Four-pot 2022 Mercedes-AMG C63 to use F1-style hybrid tech
Super-saloon will ditch V8 in favour of plug-in hybrid powertrain for 2022 launch
Mercedes-AMG C63 Four-pot, F1-style hybrid tech
Mercedes-AMG will radically reinvent the new, third-generation C63 super-saloon, due in 2022, with a high-performance plug-in hybrid powertrain that uses Formula 1 technology. DriverCarhas obtained additional technical details of the upcoming BMW M3 rival, which forgoes long-established V8 propulsion in favour of an advanced four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain. It will be the first of a number of future AMG models to use the powertrain as a transition to fully electric propulsion.
The 2022 C63 will adopt the M139 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine found in the latest Mercedes-AMG A45. Although the engine currently delivers a maximum of 416bhp, sources close to AMG suggest the combined system outputs for the C63 will approach 515bhp and 590lb ft – 22bhp and 74lb ft more than today’s model.
A number of key powertrain innovations will enable these increases over the eight-cylinder car. The first is a new electrically driven turbocharger to replace the exhaust-gas-driven set-up currently used by AMG. Said to operate in a similar way to the MGU-H system used in Mercedes’ current F1 cars, the new turbo can operate at up to 170,000rpm, boosting airflow, while the electric propulsion improves throttle response.
Another new system, DriverCar understands, will enable the C63 to adopt a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with an integrated starter motor operating at up to 400V – well above the usual 48V mild-hybrid systems. This alone produces 40bhp, it is claimed. Ditching the pure rear-driven layout of today’s car, the new C63 is tipped to put its engine propulsion through a variable four-wheel drive system. Direct electric drive to the wheels will come solely from the rear, with a motor engineered to deliver up to 200bhp (but limited to less than that in use) integrated into the rear axle. Although details of battery size have yet to be disclosed, sources say the targeted electric-only range is close to 50km (31 miles) via a pack developed solely for AMG’s use. The pack is likely to be substantial as sources estimate a total kerb weight of just over two tonnes for the C63. That’s at least 270kg more than today’s C63, which is far from the lightest car in its class. However, the weight has been shifted around the car, with the lighter engine said to reduce heft over the front axle by 60kg. Balanced out by the increased weight at the rear, a weight distribution close to 50:50 is promised by insiders. Although the four-wheel drive should enable a faster launch and a better 0-62mph time than at present, it remains to be seen if outright performance will be diminished on account of the weight increase relative to the extra power.
DriverCar understands AMG’s fuel economy target for the new C63 is more than 94mpg
The trade-off, however, concerns the fuel economy: DriverCar understands that the targeted figure for the C63 is more than 94mpg. While perhaps not a priority for the C63’s traditional customer base, such a figure will help Mercedes-Benz meet its European Union fleet-average CO2 emissions targets. Alongside the substantial additional heft, another challenge is the increased complexity that this petrol-electric powertrain brings. “It’s much, much more expensive and complicated to produce than the V8 C63,” one insider told us. Whether that translates to an increase in price over today’s £74,000 C63 S is at this stage unknown.
Sophisticated hybrid tech is tipped to give the new C63 515bhp. Next-generation C63 has now begun on-road testing in Germany. Mercedes-AMG will squeeze even more from its 2.0 petrol four-pot.