2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency First Drive Evaluate

mercedes-benz amg-gt Full Overview

The Why

Commit all that official naming nonsense to reminiscence for those who like; we’ll all seemingly find yourself calling it the C63 like we at all times have. The ridiculous title may very well be even longer, as a result of this automotive can be all-wheel-drive (“4Matic+” in Mercedes-speak) and a plug-in hybrid electrical car (PHEV). It’s, as an AMG govt defined to us, “beginning the transition to electrified and absolutely electrical sports activities automobiles.” That is how the famend in-house tuner will proceed to work its magic in an age the place we give greater than lip service to car emissions.

Discover we did not say something about vary or gasoline financial system. The AMG individuals are very clear on this: The sophisticated hybrid powertrain is about efficiency. Sure, you may plug it in and drive as much as 8 miles on pure electrical energy at speeds as much as 81 mph. By at this time’s requirements, that vary is pathetic for a PHEV, however that is not the purpose. AMG is not even speaking about gasoline financial system but, however it might be troublesome for a hybrid to do worse than a twin-turbo V-8, regardless that that, too, is not the purpose.

The purpose is to make the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency the quickest, most-powerful C63 ever—and to persuade the market that high-performance hybrids are the near-to-medium-term future earlier than full EVs are able to take the reins. It is impressed by Mercedes-AMG’s latest dominating success in F1 and knowledgeable by the corporate’s considerably foolhardy try to put an precise F1 engine in a road-legal automotive referred to as the AMG One.

By the numbers, it is a compelling argument. All of its gasoline and electrical powerplants mixed, the C63 makes 671 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque. For these of you who’re comparability procuring, that is 168 hp and 236 lb-ft greater than the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 this new powertrain replaces.

The How

How the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 reaches these numbers is way extra fascinating. Up entrance is—clutch your pearls—the world’s strongest manufacturing four-cylinder, a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit that makes 469 hp and 402 lb-ft with the assistance of two small electrical motors, one embedded within the turbocharger and the opposite lowering engine load in a belt-alternator-starter association.

The one within the turbo nestles between the turbine and the compressor and runs off the powertrain’s 400-volt electrical structure. It spools-up the turbo instantly at low engine speeds and retains it spooled if you elevate off the throttle momentarily, thereby eliminating turbo lag. Not simply in idea, both; in observe, the gasoline engine feels prefer it’s at all times within the meat of its powerband as a result of irrespective of the way you drive it, you are by no means ready on turbo enhance to construct. It is at all times there in full drive.

All of this is able to be massively spectacular by itself, however there’s one other, a lot greater electrical motor on the rear axle doing much more work to make you go quick. Capable of apply as much as 201 hp on to the rear axle, and even ahead by the clutched heart differential to the entrance axle, it and its battery are the keys to creating this entire contraption work. Mounting it on the rear axle shifted the load steadiness from 54/46 entrance/rear on the previous automotive to 50/50 on the brand new one, and placing it behind the nine-speed multi-clutch automated transmission as an alternative of between the gearbox and the fuel engine allowed AMG to make use of the entire electrical motor’s energy fairly than limiting it to guard the transmission.

It is not only a motor geared to the axle, both. It acts by a two-speed automated that shifts into excessive gear at as much as 87 mph. Additionally wedged in there’s an electronically managed limited-slip differential. Separating the electrical motor from the fuel engine and giving it its personal little transmission additionally allowed engineers to get the utmost output from the blended powertrain, for the reason that two powerplants peak at completely different engine/motor speeds.

None of this association makes the powertrain sound like a twin-turbo V-8 or like an EV. As you would possibly anticipate, it feels like a turbocharged four-cylinder, although on this case one which’s been tuned to make numerous bass notes. It is a completely acceptable sound for a four-banger, however nothing to put in writing residence about. Because it’ll fortunately putter round underneath pure electrical energy in some modes, it additionally makes a synthetic noise at low speeds to warn pedestrians of the automotive’s presence. It feels like a pc’s interpretation of the four-cylinder idling, and, because of a microphone within the exhaust, it’s really based mostly on actual noises, simply digitally enhanced ones. Similar factor within the automotive, for those who activate the unreal exhaust-sound booster. We most well-liked to go with out.

The Payoff

The results of all of the wizardry occurring underneath the automotive is high-performance EV acceleration that by no means lets up. Noise and vibration from the combustion engine be damned; the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency pulls like a Tesla everytime you stand on the thin pedal. In contrast to a Tesla, although, it does not begin to slack off at excessive speeds. The 11 whole gears cut up between two transmissions permit the automotive to drag simply as laborious at speeds properly previous 100 mph because it does from a cease.

