The original 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG will forever occupy a space in the automobile building. With 451 horsepower thanks to a 6.2-liter V8 under the hood, this C63 was a top-of-the-line engine. And for American consumers, it’s followed a formula all too familiar for hot rods – a larger-displacement Mercedes engine crammed into its smallest cars.
Since the first C63, AMG’s compact flagship car has undergone some changes. The naturally aspirated V8 has gone away from the 2016 model, replaced by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter unit that still produces more power and torque despite the lower displacement. Consumers didn’t care, and rounded up every C63 they could find. Hopefully buyers will be similarly indulgent with the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance, which goes further in the pursuit of downsizing by cutting in half the cylinders—that’s right, this one has a 2.0-liter inline-four.
do not worry. In exchange for the displacement loss, AMG engineers gave a turbocharger to the more aggressive C-Class with instantaneous electric storage, as well as a rear-mounted electric motor and battery setup to add more power. Now a plug-in hybrid, the 2024 C63 produces 671 horsepower and an astounding 752 pound-feet of torque. Not only are these numbers the best ever for a C-Class, they are among the highest of any AMG product in history. V8 Who?
The upper part of the upper crust
The figurative heart and soul of the Mercedes-AMG C63 is its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, codenamed M139. Even without the assistance of the hybrid drive system, the internal combustion engine produces 476 hp (350 kW), making it the most powerful four-cylinder engine on the planet. As in the less powerful C43 model, the engine features an electrically driven turbocharger that reduces lag to almost imperceptible levels. Derived from Formula 1 technology, the turbocharger features a small electric motor between the exhaust turbine and the compressor wheel, which spins the turbo up to create a boost as soon as the driver requests it.
But while 476 horsepower might have been enough a few years ago, today’s super sedan shopper is asking for more. This is where the rear-mounted electric motor comes in. Powered by a 6.1 kWh battery and 400 volt electric structure, the engine propels 204 hp (150 kW) to the road – either alone or in tandem with the gas engine. In the first case, the C63 will be able to drive around 8 miles of all-electric driving, but as AMG Chief Technical Officer Jochen Hermann said, the electric strategy isn’t really focused on efficiency. Instead, this car is designed to run fast.
With all cylinders fired and electrons flowing from the battery to a peak 150 kW, the C63 produces the aforementioned 671 hp and 752 lb-ft, helping it reach 60 mph in 3.3 seconds the manufacturer claims. That’s about half a second faster than the outgoing C63, with a top speed approaching its predecessor at 174 mph with the optional AMG Driver’s package — the old C63 S can hit 180 mph, but who counts? More important than the final numbers is AMG’s legendary sound profile, and while the new C63 likely doesn’t have the crunchiness of its predecessor, it should still be very emotional.
That’s because it has a number of audio tuning tricks, including a sensor in the exhaust that detects noise pressure, then boosts that through stereo speakers for a more exciting soundtrack. Mercedes is quick to note that the sound that reaches the cabin isn’t made or modified, it’s only amplified, so the car will still sound like a turbocharged four-wheel drive. If it sounds anything like the Bat-out-of-hell CLA 45, the C63 is still very exciting to rush out.
An integral part of the acceleration experience is the now familiar nine-speed multi-clutch transmission. Distinctive from the dual-clutch gearbox, the AMG Speedshift MCT uses a complex, wet clutch package in place of the torque converter, helping the C63 respond more easily to throttle than a conventional automatic transmission, but with better lower gear than a dual-clutch transmission. clutch gearbox; Furthermore, the electric motor features a two-speed gearbox, ensuring plenty of electronic boost even when traveling at high speeds.
And for the first time in history, the hottest C-Class will offer all-wheel drive. The so-called 4Matic+ features an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential, although the electric motor acts directly on the rear axle for near-instant response. Moreover, the electric motor’s clutch system allows the drive shaft to rotate as well, which in turn rotates the front wheels. This means that even when operating in pure EV mode, the C63 always has four-wheel traction.
hit the pose
Despite this, the C63 makes a mean impression before you even turn it on. For starters, it features a wider front track, resulting in an overall width of 3.0 inches compared to the standard C-Class. The front fenders were perforated accordingly, with flared brackets approximately 2 inches wide. The car is also 3.3 inches longer overall than the lower C43 and C300 models, and the wheelbase is 0.4 inches higher. These increased size increases give the C63 a powerful and imposing appearance, but the limited design changes help it feel muscular, rather than screeching and screeching.
