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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Price revealed as Mercedes-AMG debuts hybrid four-cylinder C63

The most powerful AMG C-Class ever made has not been universally welcomed for ditching the V8 engine for an electrified 2.0-litre in a plug-in hybrid setup.


Its eagerly awaited South African market launch taking place this week, Mercedes-Benz has revealed official price and spec details of the controversial new four-cylinder plug-in hybrid C63 S E Performance.

Subjected to ongoing criticism for eschewing the bi-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine for the electrified 2.0-litre used in the AMG A45 S, AMG CLA 45 and AMG GLA 45, the W206 generation C-Class derived C63 becomes the first four-cylinder performance variant since the W202 generation C230 Kompressor.

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The most powerful C-Class ever made, which has largely been ignored ever since the wraps came off two years ago as a result of the change in powertrain, the C63 combines the mentioned turbocharged M139 unit with a 6.1-kWh battery pack powering a 70 kW electric motor.

Further utilising a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and an exhaust gas-driven electric turbocharger, the electric hardware delivers a peak output of 150kW/320Nm for 10 seconds, which, when combined with the combustion engine, develops a total of 500kW/1 020Nm.

ALSO READ: Mercedes-AMG ‘swapping’ C63’s four-cylinder for V8 in CLE 63

Said to incorporate elements from Benz’s Formula 1 programme, the hybrid system has resulted in a weight gain of 89 kg over the W205 C-Class, albeit with an overall power and torque increase of 125kW/270Nm.

Riding on standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch AMG light alloy wheels, the amount of twist is again directed through a nine-speed MCT transmission to all four wheels via the AMG-optimised 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system.

Performance

Despite tipping the scales at 2 165 kg, the C63 will get from 0-100 km/h in a claimed 3.4 seconds, and hit a limited top speed of 250 km/h or 280 km/h when equipped with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

Being a plug-in hybrid, the C63 doesn’t support rapid DC charging and as such, is fitted with a 3.7 kW AC on-board charger with the claimed all-electric range being 13 km at up to 125 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa prices new AMG C63 S
South Africa will get both the 19-inch and optional 20-inch alloy wheels, but the uprated compound brakes as standard. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Able to recoup as much 100 kW using the regenerative braking system, the C63 not only sports a model specific electronic limited slip differential and retuned Electronic Stability Programme, but also six modes for the Dynamic Select system, namely Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual.

New are Electric and Battery Hold, the former relaying solely on the electric motor and battery, and the latter on the combustion engine without the battery losing any charge or available range.

Spec

Unlike in Europe, South Africa receives the AMG Ride Control dampers, the AMG rear-axle steering system and the AMG Compound brakes as standard, along with the new exhaust system that emits a “new sound experience” noise through the speakers depending on the selected driving mode.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa prices new AMG C63 S
Interior changes from the standard C-Class have been equally small but easy to make-out. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Inside, model bespoke fittings consist of AMG graphics and readouts within the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 11.7-inch MBUX infotainment system, Nappa leather AMG Sport or optional AMG Performance seats with the AMG crest integrated into the front headrests, matte chrome inserts and the AMG Performance steering wheel.

Price

Its track increased by 76 mm over the standard W205 C-Class, the AMG C63 S E Performance arrives in South Africa once again solely as a sedan and therefore, without the estate aimed at the Audi RS4 Avant and the incoming BMW M3 Touring.

Included in its R2 476 800 asking price is a five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.

NOW READ: Mercedes-AMG ‘plotting’ return of V8 in C63 as early as 2026

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