The original 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG will forever take a place in the automotive pantheon. With 451 horsepower courtesy of a 6.2-liter V8 under the hood, this C63 was a high-revving bahnstormer. And for American consumers, a very well-known hot-roding formula was used – the Mercedes engine with the largest displacement squeezed into the smallest car.
Since the first C63, the compact AMG flagship has undergone several changes. The naturally aspirated V8 passed for the 2016 model year and was replaced by a four-liter twin-turbo engine which, despite its smaller displacement, continued to produce more power and torque. Consumers didn’t care and sobbed at every C63 they could find. We hope buyers will be similarly forgiven for the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance that goes even further in its quest to downsize by cutting off half the cylinders – yes, this one has a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder.
Do not be afraid. In return for the loss of displacement, the AMG engineers equipped the worst C-Class with an instantaneous electric spool turbocharger as well as a rear mounted electric motor and battery to add even more power. Now a plug-in hybrid, the 2024 C63 has 671 horses and a staggering 752 lb. of torque. Not only are these the best values ever for the road C-Class, they are also one of the highest of all AMG products ever. V8 who?
Top cut of the crust
The symbolic heart and soul of the Mercedes-AMG C63 is its 2.0 liter in-line turbocharged engine, codenamed M139. Even without the aid of the hybrid powertrain, the internal combustion engine reaches 476 hp (350 kW), making it the most powerful series-produced four-cylinder vehicle in the world. Like the weaker C43, the engine is equipped with an electrically powered turbocharger that reduces deceleration to an almost imperceptible level. Derived from Formula 1 technology, the turbocharger features a tiny electric motor between the exhaust turbine and the compressor wheel that turns the turbocharger to provide boost whenever the driver requests it.
But while 476 horses might have been enough a few years ago, today’s supersedane buyer demands more. This is where the rear-mounted electric motor comes in. Running on a 6.1 kWh battery and 400 volt electrical architecture, the engine pushes 204 hp (150 kW) onto the road – either alone or in combination with a gas engine. In the first case, the C63 will be able to run around 8 miles all-electric, but as AMG Technical Director Jochen Hermann said, the electrification strategy is not really focused on performance. Instead, this car was made for fast driving.
With all cylinders firing and a maximum of 150 kW of electrons flowing from the battery, the C63 produces the above-mentioned 671 hp and 752 lb-ft, helping to reach 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. It’s about half a second faster than the previous C63, topping almost on par with its predecessor at 174mph with the optional AMG Driver Package – the old C63 S could go up to 180mph, but who counts? More important than the final numbers is the legendary AMG sound profile and while the new C63 probably won’t have the heart-rending roar of its predecessor, it should still be quite emotional.
This is because it contains many sound tuning gimmicks, including a sensor in the exhaust that detects noise pressure and then amplifies it through the stereo speakers for a more exciting soundtrack. Mercedes quickly notices that the sound that enters the cabin is not synthesized or modified, but only amplified, so the car will still sound like a turbo-charged four-cylinder. If that sounds like a CLA 45 hellish bat, the C63 will still be exciting.
An integral part of the acceleration sensation is the familiar nine-speed multi-clutch transmission. Unlike the dual-clutch gearbox, the AMG Speedshift MCT uses a complex wet-clutch assembly instead of a torque converter, giving the C63 a better throttle response than a conventional automatic gearbox, but with better low-speed precision than a dual-clutch gearbox. clutch gearbox. Moreover, the electric motor is equipped with its own two-speed gearbox for high e-boost even when driving at high speeds.
For the first time ever, the hottest C-Class will offer all-wheel drive. The so-called 4Matic + system includes an electronically controlled rear limited-slip differential, although the electric motor acts directly on the rear axle for an almost instantaneous response. Furthermore, the clutch system also allows the electric motor to turn the driveshaft, which in turn turns the front wheels. This means that even when operating in pure EV mode, the C63 always has four-wheel traction.
Hit the pose
The C63 makes a bad impression, however, long before you turn it on. To start with, it has a wider front track, which makes the overall width 3 inches wider than the standard C-Class. The front fenders have been appropriately stamped, with flared arches that are approximately 2 inches wider. The car is also 3.3 inches longer than the smaller C43 and C300 models, and the wheelbase has increased by 0.4 inches. This incremental increase in size gives the C63 a blunt and impressive stance, but the limited styling changes make it feel subtly muscular rather than brash and flashy.
