Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the next iteration of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 saloon and estate based on the current C-Class range, which has been on sale in the UK for more than a year.
The new C 63 marks the start of a new direction for AMG models. Instead of the traditional large V8 petrol engine most commonly associated with the company’s ’63’ range of models, it’s powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a hybrid system. As a result, the new C 63 is even more powerful than before. How much more? Output has grown by a staggering 50%, from 450hp in the last model to 680hp in the latest version.
The new model is officially named the ‘C 63 S E Performance’, and will become one of the most powerful performance cars on the UK market, with over 150hp more than rivals like the Audi RS 4 and BMW M3, thanks to its new hybrid powertrain. All models make use of a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The engine is the same 2.0-litre unit found in the Mercedes-AMG A 45 hot hatch, but with the addition of two electric motors – one on the front axle and another on the rear – to provide an additional 200-odd horsepower. It also gives C 63 all-wheel drive capabilities, improving traction in slippery conditions.
Mercedes-AMG says that the saloon version can complete a 0-62mph sprint in 3.4 seconds, which is the same as the less powerful but much lighter BMW M3.
The hybrid system is clearly aimed at improving performance rather than making it particularly economical, with a small 6kWh battery that will be drained very quickly (especially if driven hard). Officially, Mercedes-AMG claims that the C 63 can run on purely electric power for eight miles, so in real-world terms it’s likely to be even less than that.
Like its predecessor, the new C 63 is slightly wider than the C-Class it is based on, with the wheels pushed further apart for improved handling and more aggressive bodywork. Both saloon and estate models sit on 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, but 20-inch alloys will also be available as an optional extra.
Inside, the interior carries all of the C-Class on-board tech and is trimmed in nappa leather. Mercedes-AMG says that ‘many’ different interior colours will be available, and weight-saving ‘AMG Performance’ seats will be available on the options list. A head-up display is optional.
The digital instrument cluster and central infotainment screen offer unique AMG display graphics not available on regular C-Class models. As with other AMG models, it also comes with a data logger for track to record speed, acceleration, steering angle and braking information, as well as displaying lap and sector times.
The company has not announced a UK on-sale date for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 yet, nor pricing and local specifications.