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2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 to make a radical engine change

2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 to make a radical engine change

Illustration by Ben Summerelle-Youde/Fox SyndicationCar and driver

  • Here’s what we expect from the next-generation Mercedes-AMG C63.
  • It will drop the V-8 and instead be powered by a 500-plus-horsepower hybrid powertrain with a turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine.
  • The new C63 debuts this year and sits above the AMG C43.

    Downsizing the engine usually means losing a cylinder or two, but the upcoming W206 generation of the Mercedes-AMG C63 makes a more radical reduction. Gone is the old car’s twin-turbo V-8, and a turbocharged hybridized four-cylinder comes in. But before we all get too upset about the demise of one of our favorite bikes, let’s take a look at the reasons to be optimistic about the new one.

    The next C63 will use a longitudinally mounted version of the M139 turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four, which, in transverse form, powers AMG’s CLA45 and GLA45. As in its other longitudinal applications in the SL43 and C43, the C63 will feature a 400-volt electric turbocharger (or e-turbo), a bit of motorsport technology carryover from MB’s Formula 1 engine. A small engine mounted directly on the shaft of the turbo can speed up the compressor to give a boost before the exhaust gases start flowing. AMG says it will be possible to keep the turbo running even when the engine is idling to ensure immediate throttle response.

    The 400-volt power supply to make this possible comes from the battery that powers a hybrid system that in turn powers a rear-mounted electric motor. The motor drives the rear axle through its own two-speed gearbox, which switches to its top ratio at around 143 mph. The engine contributes to the torque delivered via the conventional four-cylinder drive shaft.

    Engine power can also be sent to the front axle thanks to a clutch pack on the nine-speed automatic transmission, and electrical torque can be shifted forward by effectively reversing the torque flow within the drivetrain. A small (think 5.0 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity or smaller) battery pack sits above the rear drive unit to aid weight distribution, and it can deliver 201 horsepower for up to 10 seconds at a time.

    We’ll have to wait for the new C63 to be officially unveiled to get the final results, but AMG promises that the four-cylinder engine will deliver at least 442 hp. The combined figure with the electric motor should provide at least as much power in the new car as the 503-hp V-8 in the outgoing model. The hybrid system will also later be combined with the 4.0-liter V-8 to make an even more muscular 73 AMG powertrain for larger AMG models. We’ll be seeing the C63 this year and expect the price to start at just over $70,000.

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