The changes to the front are the most obvious. The inverted, trapezoidal air inlet provides room for the Mercedes-AMG signature Panamericana grille and accompanying vertical crossbars – a return to the 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL race car and an AMG trademark from 2016. bonnet, although the 2024 C63 has an exclusive rear-facing bonnet opening between the two bulges to help expel hot air from the engine compartment. As you might have guessed, the C63 has the boldest front bumper finish of any other C-Class, especially with the aggressive chin divider in the optional aerodynamic package.
The gill set on the wider front fenders is the biggest hint on the C63’s side profile that you are looking at something special. Deeper side sills are also available, as well as standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch wheels. At the rear, an aggressive rear diffuser and 63-spec trapezoidal exhaust tips combine with a sculpted spoiler lip on the boot lid. Furthermore, the AMG C-Class is subtly styled with the right balance of visual aggression. In contrast to the BMW M3, Mercedes’ entry into the compact supersedan class is less flashy, which some buyers will appreciate.
Speaking of rival, Mercedes will offer the C63 station wagon to compete with the M3 Touring long-roof. Unfortunately, the United States will once again be excluded from the game, leaving the more expensive Audi RS6 Avant as the only fast station wagon available on our market. Note for Mercedes-AMG (and BMW): If your friends in Ingolstadt can do it, so can you.
Inside are AMG-specific infotainment refinements, including a track timer and a steering wheel-mounted drive selector with dedicated buttons for the exhaust and suspension. The new optional AMG sports seat features more aggressive supports than the standard chair, as well as cutouts in the backrest and bolsters for better ventilation and some additional weight reduction. Unfortunately, the standard C-Class plastic door panels remain with AMG, but the manufacturer will offer a variety of upholstery colors and finishes, including leather, microfiber suede and contrast stitching.
A tamed beast
Gone are the days when AMG would dump a large, muscular engine under the hood with only minor updates elsewhere – the 2024 C63 SE Performance has a lot of upgraded hardware to help keep the torque rich driveline in check. First, the suspension features adaptive damper and four-horn steel springs that provide good, consistent handling without sacrificing significant ride comfort. A variety of driving modes allow the person behind the wheel to customize the suspension, throttle and brake response, steering and drive noise to their liking. Presets include electricity, comfort, sports, sports +, race, battery hold, and slippery.
The rear axle steering allows the rear wheels to make a 2.5 degree turn with the front wheels at speeds below 62 km / h, giving the C63 a tighter turning circle and more responsive handling on winding roads. Above this speed, the rear wheels spin in phase with the front wheels by up to 0.7 degrees, improving straight-line stability.
The AMG composite brake system is standard, with six-piston fixed front calipers for better response and more clamping force. In addition to conventional friction brakes, the electric motor is also able to quickly recover energy at speeds of up to 150 kW, with several levels of regeneration selectable by the driver, ranging from single pedal driving to driving without a throttle.
The robust brake package is not only a service for AMG customers. Due to the fairly enormous 700 kg weight gain since the last iteration, the impressive C63 cleats are a must. Mercedes says four-wheel steering and regenerative braking help to compensate for the new C63’s estimated 4,600 lb. curb weight, and we hope they are right – the old V8 felt responsive and light, which would be a shame if that quality went away.
Put your hands up
The Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance will go on sale in world markets early next year, possibly as a 2023 model. However, Americans will have to wait until model year 2024 to get their hands on the AMG four-cylinder super sedan, with deliveries likely to begin here in September or October.
Due to the market premiere in about a year, we will have to wait a bit for the prices to be announced. The previous generation Mercedes-AMG C63 sedan started at $ 69,650, but prices rose to $ 77,250 when the high-performance C63 S variant was chosen. We can only assume that the 2024 C63 in the US market will cost even more, given note the long list of rather expensive plug-in hybrid technologies on board. Don’t be surprised to see AMG launch in America with a base price of $ 85,000.
Still, it will probably be worth the rather high price. While the extra weight of the E Performance system is a bit worrying, AMG engineers seem to have taken the time to ensure that the 2024 C63 is just as exciting to drive as its V8 predecessors. It should also serve as a good cover for the $ 80,800 BMW M3 Competition xDrive sedan, which is as fast to 60mph despite weighing considerably less. The relative simplicity of this vehicle has its charm, but the Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance 2024 proves (at least on paper) that a diminished, electrified future will be as exciting as a gas-soaking present.