The all-new Mercedes-AMG C63 has been revealed in pre-production guise at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring in Germany. The popular BMW M3 rival will switch from a V8 to a four-cylinder hybrid for the upcoming generation, which will be unveiled globally in the coming months.
- New C63 will have the most powerful 4-cyl engine
- Expected to have a total power output of around 680hp
- To get all-wheel drive and AMG-specific styling
Next-gen Mercedes-AMG C63: cleaner, greener and more powerful
The C63 will be the first AMG model to feature an advanced four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain instead of its long-standing V8 power. The car will be one in a line of future AMG models earmarked to receive an electrified version of Mercedes’ new 2.0-litre, turbocharged M139 engine.
The potent four-cylinder engine kicks out a maximum of 421hp in non-electrified form in the new Mercedes-AMG A 45 and its related siblings. The unit has already been engineered for longitudinal mounting as well as mild-hybrid electric boosting. This engine, in fact, will also be used in the next-gen Mercedes-AMG C43 in a lesser state of tune.
Mercedes has confirmed to our sister publication Autocar UK that the petrol unit has been tuned to produce 476hp for the new C63 – making it the most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production. It will then be paired with a 204hp EV motor on the rear axle – a set-up Mercedes refers to as the 'P1' drivetrain – to give an expected total figure of 680hp, 169hp more than the BMW M3, which is its closest rival. This is despite a 50 percent reduction in swept capacity and cylinder count. The new EQ Boost hybrid drivetrain is also planned to run in combination with Mercedes’ nine-speed torque-converter MCT Speedshift gearbox. The entire C-Class range is powered exclusively by electrified four-cylinder engines, with plug-in and mild-hybrid technology rolled out across the range for better efficiency, and thus, reduced emissions.
The decision to provide the C63 4Matic with four-cylinder power was apparently driven by Mercedes-Benz as part of its rapidly escalating efforts to reduce fleet CO2 emissions while harnessing the engineering lessons pursued during the development of the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar.
Spotted by our sister publication Autocar UK, the next-gen C63 was on show at the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring over the weekend, emphatically marked out from the standard Mercedes C-Class by way of an aggressive body kit, chunky AMG sports alloy wheels (covering the requisite drilled and ventilated brake discs) and a beefy quad-exit exhaust.
Next-gen Mercedes-AMG C63: to get AWD for the first time
Additionally, the new powerplant’s weight is concentrated lower, which aids efforts to bring about a lower centre of gravity for the new model, theoretically improving its agility and body control. Further development plans for the next-gen C63 4Matic include a new four-wheel drive system to provide a fully variable apportioning of power front to rear. This will allow AMG to engineer the new model with rear-wheel-drive properties in certain driving modes like the larger Mercedes-AMG E 63. AMG has indicated that all its next-generation models will adopt this system and move away from pure rear-driven models due to customer demand for all-wheel drive.
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class has just gone on sale in India. We expect the all-new AMG C63 to make it to our shores sometime next year.
Do you think the next-gen C63 will provide the similar thrills as the outgoing V8-powered model? Let us know in the comments below.