The AMG models in the Mercedes-Benz lineup are known for bringing a high level of power and performance to each of the vehicles that the German company offers. Each model’s engines are handcrafted, and with few exceptions are high-horsepower V8 or V12 powerplants. As part of the automaker’s move toward electrification, the newest AMG model — the C 63 S E PERFORMANCE — will be powered by a 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain. That engine size may sound rather Prius-like — but not every 4-cylinder hybrid is created equal. The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE hybrid features the world’s most powerful production 4-cylinder engine with a total system output approaching 700 horsepower.
“With the C 63 S E PERFORMANCE, we are opening a new chapter in our brand history,” said Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH Philipp Schiemer. “Even 55 years after our company was founded, we at AMG continue to show the courage and the will to realize the creative, the special things. The new C 63 in particular is a real game-changer,” Schiemer observed.
Powerful Gas Engine
Under the hood of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE resides a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 469 horsepower. Mercedes claims it is the most powerful production 4-cylinder engine in the world. It’s also the world’s first production engine to feature an electric exhaust gas turbocharger — powered by a 400-volt system — that ensures instantaneous response across the engine’s rev range. This technology comes courtesy of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 racing team.
The 4-cylinder engine of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE gets teamed with a 201-horsepower electric motor mounted above the rear axle. The motor features an integrated 2-speed electrically shifted gearbox and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential in one compact electric drive unit. The battery is also located above the rear axle.
E PERFORMANCE Hybrid
The two motors combine for a total output of 671 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque (for comparison, the previous-generation C 63 S makes 503 horses from its twin-turbo V8). Power from the gas engine is delivered via the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 9-speed multi-clutch transmission; with a propeller shaft connecting the electric motor to the front axle, torque distribution can vary front to rear as needed for the utmost performance and traction. This results in a sprint to 60 mph in a mere 3.3 seconds with a top speed limited to 174 mph (280 kph).
Weighing in at 196 pounds, the high-performance 400-volt battery of this new Mercedes-AMG model has a capacity of 6.1 kWh and the ability to deliver a sustained 70 kW with a peak of 150 kW for 10 seconds. The battery features a direct cooling system with coolant flowing around all 560 cells to keep it at an optimal operating temperature no matter the load or the weather. With such a small capacity, the battery energizes quickly via a 3.7 kW onboard charger and is designed for fast power delivery rather than long range. The EV-only range for the C 63 is just eight miles; however, high levels of regeneration means electric power is always available when the driver’s right foot goes down.
“With its performance hybrid drive and electrically assisted exhaust turbocharger, the new C 63 S E PERFORMANCE is a technological masterpiece that takes a new approach,” said Technical Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG GmbH Jochen Hermann. “The immediate response of the electric drive at the rear axle, the rapid torque build-up as well as the fast power output and also draw of our battery are very special features. Add to this the standard-fit rear axle steering and the fully variable all-wheel drive with Drift Mode — the new C 63 once again illustrates the high level of technical expertise that AMG possesses,” Hermann enthused.
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE has eight available drive programs, all designed to take advantage of the new high-tech drivetrain. The Electric Drive program provides an all-electric driving experience for about eight miles, available up to about 78 mph (125 kph). If more speed or power is required, the vehicle switches to Comfort mode. At the other end of the scale is a Race program, which draws on the full power of both motors with strong regeneration from braking to maintain maximum electric power.
Four levels of energy regeneration can be set by the driver, ranging from levels 0–4. Level 0 has almost no regen and the vehicle acts much like a typical gas-powered car, continuing to roll even after the accelerator is released. Each level adds more regeneration until Level 4, which provides maximum recovery and allows for one-pedal driving. Lifting off the accelerator acts like applying the brakes, eventually bringing the vehicle to a stop.
Vehicles moving under electric power are required to have an acoustic sound at lower speeds to alert pedestrians of the car’s presence. For the C 63, a specially composed low-frequency and speed-modulated AMG sound gets broadcast outside the car via a sound bar at the front and loudspeakers at the rear. But the C 63 also uses these external speakers to enhance and broadcast sound from the turbocharged gas engine. This same sound also enters the cabin via the vehicle’s sound system. These are not fake sounds but real engine sound broadcasting inside and out.
Mercedes-AMG models have voluminous power, but there’s more to them than simply going fast in a straight line, and the C 63 is no exception. The standard AMG RIDE CONTROL with its adaptive damping system can adjust damping at each wheel to provide excellent driving dynamics while still offering a comfortable ride for cruising — this is a Mercedes, after all. Adding to the vehicle’s agility is rear axle steering, which can turn up to 2.5 degrees. At slower speeds, the rear wheels steer opposite the front for better maneuverability, and they steer in the same direction at higher speeds for improved agility and stability.
With great power comes great braking responsibility, and the C 63 has this covered. This newest AMG model features AMG’s high-performance composite brake system with 6-piston fixed calipers at the front and 1-piston floating calipers at the rear, all designed to provide very short braking distances with little fading after extensive use.
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE stands out from the standard C-Class with an extensively modified AMG body shell. The front end stretches out 2 inches longer (overall the C 63 is 3.3 inches longer) and the front fenders are noticeably wider to house a 3-inch-wider track up front. Speaking of the front end, there car has an AMG-specific grille with vertical struts and, for the first time, the hood features a narrow air outlet in the center, which splits two power domes. Also a first on an AMG production model — the Mercedes-Benz star emblem on the hood gets replaced by a black AMG emblem.
More AMG Cues
The telltale AMG cues continue along the silhouette, with aerodynamic side skirts and a turbo e-performance badge ahead of the front door. At the rear, the bumper flows into a large diffuser and integrated quad tailpipes. A unique rear decklid spoiler is exclusive to the C 63, and the model designation is set against a red background — an indication of the vehicle’s electrified nature. Standard wheels are 19-inch AMG light alloys with optional 20-inch wheels.
Like the car itself, the interior of the C 63 is a pleasing mix of luxury and performance. AMG sport seats with a unique stitching pattern are standard equipment, providing commendable support and comfort. A completely new AMG Performance seat is also available, featuring openings around the side bolsters for better ventilation and weight savings. Ambient lighting and carbon fiber trim add to the performance look.
MBUX Multimedia System
Mercedes has moved away from a single panel across the dashboard. The new C 63 features the latest MBUX infotainment system with a large primary display located in the center of the dashboard. A digital driver display located behind the AMG steering wheel can be configured to a variety of themes, and the car also has an available head-up display.
Coming Next Year
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE is expected to arrive in the second half of 2023. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
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