AMG’s new hybrid system will include an electric motor mounted on the rear axle to provide instantaneous acceleration. Picture: Daimler AG.
AMG’s new hybrid system will include an electric motor mounted on the rear axle to provide instantaneous acceleration. Picture: Daimler AG.

Mercedes-AMG to keep V8 in hybrid format with up to 600kW, but C63 will go 4-cyl

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Mar 31, 2021

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STUTTGART - Mercedes-AMG has confirmed something that has been strongly rumoured for a long time - that the next-generation C-Class flagship will ‘downsize’ to just four cylinders. That doesn’t mean the end of the V8, however, as this format will continue to serve in some of the performance division’s bigger models.

AMG announced its future tech strategy on Wednesday, and this essentially means an electrified future wherein petrol engines with either four or eight cylinders will combine with rear-mounted electric motors to improve both efficiency and performance.

But let’s start with the exciting stuff.

Mercedes-AMG has not disclosed exactly how powerful its future models will be, but the division has stated that its new AMG Performance Hybrid drivetrain could theoretically produce system outputs of up to 600kW and 1000Nm, thereby allowing a 0-100km/h sprint time of under three seconds.

The latter outputs obviously apply to the V8 models, but even the four-cylinder drivetrain will offer the kind of power that you would have previously expected from a V8.

Mercedes-AMG has confirmed that the new C-Class flagship will be powered by a 2-litre four-cylinder engine paired with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger and an electric motor that develops up to 150kW. The 2.0 engine, which is a development of the M139 unit found in the A45, produces 330kW, but when it’s combined with the electric motor the vehicle will boast a system output that surpasses the current C63 model, which is rated at 375kW.

AMG’s future performance hybrid models, regardless of whether they have four or eight cylinders, will come with a permanently excited synchronous electric motor as well as a high-performance battery and the fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system.

The electric motor will be positioned on the rear axle, where it will integrate with an electrically shifted two-speed transmission and the electronically controlled rear axle differential lock. This AMG-developed electric motor acts directly on the rear axle (without a diversion via the MCT-9G transmission) and can therefore convert its power more directly into propulsion, thereby ensuring instant acceleration.

Depending on the state of battery charge, owners will be able to drive on electric power only at speeds of up to 130km/h. And as you would expect from a modern hybrid, drivers will be able to choose from various driving modes, including Comfort, Electric, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual - each of which will accordingly adjust the mix between petrol and electric propulsion.

Besides stating that the new four-cylinder hybrid powertrain will be found in the new C-Class, Mercedes-AMG has not specified which drivetrains will be found in its other future models, but we’d hazard a guess that the GT, CLS and E-Class models will offer eight cylinders.

Mercedes-AMG has also announced that it will produce hotter versions of Merc’s all-electric EQ-branded cars.

Watch this space for more information as it becomes available.

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