Mercedes plans to go almost all-electric by 2030. Part of that transition will be transitioning away from the brand’s beloved V8 engines — and that transition starts this week. Mercedes-AMG has just teased the launch of the new AMG C63, which will be occurring on September 21st. The brand says it will deliver “next level E performance” — an indicator that the new car, as long expected, will forego a twin-turbo V8 for a turbocharged four-cylinder plug-in hybrid.
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The gas engine won’t be just any four-pot, however. According to Autocar, the engine will be the crazy 2.0-liter hot hatch engine Mercedes has deployed with more than 400 horsepower in AMG 45 models. For the AMG C63, the engine will be tuned to 470 horsepower. Adding a 201-hp electric motor on the rear axle will bump total output to around 670 hp with 553 lb-ft of torque.
Remember that the C-class is Mercedes’s compact sedan. So the AMG C63 will technically rival the BMW M3, but pack nearly 170 more hp. That 670 hp output is about 50 hp more than the BMW M5 Competition — although BMW has some plans to change that. The AMG C63 will have around the same power as the monstrous Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, though the Merc may not be as engaging as wielding a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with the available six-speed manual.
The new AMG C63 successor won’t be Mercedes’s sports car of the future per se; that should end up being some form of a dual-motor electric car. But it will mark a significant shift toward the future and be a template for future updates to the AMG 63 series vehicles this decade.
The Mercedes V8 is not dying off entirely. And the brand has not ruled out selling V8 cars beyond 2030 in markets where it is still legal, and demand exists. But we’d expect the V8 to become a niche offering on high-priced vehicles, with the super-powered four-cylinder hybrid picking up much of the mainstream slack.