Report: Mercedes-AMG Bringing Back V8 Engines

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

report mercedes amg bringing back v8 engines

Word has it that Mercedes-AMG is mulling over how best to bring back V8 power to the C and E-Class. While the performance unit downsized its powertrains in a bid to be more emissions compliant, fans pointed out that AMG had long been synonymous with under-stressed and over-engineered V8s making enough power to burn through a set of tires in a single outing.

The shift ended up being a bit of a scandal and one that left a sour taste in the mouth of the people that would actually buy AMG-branded products — which may explain the claimed change of heart.

According to two unnamed sources speaking with Car and Driver, Mercedes-AMG is in the midst of deciding how to bring back the V8. Though the overarching plan remains ambiguous, the rationale behind it is anything but.

From Car and Driver:

The AMG community is not amused. The most powerful AMG C-class, the C63, traded the V-8 for a hybridized turbo-four, and the next top-of-the-line E-class, the upcoming E63, will make do with an inline-six plug-in-hybrid setup. Some say that's not good enough to do battle with the BMW M3, which has a twin-turbo inline-six, and the future BMW M5, which is slated to have a hybrid setup with a twin-turbo V-8. The upcoming Audi RS5 and RS7 will also be powered by a V-6 hybrid good for up to 640 horsepower.
The only escape route out of this dilemma is the reinstitution of the M177 4.0-liter V-8 engine, which will return to the C- and E-class in 2026, two independent sources say. The eight-cylinder is currently being modified to meet EU7 emissions standards. This engine is currently used in the 831-hp AMG GT63 S E Performance and the 791-hp AMG S63, and it's combined with a hybrid setup in both of those applications.

It would be stupid to pretend that a 2.0-liter Mercedes optimized for performance can’t still be a hoot to drive. The iconic Mercedes-Benz 190E (W201) is an absolute legend with the 2.0-liter. But there’s a reason models featuring the I6 tend to be more sought after. It isn’t because they’re more reliable, it’s definitely not because they’re cheaper to run, and it might not even have all that much to do with their being faster. People want the larger engines to have the mental satisfaction of knowing they’re driving something with a larger engine.

It’s the same reason someone with a family of four opts to buy the trail-rated SUV that’s a little too big for the garage and will never actually be taken off-road. A Toyota Camry may have served them better. But it wouldn’t have made the neighbors envious. Despite the less-is-more concept being applicable in certain situations, the appearance of wealth and prestige demands one take the more-is-more approach.

While perky little four-bangers have a lot to offer, their implementation can sometimes be a little disappointing. Imagine you’ve been given a free Ford Mustang with the badging removed and are told to open the hood to see which motor is inside. Your level of excitement is going to be determined almost entirely by how many cylinders you find.

Compact cars can thrive on small and peppy turbocharged motors. But there’s something truly sad about seeing one tucked inside an engine bay of a vehicle that could have accommodated something larger — especially when it’s also a premium luxury product that costs as much as some starter homes.

Based on the report, AMG only needs to make some minor adjustments to the C and E-Class to accommodate the “biturbo” V8, battery pack, and electric motor. There’s also a chance the powertrains will stick around for a while, too. Plug-in hybrids are given more regulatory leeway and the models are presently under evaluation to persist beyond 2028. The worst-case scenario is that we’ll probably see V8 AMGs for a couple of years, starting in 2026. However, the report makes it seem like they’ll be persisting beyond 2030.

That would certainly be welcome news. But it may not be wise to get too comfortable with the idea, as it wasn’t that long ago when Mercedes-Benz said it was just about done with the V8. Never forget that you’re just one development cycle away from nobody having to keep their promises.

[Image: Mercedes]

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2 of 19 comments
  • Art_Vandelay Art_Vandelay on Aug 05, 2023

    Nonsense. I read right here that because Shevolay and Dodge can't do it, nobody can

  • Olddavid Olddavid on Aug 09, 2023

    I went down the internet rabbit hole yesterday when I was told that Judd was an offshoot of Jack Brabham and his group of engineer racers. Judd makes a V10 that weighs less than 300 lbs. Now if that is possible why not an emission legal V8 for all who will check that box? I didn't ask, but I would estimate the cost at probably half a million but scale would lower that considerably. The business case was made by Chrysler with the Challenger Charger twins selling out at the close of business. Ignore all political ideology and just allow for the numbers to gel. I have the cars I expect to be in my testament and all three are four cam V8 rear drive cars. Am I that far from the median of driving humanity?

  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.