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Mercedes-AMG is calling its new C 63 S E Performance “a new chapter in the history of our brand… a real game changer”.
The biturbo 4.0-litre V8 of the previous-generation C 63 S is gone. In its place is a plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with a two-speed electric motor on the rear axle, resulting in what AMG claims is the most powerful four-cylinder production car in the world (supplanting the company’s own A 45 S).
Combined system output is 500kW/1020Nm (previous V8: 375kW/700Nm), with the combination of electric propulsion and turbocharging bringing extreme performance “very spontaneously and without delay”.
The combination of the 150kW electric motor, two-speed gearbox and electronic limited-slip differential in a single compact drive unit is called a “P3 hybrid” layout (presumably because there are three components within the same structure).
The PHEV system is configured for performance rather than economy; pure-electric range is just 13km, although the C 63 S still achieves average fuel consumption of 6.9l/100km and 156g/km (so no Clean Car fine for Kiwi buyers). The company claims its high performance battery (HPB) technology is influenced by Formula One, with a “lively exchange of information” between the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Mercedes-AMG during the car’s development.
Both sedan and wagon can hit 100km/h in 3.4 seconds. The chassis features fully variable all-wheel drive and a Drift Mode for track use. The C 63 also gains rear axle steering for the time in this new model.
The C-Class body shell has been extensively modified for the new model: it’s 50mm longer at the front and the guards are wider. A slim air outlet in the bonnet transitions into two “powerdomes” and this C 63 S is the first AMG to feature a new badge, replacing the traditional Mercedes-Benz wreath.