2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 loses 4 cylinders but gets more power
Engine downsizing is now the new normal. The big numbers, V12s and V8s are all on their way out, making room for smaller capacity engines. The latest, arguably one of the most controversial entrants to this list, is the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance that ditches a throaty V8 for an electrified 4-cylinder but with more power than ever.
There is a reason this downsizing kicks up this big a storm. The original C63 was made iconic by its naturally-aspirated 6.3-litre V8 engine, hence the name “63”. It not only produced 451 hp but accompanied that with a thunderous noise. It was a simple match, take the largest engine in the AMG lineup and plonk it in their smallest sedan. The C63 is no stranger to downsizing, though. In 2016, it lost the big 6.2 V8 in favour of a smaller twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. But now, it loses half of those cylinders.
Mercedes-AMG C63 new engine specs
But let us look at the upside first. The engine may be a small 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but there is more to it. The turbocharger gets assistance from an electric motor while another motor powers the rear wheels. With all this plug-in-hybrid tech, the 2023 C63 S E-Performance makes a colossal 671 hp and an even more staggering 982 Nm of torque. These are the highest of any AMG ever, except the halo Mercedes-AMG One, of course.
The four-pot engine, codenamed M139, produces 471 hp by itself, making it the most powerful 4-cylinder engine ever. It is also used on the less powerful C43 AMG model. The rear-mounted motor adds 204 hp. Being a plug-in hybrid, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance can drive solely on electric juice but only for just over 10 kilometres. Well, this car’s electrification is not about efficiency; it is built to go fast. How fast? 0 to 100 kph run is despatched in just 3.5 seconds.
Mercedes-AMG has thrown in their sound profiles for those worried about the exhaust note, which is quite impressive. But it will not make the old V8 unit angry bellow, but it will still be good enough. Though this system uses the speakers to amplify the noise, Mercedes-AMG says that the sound is not altered in any way, so do not expect it to mimic a V8.
Handling all its explosive power, The C63 S E-Performance uses the AMG Speedshift multi-clutch transmission with a wet clutch pack. On top of this, the e-motor also gets its own 2-speed transmission. The C63 S E-Performance also adds a first for the hot C, an all-wheel-drive system. The 4Matic+ system gets the electric motor right on the rear axle for more boost and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. A clutch system allows the C63 S E-Performance to send power to the front wheels as needed.
Rear-wheel steering on the Mercedes-AMG C63
Rear-wheel steering with up to 2.5 degrees of turn is another new feature on the tech list. As expected, the suspension gets updates, too, in the form of adaptive damping and four-corner steel springs. To tailor the vehicle even better, some drive modes, Comfort, Electric, Sport, Sport+, Race, Battery Hold, and Slippery, are thrown in. The brakes are upgraded to the AMG composite braking system, with six-piston front calipers for more bite. The recuperation from the electric motor will also help in decelerating.
Of course, there are changes to the body of the hottest C-Class in town. The front track is widened by 75 mm, making the car wider. The flared bodywork amplifies this growth. The C63 is also 83 mm longer than the regular C -Class model and the C43. Aesthetic updates include the AMG-specific Panamericana grill. The bonnet gets twin bulges and vents between them. The bumper gets the angry treatment too.
The fenders are marked with a pair of gills. 19 or 20-inch wheels add more spice to the side profile. A large diffuser and trapezoidal exhaust tips mark the rear of the C63 S E-Performance. There will be a wagon version, too, aiming squarely at the BMW M3 Touring.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance is definitely a step up in terms of power and tech. But will it be enough to woo enthusiasts bummed by the fact that it now comes with only four cylinders?