No, this isn’t another electrification story, but it still will hurt some purists. Why? Because the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E PERFORMANCE is a reflection of changing values. Whereas the current AMG C63 features a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 469 horsepower (or 505 as the C63 S), the 2024 version will feature 671 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four — that’s 469 horsepower from the engine, and 201 horsepower from the electric motor.
In my world, C-Class means it’s Mercedes-Benz’s compact series (though it has grown since its inception, like most cars do), and that’s still true. But if you are wondering where the “63” comes in, that’s a valid question because wasn’t Mercedes’ method based on engine size, like a 6.3-liter?
Considering the 2022 version is only 4.0 liters, this isn’t a new thing. However, the 2023 C-Class, which was redesigned this past year, already has an AMG model called the C43 4MATIC with a turbo 2.0-liter four combined with a rear-mounted 48V electric motor that, in combination, puts out 402 horses. Apparently there is precedent for this brave new world of AMG, though the new 2024 C63 S E PERFORMANCE model is on a whole new level.
“The C63 S E PERFORMANCE … is a real game-changer. With its revolutionary concept, it brings a completely new approach to the segment, which until now has been primarily characterized by the promise of pure performance,” says the Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, Philipp Schiemer.
Mercedes claims the tech that has trickled down from Formula 1—an electric support of the exhaust gas turbocharger — renders turbo lag obsolete. The electric motor also helps with acceleration from a standstill, so this plug-in hybrid can perform the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.3 seconds, which is performance never seen from a four-cylinder sedan before. At over 4,600 pounds, to have a four pull that much weight and get those numbers is nothing short of miraculous.
“The new [car] is a technological masterpiece that takes a new approach … The immediate response of the electric drive at the rear axle, the rapid torque build-up as well as the fast power output and also draw of our battery are very special features. Add to this the standard-fit rear axle steering and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with Drift Mode – the new C63 once again illustrates the high level of technical expertise that AMG possesses,” adds Jochen Hermann, Chief Technical Officer.
This new all-wheel-drive AMG (the model’s name a mouthful, so please forgive the brevity at the moment) will no longer be available as a coupe, but a sedan and wagon are available if you live outside North America. For you Yankees and Canucks, you’ll have to settle for the sedan.
But then there’s that missing V8 sound …