Mercedes-Benz has a redesigned C-Class on its way to showrooms shortly as a 2022 model, and once again the nameplate will offer a high-performance C63 developed by the Mercedes-Benz AMG skunkworks.
Our latest spy shots show prototypes for the new C63's sedan body style. Prototypes for the wagon are also out testing and can be seen in the spy video below together with testers for the sedan. The latest prototypes have lost a lot of the camouflage of previous testers, revealing design details like flared wheel arches, large intakes in the front fascia, a pronounced rear diffuser, trunklid spoiler, and four square-shaped exhaust tips.
We can confirm that the outgoing C63's 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 won't make it into the new generation. Instead, the powertrain will consist of the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 found in the latest generation of AMG's compact cars, but with even more power than those cars' maximum 416 hp, and it will also receive a boost from hybrid technology similar to what's used in Formula One, as well as the upcoming AMG One hypercar.
In the new C63, an electric-aided turbocharger will help boost output from the 2.0-liter engine to 442 hp. There will also be an electric motor integrated with the engine in mild-hybrid configuration to power ancillary features, as well as serve as a starter motor. On top of this, there will be a much more powerful motor (up to 201 hp) at the rear axle to take combined output to a maximum 643 hp. This rear motor will be mated to its own 2-speed transmission.
The 643-hp figure will likely be reserved for a C63S E Performance model. Expect the regular C63 to have around 550 hp, which is still up significantly on the 503 hp of the outgoing C63S.
There will be a weight penalty due to the complex powertrain, however. Expect the hybrid technology to add about 550 pounds to the car and bring its curb weight to almost 4,410 pounds. Part of the hefty load is due to a big battery that should provide some decent electric range. One weight-related benefit of the system will be an ideal 50:50 weight distribution thanks to less weight over the front axle compared to the outgoing C63, due to the smaller engine.
Mercedes-AMG E Performance
Conventional elements like a 9-speed automatic, mechanical all-wheel-drive system, adaptive suspension and drift mode will also likely feature in the new C63.
Performance estimates include 0-62 mph acceleration in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 181 mph. That top speed matches the outgoing C63 but acceleration is about half a second quicker.
Look for the new C63 to debut shortly. It should arrive in the U.S. as a 2023 model, sadly in sedan guise only. A redesigned version of the tamer C43 is also coming. Stay tuned.