It’s Over: Mercedes-AMG CEO Says V8 Won’t Return to C63, E63 Models

The rumors were fun while they lasted, but the four- and six-cylinder hybrid powertrains are here to stay.

News of a twin-turbo V8 engine returning to the Mercedes-AMG C63 and E63 has, unfortunately, been greatly exaggerated. Despite the fever pitch of excitement surrounding a report that V8 power will be offered in both models again by 2026, Mercedes-AMG CEO Michael Schiebe has now categorically shot down the rumor.

During an interview with The Drive at Monterey Car Week, Schiebe said he can “definitively deny” that Mercedes-AMG would be bringing V8 power back to high-performance C-Class and E-Class models. That means the C63 will soldier on with its four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain, which has been criticized by some due to its weight and complexity, while the upcoming E63 is slated to get an electrified inline-six setup. Schiebe added that AMG believes it’s made the right call with both cars considering where the market is headed.

“I don’t like to talk about other manufacturers, but it seems like there are many more performance hybrids coming to the market now. Or at least they’ve been announced,” he said. “So I think we were right when we said, let’s go in that direction.”

Mercedes-AMG Hybrid Powertrain

True, but there’s at least one direct competitor going hybrid—the next-generation BMW M5—that’s on track to keep its V8 for one more round. All reports indicate the car will use the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 also used by the BMW XM crossover.

The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is no slouch, combining a 2.0-liter M139 four-cylinder engine with an F1-inspired electric turbo setup and a rear-axle electric motor to produce 671 horsepower and 752 pound feet of torque. Long known as a compact rocket, the new C63 can still leap from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds. But it does so while weighing 4,654 pounds, nearly 800 lbs heavier than its V8-powered predecessor. Never a high point in a car that traded more on its German hot-rod status, the handling is more reliant on tech than ever to offset that extra mass, and reviews have been mixed so far.

Schiebe emphasized that for the next few years at least, internal combustion will remain in new AMG cars as hybrid assistance becomes more common. The company is “still improving the ICE cars,” in his words, and models like the new 2024 Mercedes-AMG GT coupe, SL convertible, and S63 sedan will stick with V8s as long as possible. He hinted that with the typical model cycle lasting about seven years for Mercedes, you can expect AMG V8s to remain on offer in at least some form until the end of the decade.

But otherwise, AMG’s electrification plan is moving full speed ahead, with the process of developing its own AMG.EA electric vehicle platform well underway. With that in mind, the C63’s turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain is indeed here for the long haul.

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