In the name of downsizing and electrification, Mercedes-AMG plans to chop the cylinders numbers and displacement of engine by half in the next-gen C63.
We understand downsizing is the norm of the day. We also understand that electrification of powertrains is the inevitable future but you can’t help but grieve when Mercedes-AMG says that they will be ditching the 4.0L, Bi-Turbo, V8 engine in the C63 in favor of an advanced 2.0L, four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain. Yes, you read that right and let that sink in for a while.
The third-generation of the AMG C63 sedan will be the first of many other AMG models to be powered by an electrified version of Mercedes’ new turbocharged 2.0-litre M139 engine that debuted with the A45 hatchback. The four-cylinder engine belts out 422hp and 500Nm of torque in non-electrified form. The engine had already been developed for longitudinal mounting and mild-hybrid electric boosting in mind.
The same engine will also be replacing the 3.0-litre V6 engine that powers the current C43 sedan, albeit in a lesser state of tune than the C63. The new C63 will be offered in sedan, coupé and convertible bodystyles, while the next C43 will likely get all three body styles, as well as an estate version. The M139 engine uses a 48V integrated starter motor for the additional power and torque.
You might find some respite about the fact that this 2.0 Liter M139 engine is expected to match the power output of the V8 engine in the current C63 sedan. The current V8 engine in the C63 S produces 510hp and 700 Nm of peak torque. The M139 engine with the electrification is expected to produce power in excess of 500hp and about 750 Nm of peak torque. And this is despite the reduction in engine displacement and number of cylinders.
Another good news is that the M139 four cylinder engine is about 50 kg lighter than the M177 V8 engine used by today’s C63 4Matic. Even with the addition of the hybrid architecture, including a disc-shaped electric motor and power electronics, the overall weight of the new powerplant is claimed to undercut that of today’s unit. While it already reduces weight over the front axle, the weight is also concentrated lower down, thus giving a lower center of gravity, further aiding handling and agility.
This new hybrid powerplant will continue to be mated to Mercedes’ 9-speed torque-converter MCT Speedshift gearbox. The new C63 is also expected to get a new all-wheel drive system as opposed to the current rear-wheel driven car. It is also expected to use a more advanced energy recuperation system, harvesting kinetic energy at each wheel. The same hybrid engine will also be powering the next generation of the AMG versions of the GLC SUV and Coupe.
Well, Mercedes-AMG cars have always been very special, not because they are fast but because a throaty V8 or V12 engine that made up more than half the character of the car. And AMG engines are certainly one of the best sounding engines in the world. It is really a shame that the next-generation of AMG cars will never connect to your senses as much as the current ones do. Power and speed are not all. Character is important. Embrace while you still have it.