The modifications in the foreground are the most obvious. An inverted trapezoidal grille opening makes room for Mercedes-AMG’s signature Panamericana grille and accompanying vertical bars – a throwback to the 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL race car and a hallmark of AMG products since 2016. Another vintage design nod is the double-domed bonnet , although the 2024 C63 features an exclusive rear-facing vent between the twin spurs to help expel hot air into the engine compartment. As expected, the C63 has the boldest front shock absorber treatment of any other C-Class, especially with the aggressive chin splitter in the optional aerodynamic package.
The set of gills on the wider front fenders are one of the biggest clues to the C63’s side profile that you’re looking for something special. There are also deeper side sills, as well as standard 19-inch wheels or optional 20-inch wheels. At the rear, a powerful rear diffuser and 63-type trapezoidal exhaust tips join a sculpted boot lid spoiler. Other than that, the AMG C-Class has been skillfully engineered, with just the right balance of visual aggressiveness. Unlike the BMW M3, Mercedes’ entry into the compact sedan segment is less vocal, which some buyers will appreciate.
And speaking of that contender, the Mercedes C63 Estate will be offered to go against the long-topped M3 Touring. Sadly, the US will once again be left out of the game, making the high-dollar Audi RS6 Avant the only fast wagon available in our market. Note to Mercedes-AMG (and BMW): If your friends in Ingolstadt can do it, so can you.
Inside, there are the usual AMG-specific improvements to the infotainment system, including a lane-speed timer and a steering wheel-mounted engine selector with dedicated exhaust and suspension buttons. The new optional AMG Sport Seat has stronger bolsters than the standard seat, as well as cutouts in the backrest and bolsters for better ventilation and some additional weight savings. Unfortunately, AMG’s standard C-Class plastic door panels remain, but the automaker will offer a variety of upholstery colors and finishes, including leather, microfiber suede and contrast stitching.
Long gone are the days when AMG dropped a big, muscular engine under the hood with only minor updates elsewhere – the 2024 C63 SE Performance features plenty of upgraded hardware to help keep its torque-rich powertrain in check. For starters, the suspension features adaptive damping and steel four-corner springs to help provide good, consistent handling without sacrificing much ride comfort. A variety of driving modes allow the person behind the wheel to adapt the suspension, throttle and brake response, steering, and thrust noise to their tastes. Presets include electric, comfort, sport, sport+, sweat, battery load, and slip.
Rear axle steering allows the rear wheels to be out of phase with the front wheels 2.5 degrees at speeds under 62 mph, giving the C63 a tighter turning radius and more responsive handling on winding roads. Above this speed, the rear wheels rotate in stages with the fronts by up to 0.7 degrees, which improves straight-line stability.
AMG composite braking is standard, with six-piston fixed front calipers for better responsiveness and stronger clamping force. In addition to conventional friction brakes, the electric motor is also capable of rapidly recovering power at up to 150 kW, with a few driver-selectable regeneration rates ranging from single-pedal to throttle.
The powerful braking package is not just a service to AMG customers. Given the rather massive weight gain, at 700 pounds since its last iteration, the impressive C63 seals are a must. Mercedes says all-wheel steering and regenerative braking help offset the new C63’s 4,600-pound weight, and we hope they’re right – the old V8 felt responsive and light on its feet, which would be a shame if that quality was gone.
raise your hand
The Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance sedan will go on sale in global markets early next year, most likely as a 2023 model. However, Americans will have to wait until 2024 for the AMG four-cylinder super sedan, and deliveries are likely to start here. In September or October.
With the market launch about a year later, we’ll also have to wait a while for pricing to be announced. The previous generation Mercedes-AMG C63 sedan started at $69,650, but prices rose to $77,250 when opting for the high-performance C63 S variant. We can only assume that the 2024 C63 for the US market will cost more, given the long list of expensive plug-in hybrid technology on board. Don’t be surprised to see the $85,000 base price when the AMG arrives in America.
However, it is likely to be worth the somewhat high price. Although the E Performance system’s added weight is a bit worrisome, AMG engineers seem to have taken the time needed to make sure the 2024 C63 is just as exciting to drive as its V8-powered predecessors. It should also be a good disappointment for the $80,800 BMW M3 Competition xDrive sedan, which hits 60 mph despite its much lower weight. The relative simplicity of this car has its own appeal, but the performance of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 SE proves (on paper at least) that the electrified future will be just as exciting as the gas-guzzling present.
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