By on October 17, 2019

MY2017 C63 S Coupe Edition 1 - Image: Mercedes-Benz

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]

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45 Comments on “Report: Mercedes-AMG C63 Abandoning V8 Power...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Probably would have been better off going BEV.

    I never liked the AMG 4.0T that much compared to the M156, M113, or VW’s 4.0T.

    Still, I expect this will hurt the prestige of the model, especially if other AMGs (and Audi/BMW) keep 6 or 8 cylinders. If every C-class is AWD and uses a 4-cylinder then going up a model tier loses a lot of punch. I’ll also point out that Mercedes’ 4-cylinders are kind of bad (although they are apparently improved from a few years ago) compared to the competition and the hybrid-I6 setup isn’t exactly receiving glowing reviews.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Where are the wails of 4-cylinder engines don’t belong in luxury cars?!?

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Forget the basic C series, this is the AMG monster.

    The B&B crack me up.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t understand your point.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Don’t get this post.

      Those (like me) who bemoan the 2.0T-ing of everything aren’t likely to change our minds just because AMG saw fit to join the trend. I’m sure it will be fast, that doesn’t make me interested in it. See: Tesla.

      If anything, this would give Cadillac even more of a chance to stand out with a LT1 CT4-V, now that it would be a class exclusive V8.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think he’s trying to say this is a bad-a** four cylinder. And, yeah, 500 hp is pretty bada** for a four.

      It’s still a four in a car that’s going to retail for upwards of a hundred large.

      Nope.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        And will probably have a much better chance of a dramatic, explosive, and expensive demise at full song!

        As good as the K20C3 is in my Accord, it ain’t no J35! I said yesterday that I would blanch at the thought of that engine in a $45K Acura! In a $100K+ Deutsche Rube Goldberg-mobile?! Not even if you gave it to me!!!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Who is the greater fool, the fool or the fool who follows him?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      This comment makes zero sense, this article is just more fire to the flame that 4 cylinders are for economy cars. Zero point in this exercise go V8+ or go electric but this drivetrain belongs in economy cars costing 1/4 of what this costs.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I don’t think you will find too many people defending this. The overboosted 2L was obnoxious at 350hp, so I’m sure it’s not better at 416hp. In the CLA45 always felt like a tuned Talon with the boost turned up like crazy. I don’t think anyone will find this as a suitable replacement for the mighty V8s of years past. Even the 4L wasn’t the same raw monster as previous versions.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Fu2k that noise, literally.

    I could see this being entirely satisfactory with the straight-six and more boost from the electric motors.

    But a four-cylinder sound just won’t cut it no matter how powerful it is.

    Agree with ajla that all-electric is a better idea than having a four in a car like this.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I’d been starting to get the impression that the C-class was gaining some respectability in light of Mercedes-Benz’ dive into the sewer with lesser models beneath it. This should bring a quick halt to that trend!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Presumably all of the C-Klasse offerings will only offer that wheezy four, in either straight ICE or hybrid variants.

      Thank the Chi-Coms and their displacement taxes for that!

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        What I have never and will never understand about that is that these are expensive limited production hot rods. Their buyers aren’t going to blanch at paying some extra displacement tax. Not to mention how many are sold here where there is no such consideration.

        The mass market C300 I get why it’s 2.0L

        The C63 being 2.0L makes absolutely no sense.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          This is such a bizarre move by AMG I wonder if they are playing 4D chess here to get the “no more V8” issue out of the way early and will later announce the car is coming with an I6 or as a BEV.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Eugh. The new malaise era is here, ladies and gentlemen. We have plenty of horsepower but it all sounds like agricultural equipment and cheetah farts. Oh, and you can’t shift for yourself in most of the market anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Been saying this for a couple years! Unfortunately, the outcome at the other end of the tunnel is the AmazonGoogleBezosAllYourLifeAreBelongToUsYouWillNeverExceedAPostedSpeedLimit pods, and not a performance renaissance!

      And an environmental crisis at the start, this one completely formed out of whole cloth, unlike 1970!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    But it’s a *handmade* four-banger!

    (Dumb idea – it needs a six, minimum.)

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    It really needs a 1.6 liter 6 cylinder with a Petronas badge on the side. Charge an extra 10g’s and they would all have been sold by now. Could have been a great marketing tie in.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    AMG death watch.

    Seriously, buyers at this level can opt for a spec’ d out Model S and go faster while looking cooler and enjoying huge low end torque. Oh and the Tesla doesn’t depreciate as much as the Benz will. Digging your own grave Mercedes, should have gone BEV or not messed with success. This half measure stuff will cost you.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I agree. This seems like a major misstep and is moving the C63 down a caste in the MB order.
      Instead of sharing the engine with $100K+ vehicles you’re now getting an A-class derived 4-cylinder, also shared with the mid-level C-class, only with its wick turned up. Barring a big price drop (which seems very unlikely) I see many people going with the competition and even big Mercedes fans going for a different car (which I guess works out for MB if they buy something more expensive).

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        I think I recall an article I read several years ago where a Mercedes exec said he could envision a future where an S class would only have a turbo/supercharger assisted 1.8 liter four with electric assist. That made me sad then and now it seems like it’s gonna happen some day.

  • avatar

    I want my V8 Tri-power Turbo BEV back!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This is no surprise to me all the car companies are going to turbo 4s and hybrid 4s to meet the efficiency standards. Eventually these will be replaced by EVs. Agree that the I4s are a ripoff in a 100k vehicle but I think a lot of people that buy a Mercedes or even a BMW are buying one not because of whats under the hood but the prestige of the badge. Most are not enthusiasts like the readers on this site. I think many wouldn’t care if they were driving a prestige vehicle with a Chinese lawn mower engine.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “but the prestige of the badge”
      “I think many wouldn’t care if they were driving a prestige vehicle with a Chinese lawn mower engine.”

