The First Plug-in Hybrid Mercedes-AMG Is the 843-HP GT 63 S E Performance
The fast four-door pairs a hybrid system with a twin-turbo V8.
Hybrids were once calm, quiet things. Designed to carry dutiful humans about their business as efficiently as possible, we first saw them in the form of cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. That's all changed now, of course, with automakers now using hybrid systems for performance benefits as much as fuel economy. The gang from Affalterbach have now entered the ring with a hybrid, too—the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance.
The four-door "coupe" packs a 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 under the hood, paired with an electric motor driving the rear wheels. The combined system output is a rather meaty 843 horsepower and 1032 lb-ft of torque, plenty enough to shred some tire on one's way down the Autobahn. The benefit of the hybrid system in this case is its instant torque delivery from standstill, boosting the acceleration and responsiveness of the car.
Featuring a battery developed in-house, the system is optimized for high performance, and thus high current delivery. The battery features direct cooling of the individual cells, with a non-conductive liquid flowing around the 560 cells that make up the pack. 14 liters of coolant are pumped through the pack and a oil/water heat exchanger to cool the battery down. The claim is that the system has the ability to keep the battery operating at maximum performance even on the track, where it faces regular charge and discharge cycles throughout a lap.
The electric-only range of the car is just 12 kilometers; useful for popping down to the shops, for example, but not so useful for a long commute. However, the combined fuel consumption is quoted as just 8.6 L/100km, or roughly 27 mpg—an impressive figure for a twin-turbo V8. The car can be readily identified from other AMG GT models by the presence of its plug-in charging flap and plenty of "E PERFORMANCE" badging highlighting its hybrid drive credentials.
The model serves as the new flagship of the AMG GT four-door lineup, and thus gets plenty of features thrown in to match that lofty status. AMG's latest RIDE CONTROL+ suspension is present, with electrically-controlled damping for a smooth drive. There's also ceramic brakes for hauling the car to a stop, with hefty 420 mm rotors up front and 380mm at the rear. Given a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 316 km/h, fitting top-quality brakes seems like a wise move.
It's interesting to see performance hybrid technology trickle down from top-tier hypercars down to regular production performance luxury vehicles. On paper, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance should be quick as hell and offer scorching performance. Naturally, we look forward to seeing this demonstrated in due time.
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