bad news? It doesn’t have that rolling thunder V8. good news? It doesn’t matter.
Performance is not noise. Performance is acceleration and grip and speed and a chassis that lets you explore its limits with calm confidence. And new Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance It’s all in abundance.
“We could have just done another V8 C63,” says AMG chief technical officer Jochen Herrmann as he drives a camo’d C63 SE performance prototype south of Stuttgart to Mercedes-Benz’s sprawling Amenden proving grounds. Run on a challenging 4km race track buried in the heart of the field. .
“But we would have been stuck in the past.”
Herman smiles as he turns the controller under his right hand to the steering wheel and selects race mode.
“I’m not a racing driver,” he says. He is still smiling as he chokes.
A deep baritone snarl erupts from the front, accompanied by immediate, break-neck acceleration as all four wheels claw at the tarmac. AMG speed shift transmission Bam Bam Bam through a series of rapid changes.
Corner! Braking the Harman is difficult because the speedshift works back through the gears. The top clip then tightens on the power. The snarling AMG comes down the track.
This new C63 doesn’t look like the old ones we know and love. It doesn’t go like them at all. It’s much harder, more immediate, more urgent, more intense. V8? Who needs a V8? It’s so old school.
to brag 500 kW And a slap 1020NmThis four-cylinder, plug-in hybrid C63 is the most powerful C63 ever.
It will accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph. 3.4 seconds, making it faster than the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8-powered car it replaces, and the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8-powered C63 before it. And, it will kill 280 km/h On the Autobahn with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.
The C63 SE Performance’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 350kW version of AMG’s 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four under the bonnet and a 150kW e-motor mounted on the rear axle.
Although the little four-banger, codenamed M139l, is the world’s most powerful production four-cylinder internal combustion engine, and the first production engine to have a turbocharger spun by a 400V electric motor instead of exhaust gases, the first glance I am nothing. Especially noteworthy about either power plant. what Is What’s remarkable is how they work together to deliver the explosive performance of the new C63.
The M139l drives all four wheels through an AMG SpeedShift Multi-Clutch nine-speed automated transmission. The e-motor drives the rear wheels through its automatic two-speed transmission, which shifts to high gear at 140 km/h when the e-motor reaches its 13,500rpm limit, and electronically controlled Limited slip is integrated with the differential.
It can also send the clutch unit at the rear of the nine-speed transmission forward via a separate propeller shaft, from where it can be distributed to the front wheels.
Enabling each powerplant to independently provide its own power and torque output to the drivetrain means that each can play to its strengths.
AMG development engineer Peter Zalle says that if the ICE and e-motor share the same output shaft, as is the norm with many hybrids, the system cannot deliver maximum power because the power peaks of the two are different. at revs.
In principle this sounds perfectly logical. However, it requires F1-level powertrain management techniques and technologies to work in practice.
Jochen Herrmann says that the AMG One learned a lot from the hypercar program, where engineers had to figure out how to get the 1.6-litre F1 V6 to rev at 5000rpm and 15000rpm at a race-spec idle, roadworthy. Be and meet the emission. And the car’s four electric motors play well, driving the new C63’s hybrid powertrain.
Key to making the powertrain concept work is the AMG-developed 400V electrical architecture and high efficiency. 6.1kWh Battery mounted in the rear of the car. An 89kg battery can be recharged via a plug and will power the C63 SE Performance. Up to 13 km 125 km/h on pure electric power.
But that’s not what a battery is primarily designed to do. “We don’t care about range,” says Jochen Hermann, “the battery is there for performance.” Just like the battery in the hybrid powertrain of a Mercedes F1 car.
In the C63 SE Performance, the battery provides a continuous output of 70kW and can maintain a peak output of 150kW for 10 seconds, and can be recharged quickly, either through the engine or through a recovery rate of up to 120kW under heavy braking. is capable of In most of the four available region settings.
To cope with this kind of punishment, AMG says, it has a cooling system that circulates a high-tech coolant directly around each of its 580 cells to ensure it’s always The optimum temperature is around -45 degrees, to provide maximum performance.
As a result, the kick-down function ensures that the e-motor’s full 150kW is available on demand in any of the C63’s eight drive modes.
Even from the passenger seat, the new C63 SE Performance feels like a next-level AMG performance car.
High-performance turbocharged internal combustion engines can feel the dough on the bottom end, and pure EVs tend to choke on the top end – but the C63 SE Performance’s powertrain only pushes through its speed limit. Provides a relentless boost.
And you never know what part of the powertrain is doing what to make it happen. It is smooth.
This is the first all-wheel drive C63, and that’s a good thing. State-of-the-art control systems mean the immense power and torque of the C63 SE performance is not wasted.
Standard rear-wheel steering, which turns the rear wheels up to 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction to the front at low speeds, helps the Mercedes dive cleanly into tight corners. The wide front track, and staggered tire setup – our car rolled on 265/35 ZR20 fronts and 275/35 ZR20 rears – made it feel firmly planted through sharp sweepers.
Braking is strong, thanks to the AMG carbon ceramic brake system. In Race mode the four-level energy recovery system is automatically set to Level 1, which simulates the lift-off feel of a regular internal combustion engine car with a manual transmission for chassis balance and behavior typical of high-performance. Car.
On 2111 kg The new C63 weighs 326kg more than the previous model – the batteries and e-motors are heavier – but as most of the extra mass is located towards the rear axle, its front-to-rear weight distribution is exactly 50/ is 50 With the old car’s 54/46 front-to-rear weight bias.
It may be the most powerful C63 yet, but that’s not all. Storm and Drang all the time.
Driving in pure EV mode on access roads around the proving grounds, the e-Performance unfolded smoothly and quietly, the ride feeling surprisingly supple.
The default drive mode is Comfort, which mixes and matches the e-motor and ICE output to provide maximum efficiency, with the e-motor limited to about 25 percent of its maximum output. Sport mode allows up to 65 percent of the e-motor’s output to be used and Sport Plus mode up to 80 percent.
As mentioned earlier, there are four levels of lift-off recovery available.
In Level 0 the powertrain behaves like a conventional manual transmission car with the clutch disengaged, leaving a very low level of recuperation that is only used to maintain the vehicle’s power supply.
Level 3 allows pure EV-style one-pedal driving, something most hybrids can’t do because they don’t have battery cooling. In Level 3, the e-motor can send up to 100kW back to the battery as it slows the car down.
We’ll reserve judgment until we get a chance to get behind the wheel, of course, but on first-hand, the C63 SE is a deeply impressive piece of performance work. It is more than a one-dimensional road rocket.
It is a car that can adjust and adapt to a wide variety of different driving environments with ease. Most importantly, it feels, even from the passenger seat, a lot of fun to drive. It still has that AMG DNA.
“It’s more than just a new C63,” says Jochen Herrmann, “I think we’ve made it more of a car.”
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More: Everything Mercedes-AMG C63