GENERAL

DRIVEN: 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance

To fully appreciate the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance super saloon, a quick AMG history lesson is a good jumping-off point. What do the letters AMG stand for you ask? Well, they are made up from the surnames of its two founding engineers: Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. Plus, the town Aufrecht was born in, Groβaspach, to complete the ensemble.

Not exactly romantic Victorian poetry now is it? Try it, say Aufrecht – Melcher – Groβaspach ten times over first thing in the morning before your morning coffee. It’s ruthless, much like the monstrous performance of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance you see here …

2024 MERCEDES-AMG C63 S E PERFORMANCE

On track or on road, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is every bit a super saloon. Image: Mercedes Press

From day one, the two engineers were always focussed on forging engines. Aufrecht and Melcher came together in the 1960s to unofficially design, test and race Mercedes-Benz’s first direct-injection racing engine. By 1976, when their operation moved to its current hometown of Affalterbach, they began making high-performance tuned packages for Mercedes-Benz road cars, featuring massive 6.2-litre V8 engines. However, today, nearly 50-years on, we have a very different philosophy powering the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance.

The massive, heavy 6.2-litre V8 of yore is gone. In fact, so too is the more compact 4.0-litre twin turbo of a generation ago. Now, there’s a simply vicious 2.0-litre four cylinder with hybrid electric boost, just like Mercedes-AMG has perfected in its F1 cars. It genuinely is F1 technology deployed for the road, and power and torque figures are simply out of this world. The old naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 was good for 358 kW and 600 Nm back in the day. Now, the total system output on a 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is 500 kW and 1020 Nm. Wait, what!?

SIMPLY STAGGERING

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance
Only AMG engineers will truly understand the witchcraft that creates 500 kW and 1020 Nm from a 2.0-litre. Image: Mercedes Press

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine makes 350 kW and 545 Nm of that output alone. The remaining motive force comes from Mercedes’ P3 hybrid drive system positioned over the rear axle, behind the gearbox. That’s 125 kW and 250 Nm per exhaust outlet, in case you were counting. The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance employs an electric turbocharger, which means it doesn’t need exhaust gasses to build boost. It simply spins on demand – like an anti-lag system – when your foot mashes the gas. A 400V electric battery (with plug-in capabilities) features sophisticated cooling to ensure it’s always cool and performing at its best.

To put all this viciousness to the Tarmac in a claimed 3.3 seconds to 100 km/h, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance has 4Matic+ with a 50:50 torque split front to rear. Physically, it’s dimensions are 50 mm longer and 76 mm wider than a regular C-Class AMG. It also wears the latest Michelin high-performance Pilot Sport rubber. Six-piston brake callipers up front (with integrated brake regeneration) ensure you stop as well as you start. And AMG ride control does an excellent job of ironing out bumps, while still fostering a sense of connection and confidence with the road.

ABSOLUTE WEAPON

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance
Interior will be familiar to anyone who’s driven a C-Class, just with AMG and hybrid additions to the MBUX infotainment. Image: Mercedes Press

Even though it’s only a 2.0-litre now, it’s no surprise to me, or anyone else who’s piloted the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance, that the company is still ruthlessly obsessed with power units. Remember, F1 has a maximum capacity of just 1 600 cc, so this is big in comparison (he says in jest). The hybrid drivetrain dominates the experience so overwhelmingly that you’re rarely able to concentrate on any other aspect of the car. However, with 4Matic+, AMG has turned its super saloon into a properly grippy performance car.

I personally applaud this direction. As someone who prefers a car to maintain as much traction as possible – rather than emulating some tail-sliding Top Gear wet dream – the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance nails the brief. With Race Start engaged in typical one-touch fashion, a full-throttle standing start leaves your eyes bouncing off the end of their sockets. The electric turbocharger and hybrid battery boost absolutely buries you into the shapely AMG bucket seat. And the whip-crack sound out the back every time its changes gear would make Zorro cower with jealousy.

POINT TO POINT

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance
It has an uncanny knack of being really quick and comfy from point to point, like a great grand tourer. Image: Mercedes Press

As a driver, the way to counteract this sheer brutality is by driving with total precision. Trying to meter out 1020 Nm of torque under your right foot with millimetric accuracy becomes an obsessively enjoyable task. I found myself holding individual gears in Manual mode on the paddles and just easing through the full rev range. Initially as a function to discern any difference between electrically assisted ‘torque fill’ and the internal combustion engine.

However, I can tell you there is no step up (or down) between the dual-energy components – the power and torque just push you along like a tidal wave. After a while, you accept the out-of-this-world performance, and simply soak up the warm serotonin-curdling acceleration. Of course, I know talking about the evil matter of fuel economy when testing an AMG super saloon is utterly boring, but it is worth considering this is a performance hybrid. You can drive roughly 12 km on electric charge alone (80% battery). And the claimed/combined economy is 6.1 l/100 km. On our drive this day, however, we saw average numbers just shy of 15 l/100 km. So, there you go, it may be a hybrid, but it’s certainly no vegan AMG.

THE VERDICT

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance
Red badging and brake callipers aren’t the only telltale signs of this super saloons extra turn of speed. Image: Mercedes Press

Nevertheless, even if you still fork out at the pumps to get the full 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance experience; on balance, it’s definitely worth it. The four-cylinder whines like a diving Messerschmitt and its hybrid E Performance is as impressive as the specifications suggest. Plus, handling wise, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is a joy. Stupendously fast, rigid, connected and more controllable than any C63 that’s come before it, in all honesty, it’s difficult to fault. Having finally driven it, I could care less how many cylinders it has under its vented bonnet. Just know the true spirit of Melcher and Aufrecht is alive and well in the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance … with the help of some impressive electric augmentation.

THE FIGURES

  • Best for: Sporty, rigid and responsive. Genuinely is F1-derived tech for the road. Plus, this is no stripped out race car, with MBUX infotainment, plush leather seats, et al …
  • Not so sure: Some better fuel economy from the four cylinder would’ve been nice. But who are we kidding, a bit of pain at the pump is worth it for that speed!
  • 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance
  • Price: R2 476 800
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol + 400v electric battery
  • Power: 350 kW (ICE) + hybrid = 500 kW
  • Torque: 545 Nm (ICE) + hybrid = 1020 Nm
  • Performance: 0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds/Top speed 280 km/h
  • Consumption (claimed/tested):  6.1 l/100 km/14.9 l/100 km

HAVE YOUR SAY

Can you believe the 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance super saloon can be that powerful from a four-cylinder turbo petrol? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates. Click the links below to check out trending stories in the last 24 hours on our website …

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