2022 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance – all you need to know about the new hybrid-powered M3 rival

The next Mercedes-AMG C63 is replacing its V8 for a complex new four-cylinder hybrid powertrain

It seems like we’ve been waiting an age to see it, but the new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is still on its way after delays to its development and release schedule. AMG isn’t rushing the controversial switch from V8 to hybrid four-cylinder, but as has been the case with the GT63 S E Performance and Project One hypercar, there’s not only a complex combination of new technology to execute, but the need to do it well.

When the new hybrid C63 S does arrive, it will have a tough job to rival the superb, but admittedly more conventional BMW M3 Competition, too. To do so, AMG isn’t leaving anything to chance, since revealing more details about the complex powertrain. 

As a recap, the next C63 will drop the 4-litre twin-turbo V8 in favour of an all-wheel drive hybrid setup, combining a new version of the A45’s M139 turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder with a rear-mounted electric motor.

Mounted longitudinally as opposed to transversely as found in the current 45 models, the power plant will receive the new electrically-assisted turbocharger powered by the 400-volt hybrid system alongside a remap and other modifications, lifting output to 443bhp.

> Mercedes-AMG E Performance plug-in powertrains revealed – it’s official, next C63 to go four-cylinder

On the rear axle will be the same electric drive unit found in the GT73 4-door, pairing a 93bhp permanently excited motor with a two-speed transmission, capable of 203bhp in 10 second bursts. Though peak combined output is yet to be revealed, around 600bhp is likely, giving it a substantial bump over the outgoing model.

Cooling is a high priority, with functional intakes across the typical AMG panamericana grille, and full-width lower intakes, but the rest of the package doesn’t appear out of the ordinary for a C63, the car riding on a set of 19-inch wheels with standard cast-iron brakes behind, a pair of pumped-up front wheelarches above, and quad exhaust outlets with a small, but functional-looking diffuser out back.

​Unlike the BMW M3, the C63 S will use a standard C-class’s body-in-white rather than a bespoke wide shell, but after having driven the new-gen W206 C-class in standard C300 form, we have high hopes based on its inherently impressive balance and dynamics. Inside, we also expect to see AMG’s own seats and steering wheel. 

AMG has so far revealed its C43, which shares the C63’s engine but doesn’t integrate the electrified rear axle. While no great surprises have been uncovered from the C43’s debut, it is heavier than initially expected at 1765kg, we now expect the C63 S E Performance will have a significantly higher weight figure than the outgoing V8 car due to its hybrid module and battery pack. This is perhaps where the biggest challenge will sit for AMG’s development team.

AMG is expected to reveal the new C63 in the coming months, although no absolute date has been confirmed. Until then, the speculation will continue.

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