AMG, well-known for its fuel-gargling engines and sledgehammer efficiency, goes all-in on electrical. You’ve heard the rumours, now it’s official: the subsequent BMW M3-rivalling AMG C63 (revealed later this 12 months) will characteristic a plug-in hybrid powertrain combining a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with an electrical motor, for a complete energy output of effectively over 600bhp…. despatched to all 4 wheels. Early indicators are it’ll be comfortably sooner than the last-gen V8 C63, however a very good chunk heavier.
Save your gasps, as a result of that’s not all. The ‘E Efficiency’ modular hybrid system which locations a two-speed gearbox, an e-motor with as much as 201bhp, and an electronically managed differential on the rear axle – all packaged in a single compact unit, relatively than inserting the motor between engine and gearbox, a so-called P3 hybrid – may also be mixed with AMG’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo to devastating impact. The primary mannequin to obtain that combo, with greater than 805bhp and 738lb ft of torque, would be the AMG GT 73 4dr, additionally on sale later this 12 months.
However wait, there’s extra! 2021 may even see the delivery of the primary full-electric AMG mannequin, based mostly on the brand new EQS limo, with a complete household of AMG-enhanced EQ fashions to comply with. You realize the drill: extra energy, firmer suspension, higher brakes, inside and exterior upgrades and a extra anti-social soundtrack, albeit through loudspeakers, a “shaker” and a sound generator, relatively than 4 heavy-metal pipes.
Again to the hybrids. AMG says the advantages of getting your complete Electrical Drive Unit (EDU) on the rear axle are many. It improves weight distribution (whole weight of battery and EDU is round 200kg), and since it doesn’t should run by means of the nine-speed auto gearbox it will probably ship its torque extra instantly, and recoup misplaced vitality extra effectively beneath braking – as much as 90kW in essentially the most aggressive of 4 regen modes. Below most situations the system will run as rear-wheel drive, but when it senses slip on the rear each electrical and combustion energy could be despatched to the entrance axle.
As you’d most likely guessed, the four-cylinder engine relies on the two.0-litre turbo (M139, engine code nerds) from the ballistic AMG A45, besides it’s now mounted longitudinally and much more highly effective – up from 416bhp within the A45 to round 443bhp right here, making it the brand new bhp-per-litre champion. Add in that 200bhp+ electrical motor and also you arrive someplace north, fairly a bit north, of 600bhp. In a C-Class.
Throttle response needs to be extraordinary, higher than a naturally aspirated engine, as a result of in addition to the moment e-torque that is the primary Mercedes to get an electrical turbocharger – tech taken instantly from F1 (the place it’s referred to as the MGU-H) – with an electrical motor mounted instantly on the shaft of the turbo, between compressor and turbine, for just about instantaneous throttle response and extra torque at decrease engine speeds. Win win. It’s the identical tech that’ll characteristic on the Venture One hypercar. What’s that? You thought AMG had forgotten about its F1-engine-for-the-road experiment? Nope, first manufacturing variations will arrive with extraordinarily affected person first prospects by the tip of this 12 months, says AMG.
Now, that battery. Once more, utilizing F1 know-how AMG has managed to construct an 89kg, 400V, 6.1kWh stack with direct cooling for every of the 560 cells, always circulating round 14-litres of coolant. And it’s that – with the ability to preserve battery temperature at a steady 45 levels Celsius, no matter how brutal you’re being with the throttle and unsympathetic you’re being on the brakes – that’s key to charging and discharging rapidly and repeatedly with none drop off in efficiency. You may plug it in and run in pure-electric mode as much as 80mph with out rousing the engine, however not for very lengthy – zero-emissions vary was by no means the objective right here, it was max efficiency earlier than all else.
The way you deploy that efficiency is as much as you. Choose Consolation mode and the engine and e-motor work collectively for max effectivity, whereas the steering, suspension and throttle response are backed off. Dial it up by means of Sport, Sport+ and Race and the automobile tenses, sharpens and precedence is given over to having full electrical enhance accessible in any respect instances.
It’s so much to absorb, a step change from the big-lunged, big-capacity AMGs we’ve identified prior to now, however except for that not-insignificant weight acquire… you may’t argue with the numbers. So, what do we expect web: is an electrified, four-cylinder C63 progress in your e-book?