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Next Mercedes-AMG C63 could ditch the V8 for four-cylinder hybrid power

The Mercedes-AMG C63 is defined by its V8 engine. That 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged motor sets this Merc apart from other fast German luxury cars. But Mercedes’ AMG performance division could replace the sonorous, tire-smoking V8 with a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, reports Autocar. Despite decreasing the cylinder count by half, Autocar claims performance won’t suffer.

The next-generation C63 will go on sale in early 2022 with a version of Mercedes-AMG’s M139 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under its hood, according to Autocar. This is the same engine used in the Mercedes-AMG A45 hatchback, and it makes 416 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque in that car. The A45 isn’t sold in the United States, but we will get the same engine in the AMG CLA45 “four-door coupe,” albeit tuned to 382 hp and 354 lb.-ft.

The M139 four-cylinder engine will be teamed with a mild-hybrid system, according to Autocar. Similar to the systems used in models like the Mercedes-AMG E53, it uses an electric motor to drive accessories, enable a more aggressive engine start/stop system, and provide a power boost. With the hybrid system, Autocar claims the next-generation C63 will match the current, V8-powered car’s maximum output of 503 hp. The four-cylinder hybrid powertrain may even offer more torque, Autocar claims. The magazine’s estimate of 553 lb.-ft. (based on confidential conversations with AMG insiders) would be a 37 lb.-ft. increase over the current car.

A four-cylinder hybrid C63 won’t be able to reproduce the V8-powered car’s glorious soundtrack, but it may have some other advantages. The hybrid setup will reduce weight over the front axle, making for better weight distribution. Even with the added weight of the battery pack, the hybrid powertrain will still be lighter overall than the V8, according to Autocar.

The hybrid powertrain will be coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission with standard all-wheel drive, Autocar reports. The all-wheel drive system could allow the driver to switch to rear-wheel drive, similar to the larger AMG E63, according to the magazine.

The radical shift from a V8 to a four-cylinder hybrid was done to reduce emissions, as well as implement lessons learned from the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar, according to Autocar. Created to celebrate Mercedes’ dominance in Formula One racing, the AMG One uses a complete F1 hybrid powertrain. Mercedes is also rumored to be developing an 805-hp plug-in hybrid version of the AMG GT 4-Door.

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