Report: Mercedes-AMG C63 Abandoning V8 Power

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The next-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 will be quite a bit different than the model that’s currently on sale. We’ve already heard stirrings that rear-wheel drive will be swapped for standard all-wheel drive with the sub-brand’s now-familiar drift mode. But additional rumors now suggest the Autobahn bruiser is poised to abandon its 4.0-liter biturbo V8.

While nothing has been confirmed by the manufacturer, Autocar claims details sourced from AMG’s Affalterbach engineering HQ indicate the C63 will embrace a 2.0-liter inline-four using a 48V mild-hybrid system.

It’s the same unit that’s in the AMG A45, sans the hybrid assistance. That should offer a baseline of 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, before AMG starts trying to coax out more ponies via engine tuning and some light electrification. The powertrain has reportedly been engineered for longitudinal mounting and is also slated to replace the C43’s 3.0-liter V6 in its next incarnation.

From Autocar:

The new C63 will be offered in saloon (sedan), coupé and convertible bodystyles, with the next C43 likely to be sold in those three guises as well as an estate version.

Other AMG models set to run the new electrified driveline include successor models to today’s GLC 43 and GLC 63 SUVs, the GLC 43 Coupé and the GLC 63 Coupé.

Autocar has been told the M139 engine will adopt a 48V integrated starter motor similar to that already used by the turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder M256 unit, which powers the CLS 53 4Matic+ and other recent new AMG models.

In the CLS 53 4Matic+, the gearbox-mounted starter motor provides an additional 22bhp and 184lb ft of electric boosting. In the next C63, however, it is set to be tuned to provide significantly more power in combination with a similar torque loading.

Apparently, this will all come together to deliver a four-cylinder C63 that matches the outgoing V8’s 503 hp. Similarly unchanged will be the transmission. Mercedes plans on fitting the “EQ Boost” hybrid drivetrain up to its nine-speed MCT Speedshift gearbox. Maximum torque will be aided by the hybrid system, delivering a proposed 553 pound-feet of maximum torque. Impressive, considering the model is losing half its displacement and cylinder count, but we imagine they’ll still plenty of people offended that there’s no V8.

Despite requiring the addition of a lithium ion battery, overall weight will be down. The hybrid system is said to be relatively small, utilizing more advanced energy recuperation techniques that harvest kinetic energy more efficiently — which also means peak power will be available more often. While AMG engineers seem to be doing a fine job of making the little 2.0-liter work for the C63, the downsizing of its powerplant is likely the product of a manufacturer attempting to minimize fleet-wide emissions.

Expect further details to filter out as the next-generation AMG C63 moves closer to an official debut. Sales of the model are expected to start in 2021.

[Image: Daimler]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 19, 2019

    I remember back in the 80s when there were many turbocharged motors that my brother in law would let his engine idle before shutting it down. I don't recall him having any problems with the turbocharger but then he was very careful and meticulous about the maintenance of all his vehicles. My sister at the same time had her turbocharger replaced several times on her 83 Mitsubishi Starion but she was hard on her vehicles. I have always been a stickler for maintenance and have gotten many years at of all my vehicles (over 10 years).

    • See 1 previous
    • Bumpy ii Bumpy ii on Oct 19, 2019

      @ThomasSchiffer One difference here is that turbodiesels in the '80s-90s didn't have exhaust temperatures high enough to cook the turbo bearings while gasoline turbos did, hence the development of aftermarket turbo timers and such. EGT does get to be an issue on modern turbodiesels with higher injector pressures and higher boost levels.

  • Cobrajet429 Cobrajet429 on Oct 19, 2019

    This doesn't mean the V8 will go away. A V8 with hybrid assistance will come as the C73 AMG.

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