It pulls so laborious and so relentlessly, you shortly end up within the supercar conundrum. Trendy supercars are so fast you may typically end up hurtling towards a nook a lot, a lot sooner than you have ever finished so earlier than, requiring faster reactions and approach more durable braking to get your self slowed down in time to make that nook.

Not solely utilizing however sustaining full throttle on this automotive is not materially completely different from doing the identical in a McLaren 765LT: Road or observe, full throttle does not occur typically, and when it does, it feels such as you’re hanging on for pricey life by the point you elevate. More often than not, the corners are simply too shut collectively to necessitate and even permit for full throttle. Half throttle is far more than sufficient to get you there at blinding pace. Simply to reiterate, that is ostensibly a high-performance luxurious sedan we’re speaking about. It accelerates that tough.

F1 Driver in Coaching

The brand new Mercedes-AMG C63 pulls even more durable for those who keep in mind to push by the kickdown change. Relying in your drive mode, you solely get between 25 and 80 p.c of the electrical motor’s output by pushing the fuel pedal all the way down to the change. Push by the change, nevertheless, and also you get the total 201 hp from the rear axle for as much as 10 seconds. Issues get actually wild at this level, particularly for those who do it exiting a decent nook. From a cease, AMG says the C63 will hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and pull all the best way to an electronically restricted 174-mph high pace.

How and if you deploy electrical enhance is an entire story in and of itself. AMG recommends you go to a pre-mapped racetrack and have interaction the Increase Technique app. Relying on whether or not you need to set a qualifying lap time or settle into an prolonged lapping session, the instrument cluster will inform you when in the course of the lap to make use of the kickdown change and for the way lengthy. In qualifying, you may be instructed to make use of it extra typically and to maintain your foot in it longer to make use of as a lot electrical enhance as potential for the most effective lap time. Beneath prolonged lapping, you may use it much less typically and in shorter bursts to provide you constant, repeatable quick laps by not draining the battery.

To do it accurately, it’s essential watch the instrument cluster to know when to push the kickdown change and when to let off. Since it will mainly by no means inform you to maintain it floored all the best way to the top of the straight (the electrical motor turns into much less and fewer useful at increased speeds, so that you’re simply losing power), you could monitor it continuously whereas additionally going full-throttle in a 670-hp automotive. It is based mostly on the best way electrical enhance is used strategically in F1 race automobiles and will provide you with a completely new respect for the psychological load F1 drivers carry. Going quick was already laborious work, and it solely will get more durable when you have got a lot to consider when you’re doing it.

Make It Cease

Fortunately, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 brakes laborious, too. Normal two-piece iron rotors with aluminum hats are clamped by six-piston entrance and single-piston rear calipers … wait, just one piston in every rear caliper? You could have forgotten concerning the electrical motor on the rear axle. It may well provide as much as 120 kilowatts of regenerative braking pulled off of both the rear axle or each axles with the all-wheel-drive system engaged.

It has 4 ranges, labeled 0 by 3, although more often than not you are going to be in Stage 1 except you command in any other case. Zero is not any regen in any respect, 1 appears like lifting off the throttle in a gas-powered automotive, 2 is high-regen, and three is one-pedal driving. The AMG-designed battery recharges so shortly, you are typically locked out of Stage 3 and infrequently Stage 2 as properly as a result of there’s nowhere for the power to go. Regardless, the brakes really feel well-matched to the car, however with output like this on faucet and 4,654 kilos to wrangle, we might want much more stopping energy. Hopefully the elective carbon-ceramic brakes AMG will introduce someday later will add braking drive in addition to fade-resistance.

Weight a Minute

Sure, you learn that curb weight accurately. The brand new C63 weighs almost 700 kilos greater than the previous one. One-hundred-ninety-six kilos of that alone is the 6.1-kWh battery, which sits on high of the rear axle and creates a 3-inch step within the trunkfloor, however helps create the 50/50 weight steadiness. In contrast to different battery packs, it options direct coolant contact with the battery cells to manage their temperature as exactly as potential. That is what permits it to discharge and recharge so shortly if you’re hammering on the automotive. Different battery designs would overheat by the top of lap one.