      Then why not buy an A-Class and save some money or spend the same money and get a CLS450 or E53? If you’re buying a C63, I’d expect you must care about something beyond the badge and hitting a certain price point.

      As far as efficiency standards go, I’ll be surprised if a 48-volt 506hp turbo-4 has appreciable economy gains over the current 3.0EQ or even the 4.0L.

    • 0 avatar
      Cobrajet429

      But they are not getting rid of the V8 yet, they will add electric assistance and give it a larger number “73”, like when they were adding turbo charging and direct injection.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    aja–I am not saying the V-8 is not the better engine I am saying that most people don’t even know what type of motor is under their vehicles hood. As long as the vehicle has a nice interior, the most up to date technology, and a wi fi. I doubt most buyers of MBs and BMWs are even thinking about mpgs. Many of those prestige buyers are leasing the vehicle and if it is an I-4 with a turbo then most will be happy with the pep of engine. Many don’t plan on keeping the vehicle that long. A car enthusiast is more likely to choose the V8 or inline 6 but most of these cars are not sold to enthusiast and MB and BMW would rather you lease than buy.

    You and I would care about the I-4 in an expensive vehicle but many would not. We are not the majority.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I am saying that most people don’t even know what type of motor is under their vehicles hood.”
      “You and I would care about the I-4 in an expensive vehicle but many would not. We are not the majority.”

      I don’t disagree with you. But, “the majority” weren’t buying a C63 either. Someone that just wants any Mercedes badge can lease an A-Class (or a lower trim C-class) and someone that just wants a Mercedes that cost at least $70K can lease an E-class or CLA-Class.

      At this point, why even bother making something with a C63 badge? Daimler must have some customer profile in mind I wonder who they think is going to go for it.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        It would be an interesting experiment to take a standard C300, find some way to call it a “limited edition”, list it for $10k over the price of the AMG, and badge it “C73” or something. Just to see how many people actually want the insane power vs how many only want to be seen driving the one that has the biggest number and costs the most.

        I would expect to be depressed by the results.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I may be out-of-date with this but I’ve always thought the “prestige” people cared more about the letter part of the model name while the “performance” people cared more about the number part of the model name.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          A very large percentage of “costs the most” vehicles are leased.
          The temporary possessors of these cars think it’s prestigious to drive a Merc or BMW or Land Rover, since no one can tell if they are purchased or leased. The appearance of wealth actually costs them financial progress.
          It’s much wiser to purchase used, pay cash and buy some good stocks and REITs with the difference. The opinion of some stranger at a stop light or in the condo next door doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Please tell me this has full multiplexing.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    Blame the upcoming stringent (and frankly impossible) EU fleet CO2 emissions (95g/km starting 2021) for this decision. The EU is attempting to force everyone into BEVs by setting unrealistic and physically impossible emissions for ICE vehicles. The only way for manufacturers to currently meet these regulations is by downsizing, reducing the cylinder count and mating the ICE with an electric motor (hybrid).

    That being said, the newest generation of four cylinders from Mercedes-Benz have impressed me. Last month I drove the new A200, which has a 1.3-liter turbocharged four cylinder power plant. If you had told me it was a six cylinder engine I would have believed it as its NVH qualities were incredibly convincing. And the high-strung four cylinders in the A35 and A45 AMG cars are receiving glowing reviews and praise.

    Eventually ICEs will disappear from these performance cars, and they will be replaced with soulless electric motors and some battery cells…

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @ajla–Why bother making a C63 with an I4 because the profit margin is so great that MB is going to make it. Thomas is correct that the upcoming EU Co2 stringent emissions make this the only way manufacturers can meet these standards along with downsizing and hybrid systems. Eventually manufacturers will not be able to make ICE vehicles. Like it or not eventually the US will follow these standards. Agree with Thomas that many of these turbo 4s have impressive performance but also agree with you that the overall fuel economy is negligible. Also I question the long term longevity of turbo 4s. I believe all the manufacturers will eventually use more carbon fiber to lighten vehicles up.

    • 0 avatar
      ThomasSchiffer

      Although I do not own a high-strung modern turbocharged four cylinder engine, I have spoken about the issue of longevity with my independent mechanic of choice. This man has assured me that it is not really an issue, as these engines have been ‘beefed up and reinforced’ to withstand the effects of Start-Stop.

      What can become problematic according to him is the turbocharger, but this appears to be mostly related to how the owner treated the vehicle. It is always a good idea to cool a turbocharger down after a lengthy sustained high speed (or sporty) drive and not just shut off the engine.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    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).

    • 0 avatar
      ThomasSchiffer

      The experience shows that it comes down to maintenance and how the previous owner or owners treated the vehicle. Allowing the turbo to cool off is critical to turbocharger longevity.

      I have been a Turbodiesel driver for decades and I have always driven my turbos ‘cool’ after a lengthy high speed journey on the Autobahns. It is quite simple. If I have been speeding for many kilometers the turbocharger will get very hot. If I know I will arrive at my destination soon, I will slow down for the last three or five kilometers to a slower speed (in my case this is 130 km/h) and allow the turbocharger to be cooled by the airflow. On my previous Turbodiesel cars I have never had turbocharger problems.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        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.

  • avatar
    Cobrajet429

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


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