New Mercedes-AMG C 63 S gets F1-derived hybrid tech

Mercedes’ latest super saloon ditches V8 muscle for a fuel-sipping plug-in hybrid powertrain

  • C 63 trades V8 for four-cylinder hybrid
  • Pure-electric range of eight miles
  • Due on sale towards the end of 2022

The hotly anticipated new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E-Performance has finally arrived. Based on the latest generation of Mercedes C-Class saloon and estate, the new C 63 is here to stir the pot in the performance car world as it has ditched the previous model’s muscular V8 petrol engine for a fuel-sipping plug-in hybrid powertrain.

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That’s not to say Merc’s latest creation is any less ludicrous than its predecessor. The car’s plug-in hybrid powertrain may only be based on the same four-cylinder engine as the A35 hot hatchback, but thanks to some F1-derived technology such as an electric exhaust gas turbocharger and rear-mounted electric motor, the C 63 S E-Performance produces a monstrous 671bhp – dwarfing the circa 500bhp outputs of the BMW M3 and Alfa Romeo Giuilia Quadrifoglio.

Thanks to all-wheel-drive grip and the instant torque from the electric motor, the new hot C-Class can get from 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds – faster than even Merc’s own range-topping Mercedes-AMG SL 63 roadster. If you keep your foot down, the new C 63 S will accelerate onto a top speed of 155mph — although, this can be increased to 173mph with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

While the new hybrid C 63 certainly won’t sound as good as its V8 predecessor, Merc claims the new car is much more fuel efficient. The German brand claims the new car will be able to average around 40mpg on the combined WLTP test cycle. While the standard C 300 e plug-in hybrid offers a class-leading pure-electric range of around 60 miles, the C 63 S E-Performance will only be able to manage around eight miles on electric power alone. This is because the hybrid system, while beneficial to fuel economy, is more focused on performance than it is efficiency.

Due to its heavy electrical components, the new Mercedes-AMG Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E-Performance weighs just over two tonnes – around 400kg more than the old model. To counteract a potential deficit to handling, all cars come fitted with carbon composite brakes for improved stopping power, rear-wheel steering for improved turn-in at low speeds and a clever adaptive suspension setup. This can slacken off the dampers to improve comfort and stiffen them up when the car is in its ‘Sport’ or ‘Track’ mode for sharper handling.

Over the regular C-Class, the C 63 has purposeful styling additions, with jutting side skirts and a model-specific grille with vertical strakes. The bootlid plays host to a prominent lip spoiler, and, like all true AMG models, the rear is dominated by an aggressive diffuser and a quad-tailpipe setup. On the inside, there is a small rotary dial and screen on the steering wheel to select different drive modes, while the seats have integrated headrests and are much more figure-hugging than the ones in the standard C-Class.

Mercedes is yet to announce pricing, or when the new C 63 will go on sale. However, we expect order books to open by the end of this year, with the new car starting from over £80,000.

Looking for something that’s fast and frugal to run? Check out our list of the top 10 best hybrid and electric sports cars

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