Mercedes-AMG finally unveiled the 2024 C63 S E Performance on the 21st, and it no longer has a V8 that has represented the ‘63’ number. In its place is a powertrain that enthusiasts may find hard to appreciate.
Other than the loss of the M140 4.0 V8 that has been powering AMG models with the 63 number since 2015, the performance sedan is now a plug-in hybrid. The M139L 2.0-liter inline four, which was designated for the ‘45’ AMG models like the A45, now features an electrically boosted turbocharger, mated to a rear electric motor through a two-speed gearbox. The hybrid drivetrain took inspiration from Formula 1, and broke the world record for the most powerful four cylinder in production, which was also set by Mercedes using the same engine. Absurd? Yes, but there’s more to it.
Performance figures, without the electronic assists, state 469 horsepower and 545 Nm. The aforementioned electric motor in the rear carries its own power as well, having 201 horsepower and 320 Nm. When fully utilized, it pumps out 671 horses and 1019 Nm through the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, which also has rear-wheel steering for better handling. Equipped with a nine-speed AMG automatic transmission, its 0-60 mph of 3.3 seconds is quite impressive, but requires full utilization of the electric motors; which only lasts for 10 seconds before needing to recharge for the next boost. It is quite reasonable to see its rather large power figures, which helps it move along when it weighs 2.1 tons. Yikes.
As if the turbocharged four cylinder hasn’t silenced it enough, the electric motors render the sedan almost completely-silent. Missing the 8 cylinder rumble? Mercedes propped a solution for it: speakers that emulate the sound when certain modes and/or driving styles are engaged. The exterior stays true to Mercedes’ tame design language, somewhat looking like a scaled down, more aggressive version of the W223 S class. The interior has what is expected of the German brand; a large screen on the front, ambient lighting, another screen for the speedometer, and so on.
Are the onboard specs and the performance times impressive? Yes, and that is to be expected of a ‘true’ top trim AMG vehicle. Will it impress people on trackdays and car meets? Perhaps. Is it enough to pique the interest of a gearhead? With the official closing of V8s in Mercedes’ smaller sedans, it is quite difficult to attract enthusiasts of the brand or anyone, really. Though we can’t seem to figure out the target market, perhaps its performance numbers could pull the buyers in by themselves.
(Images sourced from Mercedes-AMG)