AMG aficionados have been skeptical, to say the least, when Mercedes-Benz’s efficiency division introduced that the top-of-the-line C-class would lose its V-8 and henceforth be powered by a plug-in-hybrid four-cylinder. Sure, the brand new powertrain is foolish highly effective at a whopping 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. Nevertheless it makes for a heavy C-Class too: 4654 kilos, in line with AMG, far heftier than any of its formidable opponents, which embrace the BMW M3 and the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. To provide us some perception into what the portly performer appears like, we have been invited into the passenger seat of the brand new C63 S, piloted by AMG’s chief technical officer, Jochen Hermann.
In a half-hour on considered one of Daimler’s proving grounds south of Stuttgart, Hermann took us onto winding roads and a decent-sized observe; we went properly into triple-digit velocities and skilled each one of many C63 S’s multifarious driving modes.
On the docile finish of the dimensions, totally Electrical mode delivers spectacular acceleration—and all-wheel drive—even absent any assist from the gasoline engine. “We aren’t an impediment,” Hermann says, grinning, as we ascend a hill with remarkably little effort. And we discuss concerning the new automotive’s wider bandwidth between consolation and sportiness. AMG prospects are a demanding bunch and wished a extra snug automotive with out sacrificing something when it comes to efficiency. Bigger-diameter dampers assist clean the experience, and even when the combustion engine is on, its sound will be successfully suppressed. Quietness on the primary and final miles of a visit is a comparatively latest buyer requirement, says Hermann.
When he switches the drive mode selector a number of notches up, the brand new C63 actually comes alive. With almost equal front-to-rear weight distribution, customary all-wheel drive, and all-wheel steering, the C-class is ready as much as ship each traction and agility. The brand new construction additionally gives considerably improved torsional and lateral stiffness, all the time a boon to suspension tuning. Ceramic brakes are non-obligatory. However the story right here is basically the plug-in powertrain, notably its battery.
The C63 is programmed to hoard some cost even when the battery is nominally depleted, so its further torque is all the time accessible. And when the cost is low, it takes just a few minutes to revive it. The automotive permits for recuperation even throughout extraordinarily exhausting braking, and full electrical increase is on the market for 10 seconds, which is sufficient to get you in deep authorized bother nearly wherever however the autobahn. Prime velocity is ruled at 155 mph or 174 mph, relying on the bundle.
Lest you suppose AMG has gone completely pragmatic in its shift to hybridization, there are drift modes that shift the torque completely to the rear axle. They’re easier and simpler to entry than BMW’s comparable techniques. From the right-side seat, the efficiency really impresses. However you may really feel the C63’s weight, whilst a passenger. AMG would not wish to discuss racetrack figures but, however the added mass of batteries and electrical motors is usually a deficit in corners and braking zones, whilst they improve straight-line efficiency.
Energy is transmitted to all 4 wheels via AMG’s nine-speed wet-clutch MCT automated. And the M139l engine, shared with the C43 AMG, is force-fed by an electrically assisted turbocharger—which is extra highly effective right here as a result of the high-voltage system permits for extra electrical increase. From the passenger seat, the increase is relentless, as anticipated with 671 horsepower. However due to this automotive’s weight, it doesn’t completely blow us away.
Neither does the electronically enhanced sound, though we do not hate it. The unreal sound results are transmitted into the cabin and blared out via exterior audio system, enhanced by exhaust flaps. It is unmistakably a four-cylinder sound, however a very aggressive one. We will stay with it, simply as we are able to stay with the sound of the CLA45 AMG. It doesn’t sound like a V-8, to make sure. However that is the perfect four-cylinder hybrid we have ever heard—by an extended shot.
“We took out 4 cylinders, however we added a complete lot of different issues,” says Hermann. That is true, and numerous it’s actually good, leading to probably the most forward-looking, trendy automotive in its phase. The expertise switch from the limited-edition AMG One is tangible in all places.
Will we like this model of the longer term? Certain, it appears to be like and feels good to us. However do not blame us if we shed a tear for the misplaced, extra purist previous, when all you wanted for “increase” and “drift” modes have been a V-8 and your individual proper foot.
2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency
Car Kind: front-engine, rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base: Premium, $85,000; Unique, $95,000
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 469 hp, 402 lb-ft + rear AC motor, 201 hp, 236 lb-ft (mixed output: 671 hp, 752 lb-ft; 6.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack)
Transmissions, F/R: 9-speed automated/2-speed automated
Wheelbase: 113.2 in
Size: 190.3 in
Width: 74.7 in
Top: 56.6 in
Passenger Quantity: 94 ft3
Trunk Quantity: 13 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4660 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 3.3 sec
100 mph: 7.9 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.4 sec
Prime Pace: 155-174 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 23/20/26 mpg
Mixed Gasoline + Electrical energy: 35 MPGe
EV Vary: 10 mi
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