The new Mercedes AMG 2023 C63 SE Performance It has a very big name and a very small engine. But with massive 671 hp (680 PS) from its electrically assisted 2.0-liter, I might persuade you not to mind that I’ve swapped a V8 for a turbocharged four, and swapped a low-speed growl for a synthetic electronic pedestrian warning. noise.
Make no mistake, this is a racially different hot Class C than we’ve ever met before, and that includes the AMG C43 that recently downgraded from a V6 to a turbo four. Automakers often focus on a major change, such as going from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive, or downsizing a V8 to a V6, when replacing one generation of performance car with another. But this time it looks like AMG has skipped three generations: in one fell swoop it has turned the C63 from a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged V8 to a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.
The engine is AMG’s M139L 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, as seen in the SL43 Roadster and the little brother of the C63, the C43. Like those cars, it features an electrically driven turbocharger, but for the C63 the fan is much larger. So while the SL43’s petrol engine tops out at 376 hp (381 PS) and the C43 tops out at 402 hp (408 PS), the C63 hits both with an output of 470 hp (476 PS). Not only does that match the old base model C63’s V8 despite being half the size, but it makes this new version of the M139 the most powerful four-cylinder production engine in the world, and at 402 lb-ft. (545 Nm), must be the most tortuous too.
And that’s before we take into account the electrical impulse which is also new for 2023. That drive happens at the rear wheels courtesy of a 150 kW (201 hp/204 PS) electric motor packed into the rear axle along with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential and two-speed transmission unit. It can propel the car like an electric vehicle up to 78 mph (125 km/h) and up to 8 miles (13 km), if driven smoothly, which makes it sound like a PHEV from a decade ago, but that It’s because AMG has prioritized power over efficiency for this hybrid system.
With a 6.1 kWh battery, the motor delivers its maximum 150 KW for a maximum of 10 seconds at a time, but is always available with at least 70 kW (94 hp / 95 PS), and engages its second gear from 87 mph (140 km/h) once kissed its 13,500 rpm rev limiter.
The result is a pretty spectacular combined gas-electric power output of 671 hp (680 PS) and 752 lb-ft (1,020 Nm), making the C63 not only much more powerful than the old V8-engined C63 S and its 503 hp, or the 503-hp BMW M3 Competition but more impressive than previous class super sedans like the 617 hp BMW M5 competition. Zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) takes 3.4 seconds (compared to 4.0 seconds on the old C63 S) and the top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) can be increased to 170 mph (280 km/h). km/h) with a suitable plug from your Mercedes dealer at the time of order.
Select between rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and EV modes
The electric motor acts only on the rear axle, and you can configure the gasoline engine to do the same. But for the first time the model works by default in all-wheel drive. Power flows to the 4Matic+ four-leg transmission via a conventional nine-speed epicyclic automatic transmission, but equipped with a wet clutch pack instead of a torque converter.
Rear axle steering also does his debut in the new C63 and carbon brakes join a list of standard equipment that includes adaptive dampers for steel-spring suspension and an AMG Dynamics drive mode selector with a new “Master” mode that enables oversteer type by which the C63s have become famous. Drivers also get AMG-specific graphics on the digital instrument cluster and head-up display, plus a button on the steering wheel that provides four levels of energy recovery ranging from almost non-existent to strong enough to allow driving. with a single pedal.
Other new features include a slim hood vent that helps distinguish the C63 of the C43 which also has the Panamericana grill with teeth and flared front fenders that add 3 inches (76 mm) to the width of the nose. The fenders sport “Turbo E Performance” badges below their retro-style vents, and for the first time, there’s an AMG badge on the hood instead of the traditional Mercedes.
Car reserved for European buyers
So far we’ve been referring specifically to the C63 sedan, but everything we’ve covered also applies to the station wagon, which sadly, like the new BMW M3 Touring, it is likely to be out of reach for North American buyers. The long-roof version takes the same 3.4 seconds to hit 62 mph and, like the sedan, rolls on 19-inch wheels unless you upgrade to 20 through an option list that includes a revised AMG trim. Optional performance with side ventilation. The only major differences between the sedan and wagon body styles is that if you check the box to lift the wagon’s 155 mph speed limiter, you only gain 13 mph (20 km/h), not 19 mph (30 km/h). ) and that the wagon has a weight penalty of 75 pounds (34 kg).
Smaller engine, bigger waist
Yes, let’s talk about weight. Forget any notion that cutting off four cylinders could make this C63 lighter than the last. The new larger body, hybrid kit, and all-wheel drive transmission shatter that dream. Mercedes-AMG listed the latest C63 S sedan at 3,704 lb (1,680 kg) in European trim, but this one comes out at 4,489 lb (2,036 kg). That’s like driving an old car with three fat friends or four skinny ones. And while the new car is clearly faster, greener (156g/km vs. 196g/km) and will consume much less fuel (34mpg US / 41mpg UK on the EC cycle, says AMG), You have to wonder what effect the extra ballast will have on handling.
One route to reducing that weight will be to wait for the non-S Mercedes C63 likely to be announced later to compete with the non-competition versions of the BMW M3, though downgrading will inevitably have an impact on horsepower and it still won’t. that is as light as a C63 of the previous generation.
Mercedes hasn’t released pricing details for the 2023 C63 AMG, but even though the 671-hp output tops $80,800 BMW M3 Competition xDriveis for a massive 168 hp (170 PS), we’d expect the AMG to be priced pretty close.
Which would you buy? Would you gladly trade some of the 2023 C63’s horsepower for a six- or eight-cylinder engine? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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