It’s official, next Mercedes-AMG C63 to go four-cylinder

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AMG’s electrified powertrains revealed – new V8 and four-cylinder plug-in powertrains to spread across the range

Mercedes-AMG has confirmed its next generation of performance cars will incorporate hybrid technology as it looks to reduce CO2 emissions of its models. The process will start later this year with the circa-600kW AMG GT73 4-door and be quickly followed in early 2022 with the replacement for the C63, which will feature a hybrid four-cylinder turbo engine. AMG will also develop its own pure electric vehicles using Mercedes EQ architecture.

Before the first AMG EQ models arrive, Affalterbach will be busy with phasing out its pure internal combustion engines and replacing them with hybrid variants under its new E Performance brand. Heading the switch will be the new GT73 that will be fitted with an updated version of the company’s M177 hot-vee twin-turbocharged V8 connected to a new electrified rear axle.

Positioned on top of the rear axle, the electric drive unit includes a permanently exciting motor developing a minimum of 70kW, with the capability of producing 150kW during ten seconds of overboost. Coupled to this is a two-speed gearbox that has direct drive to the rear wheels, thus bypassing the nine-speed wet-clutch torque converter gearbox that drives all four wheels off the V8.

There’s a 400-volt 6.1kWh battery to store the electrical energy, which has been developed in collaboration with the firm’s Formula 1 engine builder in the United Kingdom, and driver modes will allow you to select how you use this energy, either for guilt free electric driving or as a performance boost.

AMG’s second plug-in powertrain is a little more contentious in terms of where it’s going to be homed. The company’s M139 turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder engine currently delivers a frankly mind-boggling job in the A45 S, making it the hottest of hot hatches, but now AMG is going to use this engine to replace the V8 that has been a may stay of the C63 since time began.

Utilising the same hybrid hardware as the V8 setup in the GT73, the new M139 won’t be a direct transfer from the A45 S thanks to some detailed upgrades developed by AMG. Chief amongst these is the installation of a new electrically-assisted turbocharger, powered by the same 400-volt system that runs the hybrid componentry. Along with improvements to the engine’s breathing and some serious re-mapping (we won’t know the full extent of the upgrades until the car is revealed) the four-cylinder, which will be mounted longitudinally rather than transversely as currently is in the 45 models, will produce 330kW before the 70kW from the electric motor is added to that figure.

With potentially 151kW available, it’s little wonder AMG is confident in claiming the next ‘C63’ will be quicker than the car it replaces, and this despite the additional 89kgs the hybrid system adds.

While the next generation of AMG E Performance models will be four-wheel drive and the electric motors are optimised to drive the rear axle, should the electronic rear differential detect significant levels of slip that electric energy will be transmitted to the front axle to aid traction.

With all current 63 models set to be replaced with examples of either the new four-cylinder powertrain or revised hybrid V8, the current 43 and 53 petrol engined models will be replaced by the first battery electric AMG models built on the company’s EQ architecture. Featuring motors on the front and rear axles, AMG is claiming its all-electric models will provide V8 levels of performance.

Stuart Gallagher

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