Following on from the launch of the acclaimed new Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon and estate range, those looking to buy or lease a high-performance version now have an attention-grabbing range-topper to consider – the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance.
For the first time in the 55-year history of Mercedes-AMG, the potent new C-Class is a plug-in hybrid. It also sees the famous V8 engine replaced by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo… but the cutting-edge F1-derived hybrid tech aims to more than make up for this.
The new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E performance is expected to go on sale later this year, for deliveries in early 2023. So broad is the amount of configurability on offer, the company is likely to open ordering well ahead of time, so those looking to buy or lease the new car have plenty of opportunity to craft their perfect version.
The previous V8-engined Mercedes-AMG C63 hasn’t been offered for a while now. The last time it was available to new car buyers, it sold for around £80,000. We can expect prices for its high-tech successor to start from around £90,000. It will again be offered in both saloon and estate variants.
The new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is a very muscular and potent-looking development of the elegant new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It’s unmistakable from the front, with twin power domes now joined by a slim aero-inspired air outlet. The AMG radiator grille is distinctive, as is the bespoke new black AMG logo that replaces the Mercedes-Benz logo.
19-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch rims are optional, while the front track is a hefty 76mm wider. This has necessitated wider front wings, adding to the visual potency. There’s also a jutting AMG front apron, AMG aero flics and air curtains built into the front wings.
At the rear, twin dual exhausts remain, while the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance’s crowning glory has to be the gurney-style breakaway spoiler on the saloon’s bootlid. It oozes attitude; if you choose the estate, you get a meaty-looking roof spoiler instead.
The interior is fully customisable, with a range of exclusive colours and various nappa leather upholsteries, all embossed with the AMG emblem on the front head restraints. As standard, the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance boasts AMG sports seats, plus an AMG Performance steering wheel.
Second-generation AMG Performance seats are optionally available; they have new weight-saving side bolsters and an elegantly tapered seat backrest that looks fantastic – they’re definitely an option worth considering by those looking to buy or lease the new high-performance Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The acclaimed MBUX infotainment tech, crisply displayed across two high-definition screens, features unique AMG functionality in the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance. There are bespoke menus, including an AMG Supersport layout that gives detailed information on a multitude of parameters.
The AMG Track Pace data logger is also included. This records data from more than 80 sensors, helping track day fans drill deep down into the detail. Perfect for tailoring the AMG Dynamics control system, which masterminds the stability control, all-wheel drive and electronic limited-slip differential; modes include Basic, Advanced, Pro, Master, and even a drift mode.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is no longer a 4.0-litre V8 turbo, but a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo. It’s not just any four-cylinder, though: at 238PS per litre, it’s actually the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine ever. How’s that for bragging rights?
This has been achieved courtesy of the E Performance plug-in hybrid tech. The engine is complemented by a 204PS rear axle motor, complete with two-speed gearbox and electronic limited-slip differential. The compact drive unit is joined by an AMG high-performance battery, developed in partnership with the Mercedes-AMG F1 team.
The instantaneousness of the electric motor guarantees rapid responses – and this will be enhanced further by the world-first electrically-assisted turbocharger that aims to eliminate lag. Combine all this and the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance boasts total system power of 680PS, plus colossal torque of 1,020Nm: they are new peak values for the C-Class.
Aided by standard all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox with launch control, 0-62mph takes just 3.4 seconds. The top speed is limited to 155mph as standard, and it can be lifted to 174mph as an option. An impressive average fuel economy of up to 40.9mpg is considerably better than anything ever achieved by the V8-engineed C-Class.
Although it is a plug-in hybrid, the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is not about lengthy pure electric driving range. It covers just eight miles on a full charge, well shy of the 60-plus miles you’ll get from a regular Mercedes-Benz C-Class plug-in. Why is this? Because the focus here is on electrifying performance and instant deployment of the electrical energy, rather than overall driving range.
The plug-in hybrid range is best used to facilitate ‘silent start’ early morning getaways, says the firm. Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance owners will be well clear of suburbia before the engine starts up, it says – and they’ll then be able to enjoy the ever-present intensity of a potent engine combined with electrifying power for never-ending acceleration and response.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance comes as standard with AMG Ride Control, using fully-adjustable adaptive dampers. It also has unique suspension geometry, including bespoke suspension parts, and the novel addition of rear axle steering that aids low-speed manoeuvrability and high-speed response.
It all adds up to potentially a quite extraordinary high-performance Mercedes-Benz C-Class package. With the arrival of the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance in 2023, dare we say the V8 may not be missed after all..?
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