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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance: First look

The phrase is out, and the fanboys aren’t joyful. The brand new Mercedes-AMG C63 received’t have a V8 beneath the bonnet.

It will get worse. The successor to AMG’s autobahn-storming, BMW M3-bashing sedan is the truth is a plug-in hybrid with a four-cylinder engine. That sound you hear is C63 aficionados sobbing into their beers.

However AMG chief technical officer Jochen Hermann is unrepentant.

“We may have simply accomplished one other V8 C63,” he says. “However we’d have been caught up to now.”

And also you solely have to take a detailed look beneath the pores and skin to see the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency may be very a lot a muscle automobile of the longer term. 

Sure, it’s a plug-in hybrid constructed round a four-cylinder internal-combustion engine, however that’s the place the similarities with, say, a Mitsubishi Outlander finish.

Lots of the new C63’s key applied sciences and working rules are derived from a 1.6-litre hybrid that’s the most superior and highest-performing powertrain ever to hold the three-pointed star – the EQ10 Energy+ powertrain used within the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formulation 1 racers.

This hybrid is all about efficiency, not gas financial system.

The headline numbers are spectacular: 500kW and 1020Nm, 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds, and a high velocity of 280km/h with the non-obligatory AMG Driver’s Package deal fitted (250km/h in any other case). It’s essentially the most highly effective C63 ever, faster than the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 automobile it replaces, and the 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 mannequin earlier than that.

What’s extra spectacular than the numbers, nonetheless, is how they’re produced.

The C63’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 350kW model of AMG’s M139l inline 4 and a 150kW e-motor mounted on the rear axle, each supported by a strong 400V electrical structure.

The M139l four-banger beneath the bonnet drives all 4 wheels via AMG’s confirmed Speedshift multi-clutch nine-speed automated transmission.

As within the C43 and SL43, the engine contains a 48V electrical turbocharger that delivers sooner response, however within the C63 the turbocharger is bigger and powered by the 400V system. Additionally built-in into the 400V system is the belt-driven starter-alternator.

The e-motor drives the rear wheels via its personal automated two-speed transmission, which shifts to excessive gear at 140km/h, and an built-in electronically managed limited-slip differential.

It additionally sends drive ahead through a separate propellor shaft to a clutch unit on the rear of the nine-speed transmission, from which it may be distributed to the entrance wheels when wanted.

AMG improvement engineer Peter Szalay says this setup avoids having to place the e-motor’s torque via the AMG Speedshift transmission, which is proscribed to about 1000Nm, and permits it to freely distribute torque to the entrance and rear axles as wanted. 

Extra importantly, says Szalay, had the ICE and the e-motor shared the identical output shaft, the system couldn’t ship most energy as a result of the ability peaks of each happen at totally different revs.

“We didn’t put the e-motor ‘on high’ of the interior combustion engine,” he explains. “As a substitute, we now have a ‘digital’ engine that gives the output demanded by the driving force within the quickest, most responsive approach, utilizing the most effective traits of each.”

Key to creating the C63’s powertrain work is the AMG-developed 400V electrical structure and high-performance 6.1kWh battery, which is mounted on the rear of the automobile.

Although the compact 89kg battery might be recharged through a plug and can ship an EV driving vary of 13km at speeds as much as 125km/h, that’s not what it’s primarily designed to do. 

As a substitute, it’s designed to ship fast bursts of power when required by the e-motor – a kickdown perform ensures the total 150kW of the e-motor is offered on demand in any of the C63’s eight drive modes.

It additionally ensures it’s in a position to be replenished quickly – both by the engine, or through recuperation charges of greater than 120kW beneath heavy braking/within the highest of the 4 obtainable regen settings. 

To outlive that form of punishment the battery has a cooling system that circulates a high-tech coolant immediately round every of its 580 cells to make sure it’s at all times on the optimum temperate to ship most efficiency.

This C63 is the primary with all-wheel drive, and never simply to assist the chassis address the hybrid powertrain’s hefty energy flows.

“Our prospects had been asking for it,” says Peter Szagay. “It was the following logical step.”

Putting in the e-motor, battery pack, and related {hardware} on the again axle has delivered a 50/50 entrance to rear weight distribution. Normal suspension is by the use of metal springs with AMG’s adaptive shocks. There are three totally different damping maps – Consolation, Sport, and Sport+. 

Normal is also rear-wheel steering – although as that is an AMG, the working parameters are totally different from these on the common C-Class. At speeds as much as 100km/h, the rear wheels will steer as much as 2.5 levels in the wrong way to the fronts to enhance turn-in response.

Over that velocity, the wheels will steer as much as 0.7 levels in the identical course because the fronts to assist with high-speed stability.

Normal wheels are 19-inch items with 20s obtainable as an possibility. The tyre setup is staggered – on the 20-inch-wheel outfitted automobiles we noticed, the fronts had been 265/35 and the rears 275/35.

Visually, the brand new C63 wears acquainted AMG styling traits, from the grille’s menacingly toothy grimace to the massive calibre quad exhaust peeking out from beneath the rear bumper. However there’s perform behind the shape.

The entrance observe is 76mm wider than that of the usual C-Class, and the wheelbase has elevated 10mm. That, and the necessity to package deal extra heavy-duty cooling methods on the entrance of the automobile, imply the brand new C63 can also be 50mm longer from the bottom of the A-pillar to the forefront of the entrance bumper, and 83mm longer.

Your entire entrance clip is thus distinctive to the C63, with the bonnet that includes a rear-facing vent that’s a nod to large opening on the AMG GT3 race automobiles. Not like the GT3 vents, that are used to assist generate entrance axle downforce, the C63’s a lot smaller opening is only used to free scorching air from the engine bay.

AMG followers will discover the inside atmosphere very acquainted, with Alcantara and distinction stitching, carbon fibre trim, and splashes of distinction color used all through. New efficiency entrance seats are 2kg lighter than these of the outgoing mannequin, and the dial beneath the left spoke of the AMG efficiency steering wheel can be utilized to alter regen modes.

Each sedan and wagon variations of the brand new C63 will likely be obtainable in Europe when the automobile goes on sale early subsequent 12 months.

Although the upper load house flooring is extra noticeable at the back of the wagon than within the boot of the sedan, AMG engineers have accomplished a superb job of packaging the e-motor and battery on the rear of the automobile. Each are nonetheless usable, on a regular basis autos.

In fact, what you all need to know is that this: What does this four-cylinder plug-in hybrid C63 go like? And what kind of noise does it make? Does it ship the sound and fury we so beloved concerning the earlier C63s?

We’ve been hurled across the difficult race circuit at Mercedes-Benz’s proving floor in Immendingen in southern Germany in a calmly camo’d pre-production automobile, with AMG’s Jochen Hermann on the wheel, so we now have some solutions.

However we’re not allowed to inform you till subsequent month. Keep tuned.

MORE: All the things Mercedes-AMG C63

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