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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Mercedes-AMG shocks 500 kW jolt into two-door AMG GT 63

Replacement for the AMG GT R sports a first-time hybrid V8 drivetrain to become the three-pointed star's most powerful coupe.

Rumoured for introduction, but confirmed, ever since the launch of the now second generation model at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last year, Mercedes-AMG has taken the wraps off the most powerful derivative of the AMG GT to date, the new 63 S E Performance.

Focus on ‘green’ performance

The replacement for the AMG GT R, the 63 S, as evident by the “E” denominator, utilises electrification in the form of a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrain as a first for the model in general.

In a reversal of the controversial four-cylinder PHEV though, Affalterbach has opted for the same V8 configuration as in the four-door GT 63 S E-Performance, albeit with more torque in spite of power remaining the same.

Only second to the S65 E Performance as the torquiest mass produced AMG model now on-sale, the GT 63 S E Performance combines the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine with a rear mounted 150kW/320Nm electric motor powered by 6.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

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Whereas the combustion engine develops 450kW/850Nm on its own, the addition of the electric hardware results in a combined output of the same 600 kW as the four-door, but with 20 Nm more torque for a final figure of 1 420 Nm.

Hooked to the nine-speed MCT transmission, which houses the electric motor itself, the AMG GT 63 S E Performance will get from 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 320 km/h.

Mercedes-AMG removes wraps of power crazed AMG GT 63 S E Performance
AMG GT 63 S E Performance rides as standard on 20-inch alloy wheels, with 21-inches being optional. Image: Mercedes-AMG

Sending the amount of twist to all four corners is the AMG-tuned 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. As with its sibling, the GT 63 is all about performance and as such, has an all-electric range of only 13 km.

No less than four methods of energy recuperation is, however, possible including a so-called one pedal function that requires all most no brake pedal input as a result of the regeneration system feeding as much as 100 kW back into the battery pack.

Supposedly derived from Mercedes’ Formula 1 involvement, the PHEV set-up has resulted in the AMG Dynamic Select system being revised with eight modes; Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, the self-explanatory Electric and Battery Hold that relies solely on the V8 as propulsion method, without affecting the battery’s remaining range.

Not shouting its credentials

Externally, Benz has been discreet in differentiating the AMG GT 63 S E Performance from the rest of the two-door GT range.

Besides a second flap hiding the charging port, the newcomer gets E Performance badges on the front wings, grooved twin trapezoidal exhaust outlets on either side of the rear bumper, a model specific front splitter and standard 20-inch or optional 21-inch AMG alloy wheels.

Its platform having been designed to accommodate electrification from the start, changes to the AMG GT 63 S E Performance compared to the standard model comprise the rear-axle steering system as standard, the AMG Active Ride Control dampers with semi-active roll stabilisation, and uprated shock absorbers and springs.

Mercedes-AMG removes wraps of power crazed AMG GT 63 S E Performance
Interior can be spruced-up via a number of personalisation options. Image: Mercedes-AMG

Providing stopping power is the AMG carbon ceramic brakes comprising a six-piston gold-painted caliper setup at the front and single at the rear, with respective disc sizes of 420 mm and 380 mm.

Inside, the subtle touches include the standard AMG sport seats with a massaging function, the option of a 2+2 seating layout, hybrid readouts and graphics within the instrument cluster and MBUX infotainment system, and the cost extra AMG Performance chairs trimmed in Nappa leather with a diamond qualitied pattern, or Nappa leather with a microcut fibre inclusive of red or yellow stitch work.

Not yet for South Africa

Now available for ordering in Europe with deliveries commencing from the third quarter of the year, pricing for the AMG GT 63 S E Performance remains unknown, with the same applying to South African market availability for the time being.

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