Mercedes-Benz introduced the fifth-generation C-Class in February 2021, and it confirmed the range-topping AMG-tuned C63 will return with a seriously downsized powertrain. While official technical details remain closely guarded, an unverified report claims the hot-rodded sedan will gain horsepower even as it loses half of its cylinders.
British magazine Car reported that looming CO2-related fines in the European Union convinced Mercedes-AMG to abruptly replace displacement with electrification. Instead of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, the sportiest member of the C-Class range will land with an evolution of the CLA 45's 2.0-liter turbo four under the hood. It will be equipped with an electrically-assisted turbocharger, and it will work jointly with an electric starter-generator (ISG).
The cavalry will travel to the four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission and Mercedes-Benz's well-known 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. While the front wheels will be turned only by the engine, the rear axle will also get power from an electric motor that will not be connected to the transmission. The system's total output will check in at approximately 550 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, compared to 503 and 516 in the outgoing car.
Going hybrid will add about 550 pounds to the C63, still according to Car, pushing its weight above the 4,400-pound mark. For context, the current model weighs around 3,900 pounds, and a 2021 E350 4Matic tips the scale at 3,935 pounds. As a tradeoff, the smaller engine will give the sedan a 50-50 weight distribution. And, in spite of the extra mass, the C63 will reach 62 mph from a stop in 3.5 seconds, or about half a second quicker than the 2021 model.
Mercedes-AMG will introduce the next C63 online before the end of 2021, so we won't have to wait long to find out if the report is accurate. If it is, it's reasonable to assume the powertrain will later make its way to other models.