A shout out to the impressive V-8 engines that made it Mercedes-AMG C63 Such a stormy sports sedan. They will be missed. Now make way for 2024 C63 S e-performance, which will go on sale next year with a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid system good for a combined 671 horsepower. Traditionalists may not be happy, but short of stealing one from the company AMG One A hypercar, this is as close as mere mortals can get to experiencing a Formula 1-inspired powertrain on the street.
Pop the C63’s hood, and the source of the car’s fire and brimstone is revealed to be a longitudinally mounted 2.0-liter turbo four that produces an absurd 234.5 horsepower per liter—a total of 469, or the same as the outgoing C63’s twin-turbo 4.0. -liter V-8 built in standard tune. That power comes with no apparent lag, thanks to an electric motor on a shaft connecting the turbocharger’s compressor and turbine wheels. Powered by a 400-volt electrical architecture that also drives a belt-driven starter-generator, the motor helps the turbo spin almost instantly to 150,000 rpm, producing an insane 37.7 psi of boost. While the loss of the previous model’s V-8 acoustics is truly sad, the raspy thrum of this new M139l four-banger sounds ferocious at its 6750-rpm power peak, even if you choose to amplify it through speakers inside and out. car.
Grunt from this hand-assembled four ways to AMG’s nine-speed automatic transmission with a clutch pack in place of a torque converter. From there, it’s on to the newly added variable 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system with a tire-smoking drift setting that locks the front axle. The C63’s hybrid drive unit—a beefy electric motor with its own two-speed gearbox, plus an electronically controlled limited-slip differential—is located on the rear axle and can power all four wheels in EV mode. Above that sits a 196-pound lithium-ion battery with a usable capacity of 4.8 kWh, shrinking this C-Class’ trunk volume from 13 cubic feet to 10.
Quick power delivery is the strategy of the hybrid system: the drive unit is rated for a continuous 94 horsepower or a jolt of 201 horses for 10 seconds when you push the accelerator past its kick-down detent. EV range is only eight miles in the optimistic European cycle, though the C63 accelerates well on the Electron-only to 81 mph. A 3.7-kW onboard AC charger can recharge the battery in about two hours via a 220-volt outlet.
In normal driving, the new C63 falls far short of that A rear-drive-only model changes that. It hums quietly on power or with a muffled four-cylinder throb, its improved coil-spring suspension soaking up many of the bumps that previously sent shivers down its occupants’ spines. Standard rear-wheel steering that turns up to 2.5 degrees helps with both low-speed maneuverability and high-speed composure, while a front track that’s 3.1 inches wider than the lesser C-Class helps it plant during big directional changes. The pedals controlling the six-piston front and single-piston rear brakes (carbon-ceramic front rotors will be available after launch) have a firm, positive feel that is lacking. C300 model machine stoppers. Overall, the C63 is 3.6 inches longer than the standard car and rides on a 0.4 inch longer wheelbase. A few E-Performance badges and subtle hood vents are key. Inside, you’ll find a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an 11.9-inch central touchscreen with bolstered AMG sport seats, plus display and hybrid system readouts.
No fewer than eight drive modes manipulate the C63’s engine and drivetrain, three-position adaptive dampers, steering sensitivity and stability control via two control pods on the steering wheel. Although kick-down boost is always available, the rear drive unit otherwise contributes 25 percent of its potential in Comfort mode, 65 percent in Sport and 80 percent in Sport+ and Race. There are also individual, slippery and electric modes, plus a battery hold setting that overdrives the gas engine to maintain the desired state of charge. Tapping the right steering-wheel pod offers four levels of regenerative braking, from zero to near one-pedal operation.
Unleashed on the mountain roads of southern Spain, the C63’s obsessive engineering starts to make sense. Its front-to-rear weight distribution, coupled with rear-axle steering and nicely weighted steering, helps it attack corners with solid grip and sharp reflexes. Bury the right pedal and it rockets out of corners with up to 752 pound-feet of combined torque. Paddles on the steering wheel provide manual control of the nine-speed transmission, but it never missed a beat when we let it do its thing in drive. Likewise, the shift from the two-speed rear end is all but imperceptible at about 87 mph.
Like AMG Petronas’ Formula 1 race car, the C63’s challenge lies in reliably extracting maximum speed from its electrical system. While it can recover impressive amounts of energy under braking, deploying its electrons frequently requires keeping a close eye on the battery’s limited charge. Channel your inner Lewis Hamilton. Race mode’s Boost program helps in this regard, coaching the driver on when to light the afterburners based on how aggressively you plan to lap one of the 30 currently mapped circuits. Around the flowing tarmac of the Ascari Race Resort, for example, its endurance setting (there’s even a qualifying mode) calls for full thrust down the track’s two back straights, leaving enough time to recuperate and cool the batteries in between.
Still, even with a quick three-second 60-mph estimate, the new C63 can’t escape the physics of carrying around two different powertrains. The new hardware adds about 700 pounds of mass (we estimate it at 4700 pounds overall), which you can feel in fast corners and in the braking zone, taxing the grip of its slightly narrower 19- or 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in the summer. are you Tires (265-series width front, 275s rear). We didn’t get to drive the optional Michelin Cup 2R tires, but we might want them for track days.
Estimated base prices are now approaching $100,000, reflecting the C63’s status as an engineering marvel with a large bandwidth of capabilities. Its high-tech rebirth also reinforces that, with the help of powerful electric motors, the wild internal-combustion engine need not die just yet. We still have a soft spot for its brutal V-8 predecessor. But the C63 S e-Performance leaves little doubt: the future of AMG performance looks as exciting as it does complex.
2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance
Vehicle Type: Front-Engine, Rear-Motor, All-Wheel-Drive, 5-Passenger, 4-Door Sedan
price (C/D EST)
Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, 469 hp, 402 lb-ft + AC motor, 201 hp, 236 lb-ft (combined output: 671 hp, 752 lb-ft; 4.8-kWh battery-lithium; 3.7- kW onboard charger)
Transmission F/R: 9-speed automatic, 2-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 113.2 inches
Length: 190.6 inches
Width: 74.8 inches
Height: 57.4 inches
Passenger Volume: 94 ft3
Trunk volume: 10 feet3
curb weight (C/D Estimated): 4700 lb
performance (C/D EST)
60 mph: 3.0 seconds
100 mph: 6.7 seconds
1/4-mile: 10.8 sec
Top speed: 174 mph
EPA fuel economy (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 21/18/25 mpg
Combined gasoline + electricity: 35 MPGe
EV Range: 6 miles
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