The new C63e will bring an efficient hybrid powertrain, but will it ever match the presence of the old V-8 engines?

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The hottest version of the W206 C Class is already a fact. Although not on sale yet, a test car has been spotted during cold-weather testing. The test car features a similar full-body camouflage as the Mercedes AMG C63 Wagon, from not long ago. We already know that the next generation of AMG models will no longer use the glorious V-8 engine layout, they were known and loved for. The now-former AMG boss Tobias Moers, also expressed his displease with the way things are developing, even going as far as to quit AMG. All this begs the question, how much of an AMG will the new C63 be?

Drivetrain & Performance

2022 Mercedes-Benz C63e Exterior Spyshots
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Undeniably, the most controversial aspect of the new C63 is the powertrain. As mentioned, the upcoming C63 will no longer use the M177 4.0-iter twin-turbo V-8. That is being replaced with the M139 unit, which is the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, used in the Mercedes A45S. This is still the most powerful production inline-four engine in the world, producing 421 horsepower (310 kW) at 6,750 RPM and 369 pound-feet (500 Nm) at 5,000 - 5,250 RPM. This makes for a specific output of 211 horsepower/liter.

In the A45S, this power output, combined with a double-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive enables the German super-hatch to consistently do the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in 3.7 seconds on its way to 168 mph (270 km/h) top speed.
2022 Mercedes-Benz C63e Exterior Spyshots
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Of course, the new C63e will bring those numbers up. The expected power output of the C63e is said to be no less than 500 horsepower (373 kW), with some even suggesting a 520 horsepower figure for the C63S version. At the same time, torque is expected to go up to around 553 pound-feet (750 Nm). The gain in power will be achieved mostly through the introduction of an electric starter-generator, positioned between the engine and gearbox. This would make for a specific output of at least 250 horsepower/liter.

However, it is noted that the engine, which in the C63 is longitudinally positioned, will also get a revised turbocharging, featuring an electric motor, co-developed with the AMG F1 Brixworth team. This should help improve the engine’s response, torque curve, and efficiency. All this new go-fast tech is expected to allow the C63e to do the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in around 3.5 seconds.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C63e Exterior Spyshots
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Another new feature for the top-of-the-line C-class is the addition of all-wheel-drive. This will be the first AMG C63 in history that will feature all-wheel-drive. This is, no doubt, due to the fact that the RS5 and BMW M3 have already made the transition to all-wheel-drive, with Audi being the first to do so, by a long shot. The C63e will use a modified version of the nine-speed G-Tronic automatic.

Design

2022 Mercedes-Benz C63e Exterior Spyshots
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The exterior seems to be heavily masked by a similar camouflage pattern, like the one on the C63 Wagon. That said, we can still make out the Panamericana-style front grille, as well as the wheels, bumpers, and other, typical for AMG, details. Of course, the camouflage cannot hide certain details, like the bigger brakes, squared quad exhaust tips, and wider fenders and side sills. We know for sure, we are looking at the top-of-the-range Mercedes C63e and not just a base C-class. If by now, you still have doubts it’s going to be a hybrid, you can see a charging port on one of the fenders.

As for the rest of the car, we’ll have to with until it is unveiled. That said, we can see that the headlight and taillight design is heavily influenced by the Mercedes W223 S-class.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Interior
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The interior will draw heavy influence from that of the S-class.

The highlight of the interior will, once again, no doubt be the tablet/Tesla-like infotainment touchscreen in the middle, which everyone seems to reinterpret in their own way. In the S-class, it’s a 12.8-inch piece, accompanied by three beautifully-crafted air vents on top. Overall, we can expect the same S-class-like interior but slightly scaled down. It’s no wonder, the last C-class was referred to by some as the baby S-class. That said, the modified MRA platform will make for a more generous interior space, thanks to a longer wheelbase, compared to the current C-class.

Conclusion

2022 Mercedes-Benz C63e Exterior Spyshots
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We know for sure that the new C-class will bring more of everything. More tech, more interior space, and more complexity. But although the new AMG C63e is going to be better than the old one in every measurable way, one question still remains. How much of the AMG spirit will the C63e retain?

The tuning studio from Affalterbach is where some of the best hand-built V-8 engines came from. The AMG heritage is known for its mental approach when pursuing performance. From entering the stripped-down Mercedes 300 SLE 6.8 “Red Sau” in the 24 Hours of Spa to shoving big engines into the smallest Mercedes cars possible, granting AMG cars the nickname “German Muscle cars”, the studio has been known for its outrageous achievements. Now that they are transitioning to cold efficiency, under the pressure for fewer emissions, the perception of AMG vehicles might change for good. For some, the C63e is simply adapting to the new environment, for others – it’s the end of an era.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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