The new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE: the dawn of a new era. Photo by Mercedes-Benz South Africa
The new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE: the dawn of a new era. Photo by Mercedes-Benz South Africa
Affalterbach. The new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E is a real game-changer in the 55-year history of AMG. With know-how from Formula 1, it brings state-of-the-art technologies from motorsport to the road. A two-speed electric motor positioned on the rear axle supports the 2.0-litre turbo engine that is mounted longitudinally at the front. This is the most powerful production four-cylinder in the world. Power delivery and torque build-up occur very spontaneously and without delay: as in Formula 1, the electric support of the exhaust gas turbocharger eliminates the turbo lag of the combustion engine, while at the same time the electric drive pushes powerfully from a standstill.
The electric powertrain and the high-performance battery with 400 volts are AMG-exclusive, in-house developments. They underline the high-end engineering competence of the Affalterbach-based developers. Just like in Formula 1, the battery is specifically designed for fast power output and draw with innovative direct cooling of the cells. The combined system output is 500 kW, the combined maximum system torque 1020 Nm. These are new benchmarks for the C-Class.
Other highlights of the new model series: for the first time in a C 63, the fully variable all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC+ transfers the drive power to the road and includes drift mode for even more driving pleasure. Added to this is the standard-fit active rear axle steering, another unique feature in this segment.
“With the C 63 S E PERFORMANCE, we are opening a new chapter in our brand history. Even 55 years after our company was founded, we at AMG continue to show the courage and the will to realise the creative, the special things. The new C 63 in particular is a real game-changer. With its revolutionary concept, it brings a completely new approach to the segment, which until now has been primarily characterised by the promise of pure performance. With a maximum system output of 500 kW, we do indeed keep this promise. But the intelligent P3 hybrid concept offers much more. I am sure that with this technology, which incorporates a lot of know-how from Formula 1, we will also appeal to a new group of customers”, says Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
“With its performance hybrid drive and electrically assisted exhaust turbocharger, the new C 63 S E PERFORMANCE is a technological masterpiece that takes a new approach. The electrified powertrain offers a whole new driving experience. The immediate response of the electric drive at the rear axle, the rapid torque build-up as well as the fast power output and also draw of our battery are very special features. Add to this the standard-fit rear axle steering and the fully variable all-wheel drive with Drift Mode – the new C 63 once again illustrates the high level of technical expertise that AMG possesses”, says Jochen Hermann, Member of Executive Board – Chief Technical Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Form follows function: the design of the new C 63 S differs from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in its more muscular proportions. The front end is 50 millimetres longer and the front wings are wider. In terms of length, the Saloon measures an extra 83 millimetres. The wider track width at the front axle results in 76 millimetres more overall width at the front. And the wheelbase has grown by 10 millimetres.
A new distinguishing feature, and one that is exclusive to the C 63 S, is the narrow air outlet in the centre of the bonnet that transitions elegantly into the two powerdomes. A small but particularly fine detail: for the first time ever on a Mercedes-AMG production model, a round badge with a black AMG emblem replaces the Mercedes star with laurel wreath on the bonnet. Further typical elements include the AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical struts and the AMG front apron in jet-wing design. Two electronically controlled AIR PANELS (behind the radiator grille and in the front apron) allow the air to be regulated as required.
Matching side skirts, the rear apron with large diffuser as well as the two trapezoidal, externally ribbed dual tailpipe trims round off the design. Exclusive details at the rear include the special airflow breakaway edge on the boot lid (roof spoiler on the Estate), the plug-in charging flap and the model designation set against a red background. The C 63 S rolls on 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels and mixed tyres as standard. Optional 20-inch wheel/tyre combinations, also with mixed tyres, are available, including one new set of forged wheels.
In the interior, AMG sports seats with special upholstery layout and a distinctive stitching pattern add to the refined impression. There are also many individual choices available for the interior. The completely redesigned second-generation AMG Performance seat is available as an option. Its special feature is the seat side bolsters with weight-saving openings that also allow better ventilation. The shape of the backrest tapers towards the bottom.
