Four-pot AMG C-Class arrives with 500kW of hybridised performance
MERCEDES-AMG is weaning itself off ICE cars and is having a bet each way with its latest C63 hybrid petrol/electric performance sedan and wagon, details of which were released this week in Europe.
The company already builds pure electric performance models using the EQ nomenclature.
The highly regarded C63 (also coupe and cabrio later on) moves this time around to 2.0-litre turbo petrol power augmented by an integrated electric boost motor to achieve performance well over and above any of the previous ICE cars.
So it’s bye-bye to a V8-powered, rear wheel drive Mercedes-AMG C63 in what will undoubtedly be replicated across the entire AMG range.
This is a big step away from the original C63 front-mounted V8/rear-wheel drive formula so popular with die-hard enthusiasts and has nothing at all to do with 63 anything. The new incumbent from Affalterbach also gains all-wheel drive along with the four pot engine.
Apart from undoubted super-car performance with the new powertrain, importantly, the new ‘green’ Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance, is capable of a combined fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100km with combined CO2 emissions of 156g/km along with electricity consumption of 11.7kWh/100km. All figures are way less than the outgoing ICE car.
It’s an understatement to say the arrival of this new-era AMG C63 is a real game changer in the 55-year history of AMG.
To achieve the desired level of “green” performance AMG transposed technologies and state of the art know-how, gleaned from Formula 1 to the road for the new C63. The car has a two-speed electric motor positioned on the rear axle to support the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine mounted longitudinally at the front.
AMG says this is the most powerful production four-cylinder in the world rated at a specific output of 176kW per litre, an un-heard-of number only a few short years ago and indicative of the high-end metallurgy, engineering and advanced design used within the car’s engine.
According to Mercedes-AMG: “Power delivery and torque build-up occur spontaneously and without delay.”
“As in Formula 1, electric support of the turbocharger eliminates turbo lag in the combustion engine, while at the same time the electric drive pushes powerfully from a standstill. The electric powertrain and the high-performance battery with 400 volts are AMG-exclusive, in-house developments.”
Again, as in F1, the battery is designed for fast power output and draw with innovative direct cooling of the cells. The combined system output is 500kW with maximum system torque 1020Nm both numbers completely out punching the previous ICE C63…. by a long shot.
That car was good for 375kW and 700Nm from a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 petrol engine driving the rear wheels through a nine-speed automated gearbox.
It was easily capable of a sub 5.0-second 0-100km/h sprint going as low as 4.3 seconds on some variants.
The latest C63 hybrid model will probably eclipse that though significantly more weight may tell against it. AMG is claiming a 0-100 km/h sprint in 3.4 seconds and an electronically governed v-max of 280 km/h.
As already mentioned, the new model series has, for the first time, a fully variable all-wheel drive system called AMG Performance 4MATIC+ that includes a Drift Mode for fun at the track. Going further down the sports driving path is active rear axle steering as standard.
Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH said: “With the C63 S E Performance we are opening a new chapter in the history of our brand. Even 55 years after our company was founded, we at AMG continue to show the boldness and the will to realise the creative, to deliver something special.”
“The new C63 in particular is a real game changer. With its revolutionary concept, it brings a completely new approach to the segment, which until now has been primarily characterised by the promise purely of performance.
“With a maximum system output of 680hp (500kW), we do indeed keep this promise. But the intelligent P3 hybrid concept offers much more. I am sure that with this technology, which incorporates a lot of know-how from Formula 1, we will also appeal to a new group of customers.”
Jochen Hermann, Chief Technical Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH said: “With its Performance hybrid drive and electrically assisted exhaust turbocharger, the new C63 S E Performance is a technological masterpiece that takes a new approach.”
“The electrified powertrain offers a whole new driving experience. The immediate response of the electric drive at the rear axle, the rapid torque build-up as well as the fast power output and also draw of our battery are very special features.
“Add to this the standard-fit rear axle steering and the fully variable all-wheel drive with Drift Mode – the new C63 once again illustrates the high level of technical expertise that AMG possesses.”
Eight AMG Dynamic Select driving modes – Electric, Comfort, Battery Hold, Sport, Sport+, Race, Slippery and Individual – are available.
According to Mercedes-AMG the design of the new C63 S differs from that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in its more muscular proportions. The Saloon (sedan) and Estate (wagon) models are both based on an extensively modified AMG body shell.
The front end is 50 millimetres longer and the front wings are wider. All in all, the overall exterior dimensions differ considerably from those of the regular C-Class. In terms of length, the Saloon and Estate measure an extra 83mm.
The wider track width at the front axle results in 76mm more overall width at the front. And the wheelbase has grown by 10mm. The effect is to give new C63 S a powerful, stretched and muscular look.
The vehicle series is further distinguished by the slim air outlet in the centre of the bonnet that transitions elegantly into the two power domes.
Further elements include the AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical struts and the AMG front apron in jet-wing design. Large inlets and air curtains direct the airflow specifically to its various functions. Two electronically controlled air panels (behind the radiator grille and in the front apron) allow the air to be regulated as required.
Matching side skirts, the rear apron with large diffuser as well as the two trapezoidal, externally ribbed dual tailpipe trims round off the design.
Exclusive details at the rear include the special airflow breakaway edge on the boot lid (roof spoiler on the Estate), the plug-in charging flap and the model designation set against a red background. The E Performance badge on the wings indicates the hybrid drive.
The C63 S rolls on 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels and mixed tyres as standard. Optional wheel/tyre combinations are available in 20-inch size, likewise with mixed tyres, among them a new forged wheel.
Inside are AMG sports seats with special upholstery layout and a distinctive stitching pattern. Many individual choices available for the interior. Exclusive colours and various nappa leather upholsteries with an embossed AMG emblem in the front head restraints serve to emphasise either the sporty or the luxurious side of the C63 S.
The MBUX infotainment system includes various AMG- and hybrid-specific displays and functions. These include special displays in the instrument cluster, on the portrait-orientation multimedia central display in the centre console and on the optional head-up display.
The appearance of the instrument cluster can be personalised with different display styles and individually selectable main views.
Addressing the issue of delivering that quintessential AMG soundtrack is a specially composed, low-frequency and speed- modulated AMG sound emitted to the outside via a loudspeaker at the front and a soundbar with two loudspeakers at the rear. The sound can also be heard at a subdued level in the interior, as acoustic feedback for the passengers.
Pricing details will be available closer to the Australian launch.
Keyword: Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance unleashed