The all-new Mercedes-AMG C 63, based on the W206 C-Class, is due to be unveiled in the coming months. Ahead of its launch, the company has now unveiled a prototype model of the souped-up sedan, and was put on display at the 24-hours of Nürburgring race over the weekend.
As usual, the car is all wrapped up in camouflage in hopes of hiding the finer details until launch. However, hidden behind the red and grey decal is what might just be the biggest change the AMG C 63 has ever seen – and that’s the new powertrain underneath the bonnet, as hinted by the tag line, “Get ready for E Performance”.
That’s right – the all-new Mercedes-AMG C 63 will indeed be powered by a new hybrid powertrain, consisting of a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine, and an electric drive unit on the rear axle, as revealed in March last year.
According to a report by Autocar, the M139 2.0-litre turbocharged four-banger in the upcoming C 63 will be tuned to an output of 477 hp, further aided by a 48V mild-hybrid system to provide temporary boosts of up to 22 hp and 250 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production.
The engine is then mated to a 204 hp electric motor on the rear axle, bringing the total system output up to 680 hp and 750 Nm of torque. For comparison, that’s a whopping 170 hp and 50 Nm increase over the current C 63 S, and 170 hp and 100 Nm more than its closest rival, the BMW M3 Competition.
The halving of the cylinders and engine capacity will no doubt anger some fans, but the move to a smaller electrified powertrain could bring about actual tangible benefits – most importantly of all, is weight.
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The new M139 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit weighs nearly 50 kg less than the M177 V8 engine in today’s C63 4Matic, and even with all of the electrified bits tacked on, it’s still claimed to undercut the previous V8 powertrain.
On top of that, the new hybrid powertrain’s weight is concentrated lower in the chassis, which will help bring the centre of gravity lower in the new model, theoretically giving it an advantage in handling and body control.
The Autocar report states that the new hybrid powertrain could also introduce an improved all-wheel drive system that can fully appropriate power to either the front or rear axle according to the driving conditions, enhancing the cornering abilities of the upcoming C 63 4Matic model.
Despite the removal of the V8, there are still a lot of things to be excited about on the upcoming all-new Mercedes-AMG C 63. So get over yourselves, because the future is coming.