Wth the launch of the AMG C 63 S E Performance Mercedes has finally buried the V8 engine corpse and replaced it with the 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine. This is progress in the face of an uncertain future and AMG C 63 S E Performance is re-writing the future now. This particular future now is a plugin hybrid with engine technology transferred directly from Mercedes’ Formula 1 knowledge. This is trickle-down economics in the form of an expensive high-performance saloon or estate.
The Mercedes AMG C63 S E Performance is powered by a 2.0-litre engine at the front and an electric motor on the rear axle for 500 kW (680 hp) system output. The combined maximum system torque is 1,020 Nm.
Mercedes spared little time in declaring that AMG C 63 S E is the most powerful production four-cylinder in the world. Power delivery and torque build-up occur very spontaneously and without delay as in Formula 1.
The electric support of the exhaust gas turbocharger eliminates the turbo lag of the combustion engine, while at the same time the electric drive pushes powerfully from a standstill. The battery is specifically designed for fast power output and draw with innovative direct cooling of the cells.
Other highlights of the new AMG C 63 S E, include a fully variable all-wheel drive system. AMG Performance 4MATIC+ is used to transfer the drive power to the road, and includes a Drift Mode. 19-inch alloy wheels are standard with the option to upgrade to 20-inch alloy wheels. Active rear-axle steering is standard.
As in Formula 1, the battery is specifically designed for fast power delivery and take-up. The electric range of 13 kilometres allows a practical operating radius, for example in the city or in residential areas.
The design of the new AMG C 63 S differs from that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in its more muscular proportions. The Saloon and Estate models are both based on an extensively modified AMG styling. The front end is 50 millimetres longer and the front wings are wider. All in all, the overall exterior dimensions differ considerably from those of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
In terms of length, the Saloon and Estate measure an extra 83 millimetres. The wider track width at the front axle results in 76 millimetres more overall width at the front. And the wheelbase has grown by ten millimetres.
In the interior, AMG sports seats with special upholstery layout and a distinctive stitching pattern separate the AMG C 63 S E from the rest of the C Class range. There are also many individual choices available for the interior. Exclusive colours and various nappa leather upholsteries with an embossed AMG emblem in the front head restraints.
And of course, there is an options list for people who have more money than common sense. The AMG 63 S E remains largely unchanged in terms of digital instrumentation, just the badge on the rear boot, that expressive bodykit and of course the Formula One derived engine are the biggest key differences.
How much does this next-generation technology cost? We estimate it will retail from $136,000 to $150,000. But you will have to wait if you want to place an order, Mercedes has yet to reveal when the AMG C 63 S E Performance will go on sale because that is one more press release away.