated at 680hp, which is a massive 170hp bump over the outgoing C 63 S, and the new car can go from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds.

The turbocharger in the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which Mercedes says is the most powerful of its kind fitted to any production car today, features an F1-derived electric motor that runs off the car’s 400-volt electrical system to minimise turbo lag. The hybrid portion of the drivetrain meanwhile consists of a lithium-ion battery that powers the rear axle-mounted electric motor, a two-speed gearbox, and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.

Like most hybrids, the C 63’s batteries are recharged primarily via regenerative braking, which can generate over 100kW of electrical power to send back to the battery, selectable via four different regenerative braking settings. Alternatively, the batteries can also be recharged via the 3.7 kW on-board AC charger, or by plugging the car into a charging wallbox or public charger.

However, the C 63 is not like a regular plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and the car only offers an electric driving range of 13km. As AMG product manager Arne Wiebking said, “This car is not made to drive fully electric for long distances. This car is made for performance.” To that end, the electric motor is able to provide a continuous output of 70kW, and a peak output of 150kW for 10 seconds.

The car offers no less than eight different driving modes, spanning from ‘Electric’ to ‘Race’, depending on how the driver intends to use the car. Electric mode allows the car to drive purely using the electric motor at speeds of up to 125km/h, but only up to a distance of 13km. There’s also a Battery Hold mode which will hold the battery’s charge, and limit its use to low loads, such as slow speed acceleration. Race mode meanwhile will set both the engine and electric motor to deliver maximum power for track use.

For the first time, the C 63 is now four-wheel-drive, following in the footsteps of its German performance rivals the Audi RS 4 and BMW M3. Power is sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox, and the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system is able to vary the torque split between the axles depending on the drive mode. There is also a drift mode which sends the power to the rear wheels only, but the car will be primarily four wheel driven, with power coming from both the petrol engine and the electric motor.

For better handling balance and precision. the C 63 also gets four-wheel steering, which can let the rear wheels turn 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 100km/h, and up to 0.7 degrees in the same direction at speeds above that.

Other performance enhancements include electronically adjustable dampers that allows for better control and a more comfortable ride, as well as high performance composite brakes with 6-piston fixed callipers at the front and 1-piston floating callipers at the rear.

Externally, the C 63 is distinguished by its wider front wheel arches, as well as aerodynamic styling elements like the aggressive air vents in the lower front bumper, and the AMG grille that incorporates active shutters that can modulate cooling for the engine. Other highlights include the distinctive air outlet on the bonnet, while the rear is relatively more subdued with its quad exhaust pipes and a small boot spoiler.

Inside, the C 63 gets special AMG sports seats with a distinctive stitching pattern, while there is also the option of the lightweight AMG Performance seats which include side bolsters and openings that allow for better ventilation. There is also an AMG-specific MBUX multimedia system which can display information such as steering angle and brake pedal actuation, among other things, while driving on the track.


AMG c63 electric EV Hybrid Mercedes PHEV sedan sports

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's print editor went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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