Purists have still not recovered from the discovery of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance, emptied of its essential V8 and now equipped with a small ultra-powerful rechargeable hybrid four-cylinder. They will no doubt be reassured to note that on the large sports models in the range, the brand with the star retains this famous eight-cylinder, forever associated with the image of the AMG department. A high-performance version of the large limousine upgraded to an all-new generation in 2021, the S63 E-Performance has a powertrain close to that of the recent GT 63 S Coupe 4-Door E-Performance. It develops “just” 802 horsepower instead of the latter’s 843.
Installed under the front hood, the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 produces 612 horsepower and 900 Nm. To assist it, a synchronous electric motor hides on the rear axle and draws its energy from batteries with a gross capacity of 13.1 kWh, with a two-speed gearbox to optimize its operation (the V8 connects to a 9-speed automatic transmission). The assembly produces a maximum torque of 1,430 Nm, impressive on paper but less so when reading the advertised performance: 0 to 100 km/h, admittedly dizzying at 3.3 seconds, only progresses by two tenths compared to the old S63 AMG 100% internal combustion engine with 612 horsepower. The increase in mass induced by the hybrid mechanics, now set at 2,595 kg empty, no doubt partly explains these figures. Note that the machine can travel 33 kilometers in electric mode, with programming geared more towards sporting efficiency than maximum autonomy. With an advertised grammage of 100 g/km (i.e. 4.4 liters in mixed consumption), it in any case escapes the ecological penalty (but not that of weight due to its electric range under 50 km, resulting in a tax of 7 950€).
Great luxury and autonomous driving
The S63 E-Performance remains above all a real S-Class with rear seats that are still just as pleasant to live in and state-of-the-art technological content. The car will even be able to receive the level 4 autonomous driving function from next year, even if the latter only allows for the moment to let it park itself in a parking lot at Stuttgart airport. Note that like the other plug-in hybrid versions of the range, it limits the capacity of its trunk to 305 liters. Its price is not yet known but it will most likely exceed €150,000 in France. It will compete with the Audi S8 (571 horsepower) while the recent BMW 7 Series is limited to 544 horsepower in the xDrive60 version.