2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance Is a 680-HP, 4-Cylinder Hybrid
Wherein Mercedes-Benz ditches the V8 in favor of something a little more forward-looking.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 has always been quite the spunky little bruiser, shoving massive V8 power into the automaker's compact luxury platform. But the times, they are a-changin', and so too must the C63. While the 2024 model makes some major changes that may shock some purists, its numbers should appeal to enthusiasts of all varieties.
The most notable change in the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance, which is quite the mouthful of a name, is the elimination of its V8 powerplant. In its place is a 2.0-liter inline-4 with an electric turbocharger, which mates to a two-speed electric motor on the rear axle, generating a net 680 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque, a massive power bump over the outgoing model's 500-ish hp. Mechanical linkages allow both the gas engine and electric motors to power all four wheels. There's enough motive force and grip here to reach 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds.
2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance Borrows F1 Tech for the Road
The I4 under the hood is no slouch, producing a prodigious 476 hp and 402 lb.-ft. on its own, making it the most powerful I4 in the world. Its electric exhaust gas turbocharger is similar to what we've already experienced in the AMG C43, but the C63's snail is a bit larger than that one.
The other 204 hp comes from the electric motor at the rear axle, with its 6.1-kilowatt-hour battery nestled just above it. Since the battery is engineered for delivering gobs of power, range is a little paltry at just 8 miles between charges. But it's a properly high-tech battery, with much of its development borrowed from the hybrid wizards who run the Formula 1 team. It will accept some impressive regeneration, taking up to 100kW of power under heavy braking. Four levels of regeneration are available, up to and including the usual one-pedal driving mode found on most modern electrified cars.
As with many other plug-in hybrids on the market these days, the C63 comes with modes for electric-only operation, in addition to a Hold mode that keeps the battery at a certain charge level. Two sportier modes let the electric motor engage more freely with the gas engine, but there's also a Race mode that prioritizes heavy battery recharging. There's also a Boost button that unlocks the electric motor's full potential to provide some extra kick when leaving a corner. Don't worry, there's also a Drift mode.
That wild powertrain is supported by a number of other performance bits throughout the car. The C63 comes standard with adaptive dampers, as well as 2.5-degree rear-axle steering and some beefy composite brakes.
The C63 may look like any other C-Class from a distance, but a good amount of work has been done to the body. The front end is 2 inches longer, the wheelbase has grown 0.4-inch and the front fenders have been widened over a standard C-Class. The hood features two striking ridges, which flank an air outlet. The rear bumper has an aggressive diffuser and AMG's signature quadruple tailpipes. For the first time, the badge on the front bumper has been swapped out with AMG's own logo, too. The interior is pretty similar to the C-Class, save for some slick new performance seats and AMG-specific trimmings.
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance should go on sale in 2023, and pricing will likely be announced closer to its on-sale date.