One of the worst-kept secrets of recent times has been confirmed from the horse’s mouth; the next Mercedes-AMG C 63 will not be powered by a V8.
It’s another nail in the coffin of eight-cylinder performance cars, as European brands prepare to carve CO2 emissions out of their line-ups in order to adhere to more stringent legislation and potential ICE bans.
In the place of a V8 will be a turbocharged four-cylinder paired to an electric motor and hybrid system. The motor is based on the same M139 2.0-litre from the pint-sized A 45, but with power upped to as much as 350kW (a 40kW jump over the 45’s 310kW).
The improvement in power is thanks in part to the addition of an F1-inspired turbocharger that features a built-in electric motor, designed to reduce turbo lag. Mercedes has done plenty of work in the integration arena. Its current A 250 e plug-in hybrid features a similar ethos — its 8-speed transmission and electric motor are built into the single unit.
That 350kW isn’t the outright output, though. It’s claimed that, combined with the 150kW electric motor mounted to the rear axle, the next-gen C 63 will have 480kW of peak power on tap. That’s a handy chunk more power than the current C 63 S’s 375kW — even with the reduction in cylinders.
The actual power figures that the C 63’s new powertrain will generate are all to be taken with a grain or two of salt, somewhat. Most quoted numbers above are measured at peak output, but Mercedes has also quoted how much power each element produces during standard use.
The electric motor, for instance, will produce 70kW most of the time. Others, like WhichCar, have estimated that the car’s final stated power figure is likely to take a dive from that 480kW figure.
The other key change is that the C 63 will no longer be rear-wheel drive. Instead the next model will be all-wheel drive, a first for the nameplate. The 4Matic system is likely to be geared to provide some form of rear-bias play for the driver, if it’s anything like the system hooked to the E 63.
The model could also end up being a plug-in hybrid. Mercedes has not confirmed this, noting only that the electric motor is paired to a 7.1kWh li-ion battery (sporting twice the density of a standard battery) and that the model will feature some form of EV mode. A C 63 with an EV mode, eh. How time flies.