The opposite vital weight penalty comes from the all-wheel-drive system, one other C63 first. Although the automotive is primarily rear-drive, it may well ship as much as 50 p.c of fuel engine, electrical motor, or mixed energy to the entrance axle. Not simply good for slippery roads, sending energy ahead aids traction throughout high-speed driving. In a really perfect scenario, you may push the throttle pedal all the best way to the ground when exiting a nook, and the ability going to the entrance wheels will assist the automotive chunk and pull itself out of the flip fairly than into an under- or oversteer second.

It does work this fashion—however provided that the nook is flat or on-camber. If it is even barely off-camber or a teensy bit slippery, giving an excessive amount of throttle too shortly will in truth induce mild-to-moderate understeer, although you may remove it just by backing off barely. This is without doubt one of the extra apparent signs of the automotive’s appreciable weight.

The opposite you are feeling earlier as you enter a nook. More often than not, the C63 simply feels stable like a Mercedes should. While you first flip the wheel to take a nook, although, that is if you actually sense the load. Extra precisely, you are feeling the inertia the load creates. There’s this unmistakable sense that the automotive does not need to change course—it desires to maintain going straight, and the entrance and rear steering programs do the whole lot they’ll to drag it in one other course.

As soon as the load shifts and the automotive settles on its suspension, the whole lot is okay, and the cornering grip, significantly on the usual Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, is phenomenal. It is in the course of the transition that the automotive pushes again. There’s at all times this impression the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 would like to get again to going straight, and it saps among the pleasure from driving it. Sure, it will do the corners, but it surely does not dive eagerly into them; it must be cajoled. We hope the approaching elective Michelin Pilot Cup 2R tires will assist no less than with the understeer, if not the reluctance to alter course.

Steer Round It

The steering itself is no less than properly weighted and pretty communicative. As a result of energy is utilized to the entrance wheels solely on an as-needed foundation, it hardly ever interferes considerably with the street really feel. The rear-steer system, in the meantime, is imperceptible in operation, although we suspect which will have one thing to do with the automotive’s eagerness to rotate underneath trail-braking. Dial again the steadiness management and the rear finish turns into extra desirous to swing round and level you into the nook for those who combine braking and steering. It at all times appears like simply the correct quantity of rotation, if not a little bit an excessive amount of, however it may be a bit disconcerting on the speeds this automotive carries right into a nook.

Fortunately, oversteer is managed simply, because the C63 comes round predictably; the breakaway is linear fairly than abrupt. The 0.4-inch-longer wheelbase than a regular C-Class little question helps preserve it from spinning like a high, as does the three.0-inch-wider observe width, which is barely wider on the entrance than the rear.

The remainder of the time, although, the automotive simply sticks. With this a lot energy, you anticipate a must handle the throttle fastidiously to maintain the whole lot in line, however the subtle suspension maximizes traction always. When you’d want it did not, there is a Drift mode. The remainder of the time, although, the tires dig in and also you simply go. Keep away from the induced on-throttle understeer and you will be shocked by the cornering speeds this AMG can carry, too. Main credit score goes to the energetic adaptive dampers borrowed from the AMG GT R Black Collection, that are sport-sedan agency however comfy of their Consolation mode. Nonetheless, they’re too stiff for the road in each different mode and clearly designed for glass-smooth racetracks.

Technically Spectacular, Emotionally Distant

The thought of this automotive is so that you can watch the newest season of the F1 reality-drama Drive to Survive on Netflix, then soar in your 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 and head to the racetrack and attempt to drive like Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Plan your enhance technique, handle your battery stage, handle your tires, handle your brakes—you recognize, all these issues essential to compete on the highest stage of recent grand prix racing.

It is all extraordinarily fascinating and mentally stimulating, however in an instructional sense. There’s a lot to consider, you begin to neglect to simply have enjoyable, and if you ignore all of the technical stuff and simply drive, the load of the automotive and its inertia remind you that sheer driving pleasure shouldn’t be what the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency is about. It is about being the quickest, not essentially probably the most enjoyable, and people two issues do not at all times go hand in hand.

Appears to be like good! Extra particulars?

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Efficiency Specs
Base Value $80,000 (est)
Format Entrance-engine, rear permanent-magnet electrical motor, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door
Engine 2.0L/469-hp/402-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus 201-hp/NA-lb-ft rear electrical motor; 670 hp/752 lb-ft comb
Motor 201-hp/NA-lb-ft permanent-magnet electrical
Transmission 9-speed auto (fuel), 2-speed auto (electrical)
Curb Weight 4,650 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase 113.2 in
L x W x H 190.3 x 74.7 x 56.6 in
0-60 MPH 3.3 sec (mfr est)
On Sale Late 2023

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