2023 Mercedes-AMG C63 revealed
New Mercedes-AMG C63 has 670bhp plug-in hybrid engine set-up that can move it from 0-62mph in just 3.4sec. Here’s everything you need to know, including the price, specs and release date...
On sale: Spring 2023 | Price from: £90,000 (est)
Gin and tonic, salt and pepper and bread and butter are just a few combinations that work together to powerful effect, and the same can be said of V8 engines and Mercedes-AMG performance cars. However, the all-new Mercedes-AMG C63 marks a pivotal moment of change for the brand, because it's powered by a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system that replaces the traditional V8.
Available as a saloon or an estate car, the new C63 features a 469bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that’s paired with a 201bhp electric motor. Working together, the two produce a jaw-dropping 670bhp and 752lb ft of torque, propelling the C63 from 0-62mph in just 3.4sec. To put that in perspective, the existing (503bhp) Mercedes C63 AMG S and the 503bhp BMW M3 Competition take around 3.9sec to complete the same sprint.
Delivering that power is Mercedes-AMG’s nine-speed automatic gearbox. The C63’s electric motor has two speeds to optimise performance, unlike most electric motors, which only have a single forward gear.
With the petrol engine powering the front wheels and the electric motor the rear, the new C63 is four-wheel drive. And being a plug-in hybrid, the electric motor is fed by a 6.1kWh battery, giving the C63 an official electric-only range of 8 miles.
That’s less than the official 15 miles the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid can travel. However, we suspect that Mercedes will have given the C63 a smaller battery to help save weight, and therefore improve performance and handling. As with the electric motor, the battery is located above the rear axle for better weight distribution.
With the ability to travel on pure electric power, the C63’s plug-in hybrid system should help reduce overall running costs. Combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are rated at 40.9mpg and 156g/km of CO2 respectively. In comparison, the M3 Competition is rated at 28.8mpg and 223g/km combined, making the C63 a more attractive choice for company car drivers.
The underpinnings of the new C63 are based on those of the regular Mercedes C-Class but there have been significant upgrades throughout to help with performance and handling. The suspension, for example, is fully adjustable, adapting the set-up of each individual wheel to the road ahead.
There are eight different driving modes to choose from: Electric, Battery Hold, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, RACE, Slippery and Individual. To help improve manoeuvrability in urban areas and tight parking spaces, rear-wheel steering is offered as standard for the first time.
Depending on your selected driving mode, various artificial sounds designed to enhance the driving experience are pumped into the car’s interior speakers. In the sportier modes, for example, this increases the engine and exhaust note.
The C63 also has a regenerative braking system which can help return lost energy to the battery. Five settings are available, ranging from Level 0 (which essentially switches off the system), to Level 3 (which is the strongest setting and essentially allows for single pedal driving, as with many electric cars). There’s also a race setting which optimises the braking for track use.
The model has a much more muscular design than the standard C-Class. The front end, for example, is slightly longer, and the front wings are wider, giving the car a stronger, more powerful stance. Other distinguishing features include a vertical-slatted AMG grille, an AMG emblem (which replaces the Mercedes logo on the bonnet), quad exhaust tips and a boot lid spoiler (that moves to the roof for the estate).
Inside, the C63’s interior is more similar to that of the regular C-Class. This means that it features a large portrait-style 11.9in central infotainment screen that can be operated by touch, voice or the touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel. From our experience, it’s a good system that has sharp graphics and responds quickly. However, the shortcut buttons and rotary controller of BMW’s iDrive mean that the system in the M3 is much less distracting to operate on the move.
As well as the 11.9in central screen, there’s also a 12.3in digital driver’s display. Like the regular car, this system is fully configurable and can show trip, navigation and media information. However, we think the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ system in the Audi RS4 is much easier to use.
Being an AMG performance model, the C63 also has a few specific details which differentiate it from the standard car, including the addition of heavily bolstered sport seats, a partial Alcantara steering wheel and unique leather stitching.
While UK pricing and specifications are yet to be confirmed, the new C63 is expected to start from around £90,000 when it arrives in the UK next year. That means it will be significantly more expensive than the conventionally powered BMW M3 Competition and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which start from £78,175 and £74,999 respectively.
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