Mercedes-Benz has just released its latest C63 AMG performance sedan with turbo four-cylinder petrol and plug-in hybrid power. But it is already working on the next generation, due at the end of the decade, and it’s expected to switch to purely electric propulsion.
The next-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 could switch to electric power by the end of this decade once the latest model – with turbo four-cylinder and plug-in hybrid technology – reaches the end of the line.
It is the first non-V8 edition of the top-shelf Mercedes-AMG C-Class performance sedan in two decades – and the first with four-cylinder and plug-in hybrid power.
As with many performance-car manufacturers in Europe, Mercedes was obliged to downsize its petrol engine and increase its reliance on electric propulsion so the new-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 could meet increasingly stringent emissions standards.
While hardcore fans are likely to mourn the loss of the twin-turbo V8 that powers the outgoing Mercedes-AMG C63, the just-released model could be the last petrol version.
Mercedes-Benz has previously outlined plans to switch to solely electric power in Europe by 2030, and it is expected partner divisions AMG and Maybach will follow suit.
When asked about what will come next for the Mercedes-AMG C63 once this generation reaches the end of the line towards the end of the decade, senior AMG engineering executive Steffen Jastrow told Drive: “Stay tuned. First we have a facelift and then we are dealing with the successor.”
When asked if it was possible to introduce a solely electric version of the just-released generation of the Mercedes-AMG C63, Mr Jastrow said: “The car for this generation is already defined.”
When asked if AMG was open to the possibility of a solely electric version of the next-generation C63, Mr Jastrow said: “Mercedes has a strategy to be fully electric by 2030 and of course AMG also must think about that. Yes we are open to it.”
When asked if there was an opportunity to extract even more power out of the new Mercedes-Benz C63’s turbocharged 2.0-litre – the most powerful four-cylinder engine in the world – Mr Jastrow said: “I think we are approaching a limit. I would say ‘never say never’.
“But I think it would be very expensive to find even more output from such a small displacement engine … and face all the emissions regulations and so on. From my opinion, it’s not easy.”
Where this leaves the next-generation Mercedes-AMG E63, as some reports suggest it may adopt the C63’s four-cylinder hybrid system – but it is a larger vehicle that would require more power to account for its larger body, and stand out from its smaller sibling.