New Mercedes-AMG C63 swaps V8 for 670bhp PHEV system

It still sits on steel coil springs, but uses a set of remote-reservoir dampers with a solid piston and external valves for bump and rebound. This improves damping performance under extreme conditions and results in both better control and more comfort. Unlike the racing dampers on which such a system is more commonly seen, the C63’s are electronically adjustable via the drive modes in three stages.

The C63 also gets four-wheel steering, allowing the rear wheels to turn up to 2.5deg in the opposite direction to the fronts (up to 62mph) or up to 0.7deg in the same direction at higher speed.

The C63 also gets upgraded brakes with six-piston calipers at the front (optionally gripping composite discs) and single-piston items at the rear. The friction brakes are supplemented by strong regenerative braking, adjustable through four stages.

Q&A: Jochen Hermann, chief technical officer, AMG

What was your aim with the new, hybrid C63?

“The way you drive this car, for us, is changing the game. The difference between the C63 V8 versus the new C63 S E-Performance is all about electrification. We are increasing performance while increasing the efficiency of our powertrain. I think that’s very unique. This is what happened in Formula 1 and this is what we bring to the C-Class.

“And in order to do that, we took on board a lot of the software learnings that we got from the Formula 1 team, and especially from our Mercedes-AMG One project. And you know, since it took us a while to develop the AMG One, you can imagine there was quite a lot of learning. It’s all about energy management. If you’re not able to manage the energy in a P3 hybrid, then you might do one lap on the track and your battery would be empty. And that is why we put many more driving modes into the car. You have to make decisions, like Lewis Hamilton or George Russell would do.”

The V8 is a defining feature of many AMGs. How do you sell customers on this new, very different car?

In these times, it’s essential that we convince our customers and future customers of this new kind of technology, this new kind of game. I think an AMG always works best when you drive the car. The likelihood that you buy the car is always higher when you drive it than if you just look at it and read some specifications. We try to make it clear that we didn’t just get rid of four cylinders. No, we added a lot more things. For example, the electric drive mode. Early in the morning, late at night, leaving your house fully electric – that’s also something that people these days like. We have some very easy ones that can bring people to this car. For example, people said they missed all-wheel drive in their C63. Now they can have it.”

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