The MBUX infotainment system includes various AMG- and hybrid-specific displays and functions that can also be extensively personalised. These include special displays in the instrument cluster, on the portrait-orientation multimedia central display in the centre console and on the optional head-up display. The AMG-specific Supersport style is particularly impressive.
In the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is combined with a permanently excited synchronous electric motor, a high-performance battery developed in Affalterbach and fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. The system output of 500 kW and the maximum system torque of 1020 Nm enable impressive driving performance: the Saloon accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. Acceleration only ends at an electronically governed 280 km/h.
The 150 kW electric motor is positioned at the rear axle, where it is integrated with an electrically shifted two-speed gearbox and the electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential in a compact electric drive unit (EDU). Experts refer to this layout as a P3 hybrid. The lightweight high-performance battery is also located in the rear above the rear axle.
When the electrification strategy was being defined, it was clear from the outset that all essential components would be developed in Affalterbach. At the heart of this is the AMG high-performance battery (HPB). The development of the lithium-ion energy storage system is inspired by technologies that have already been proven in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s Formula 1 hybrid racing cars. The AMG high-performance battery combines high power that can be called up frequently in succession with low weight to increase the overall performance of the vehicle. Added to this are the fast energy draw and the high power density.
The high-performance battery offers a capacity of 6.1 kWh, a continuous output of 70 kW and a peak output of 150 kW for 10 seconds. The low weight of only 89 kilograms helps to deliver the very high power density of 1.7 kW/kg. Charging takes place via the installed 3.7 kW on-board charger with alternating current at a charging station, wallbox or household socket. The battery is designed for fast power delivery and draw, not for the longest possible range. Nevertheless, the electric range of 13 kilometres allows a practical operating radius, for example for quiet and emission-free driving from a residential area to the outskirts of the city or to the motorway.
Every battery needs a defined temperature for optimum power delivery. The basis for the high performance of the AMG 400-volt battery is its innovative direct cooling system: a high-tech coolant flows around all 560 cells and cools them individually. The result is that the battery is always in a consistent, optimal operating temperature window, no matter how often it is charged or discharged. It may well be that the average temperature is exceeded when driving at high speeds. The protection mechanisms are therefore configured so that the maximum performance can be obtained from the battery, with the temperature level subsequently lowered by direct cooling.
The basic operating strategy is derived from the hybrid powerpack of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. As in the premier class of motor sport, maximum power is always available when the driver calls it up by kick-down – for example, to accelerate powerfully out of bends or when overtaking. The electric power can always be called up and frequently reproduced via high recuperation performance and needs-based recharging.
The eight AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs “Electric”, “Comfort”, “Battery Hold”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, “RACE”, “Slippery” and “Individual” are precisely tailored to the new drive technology and thus offer a wide range of driving experiences – from efficient to dynamic. The drive programs adjust important parameters such as the response of the drive system and transmission, the steering characteristics, the suspension damping or the sound. The boost power of the electric motor also depends on the selected drive program. The peak output of the electric motor with a boost of 150 kW can be called up at any time via the kick-down function.
When driving on all-electric power, the legally required Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System warns the surroundings that the Performance hybrid is approaching. A specially composed, low-frequency and speed-modulated AMG sound is emitted to the outside via a loudspeaker at the front and a soundbar with two loudspeakers at the rear.
In addition, the AMG developers also use the external speakers for a more advanced sound experience. For this purpose, they pick up the real sound of the combustion engine via a pressure sensor in the exhaust system and enrich it further before it is emitted in the interior via the entertainment sound system, thus making it possible to experience the typical AMG sound at first hand. In addition, the sound is modulated via the existing external loudspeakers as well.
Because the high-performance battery is always in the optimum temperature window of around 45 degrees due to direct cooling, recuperation can also be optimised. Normally, a battery heats up strongly at a high recuperation rate so the energy recovery level needs to be limited. Recuperation starts when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal, i.e. in overrun mode without touching the brake pedal. The driver can select four different levels of recuperation using the right-hand AMG steering wheel button, with the energy recovery being designed differently according to the driving mode.
The AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine was developed entirely at the company’s headquarters in Affalterbach. Experienced technicians produce it in hand-built quality according to the “One Man, One Engine” principle. In doing so, Mercedes-AMG combines the craftsmanship of its highly qualified employees with the modern production methods of Industry 4.0 and a high degree of digitisation.
The engine, with the internal designation M139l, is the world’s first production engine to be turbocharged with an electric exhaust gas turbocharger. This innovative system is derived directly from the technology that the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team has been using so successfully in the premier class of motorsport for many years. The new form of turbocharging guarantees particularly spontaneous response across the entire rev range. This leads to an even more dynamic driving experience, while at the same time increasing efficiency. Compared to its C 43 4MATIC and SL 43 siblings, however, the turbocharger in the C 63 S is significantly larger. This enables a higher airflow rate and thus more power. In addition, the integrated electric motor is powered by the 400-volt high-voltage system (48 volts in the 43 models).
In the C 63 S, the four-cylinder unit produces 350 kW (476 hp) at 6725 rpm. This makes it the most powerful series-produced four-cylinder in the world. The maximum torque of 545 Nm is available at 5250 rpm. A belt-driven starter-alternator (RSG) combines the alternator and starter in one component and is integrated into the 400-volt high-voltage system. The RSG starts the combustion engine and ensures the basic supply of the ancillary components such as air conditioning or driving lights.
Power is transmitted via the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission (MCT = Multi-Clutch Transmission), in which a wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter. It reduces weight and, thanks to its lower inertia, optimises response to accelerator pedal input, especially during spurts and load changes.
The standard AMG RIDE CONTROL steel suspension with Adaptive Damping System combines sporty driving dynamics with a high level of long-distance comfort. The basis for this is provided by the front axle with specially developed steering knuckles and supporting joints for the spring link, as well as by the rear axle, which also features elastokinematics designed for dynamic handling. Based on this, the damping at each individual wheel is continuously adjusted to the current demand – always taking into account the preselected suspension level, the driving style and the condition of the road surface. In addition to an improvement in ride quality and comfort, this leads, above all, to an increase in driving safety. There is a choice of three different damping maps (“Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”).
The standard rear axle steering operates with a maximum steering angle of 2.5 degrees. Up to this point, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 100 km/h (variable depending on the AMG DYNAMICS setting). This leads to a virtual shortening of the wheelbase, which in turn results in significantly more agile turn-in, less steering effort and improved manoeuvrability. At speeds above 100 km/h (variable depending on the AMG DYNAMICS setting), on the other hand, the rear wheels turn in parallel to the front wheels – up to a maximum of 0.7 degrees. This virtual extension of the wheelbase has a positive effect on driving stability, leads to a faster build-up of lateral force when changing direction and thus to a more direct reaction of the vehicle to steering commands.
In keeping with the extreme output figures and the associated performance, the AMG high-performance composite brake system with 6-piston fixed callipers at the front and 1-piston floating callipers at the rear is fitted as standard. The brake system impresses with very short braking distances as well as maximum stability and fade-resistance under heavy use.
|Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE|
|System output||500 kW|
|System torque (overall system)||1020 Nm|
|Combustion engine||2.0-litre in-line/4 with electrically assisted exhaust gas turbocharging|
|Max. output, combustion engine||350 kW at 6725 rpm|
|Max. torque, combustion engine||545 Nm at 5250-5500 rpm|
|Max. output, electric motor||150 kW|
|Max. torque, electric motor||320 Nm|
|Drive system||AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution and Drift Mode|
|Transmission||AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G|
|Fuel consumption weighted, combined (WTLP)||6.9 l/100 km|
|CO2 emissions, weighted, combined (WLTP)||156 g/km|
|Electric energy consumption weighted, combined||11,7 kWh/100 km|
|Energy capacity||6.1 kWh|
|Electric range||13 km|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||3.4 s|
|Top speed||250 km/h, optionally 280 km/h|
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