Mercedes-AMG Might Have Finally Realized You Want the V8

AMG will reportedly stuff a twin-turbo V8 in the new CLE63 amid backlash to its four-cylinder hybrids.

byJosé Rodríguez Jr|
Mercedes-Benz News photo
Mercedes-Benz
Share

0

Mercedes is strongly considering making an about face on its decision to use an F1-derived four-cylinder hybrid in the upcoming AMG CLE63 in favor of a less powerful twin-turbo V8. It seems that no matter how many horses a hybrid engine can give, the allure of a big V8 and the image it bestows is more compelling than any argument AMG can make about performance.

The decision to give the Mercedes-AMG CLE63 eight cylinders after all allegedly comes from on high. Autocar reports that senior officials at the company say the new coupe and cabriolet will boast V8 power due to a lack of demand for the current E-Performance plug-in hybrid C63 and GLC63, which combine a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder with an electric motor over the rear axle to make a whopping 671 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque.

Mercedes-Benz

Autocar goes on to claim the CLE63 will instead be powered by Mercedes' latest M177 4.0-liter V8, which leverages twin turbos and mild hybrid tech to make 577 hp. That's a steep drop in power of 94 horses, but a welcome addition of four cylinders—depending on who you ask.

Some people might say this is AMG capitulating to a consumer trend rather than chasing outright performance, which you could argue is the M-B subsidiary's entire remit. Still, others might say that AMG sticking to V8s is more akin to nature being restored and that the brand is listening to its customers. The head of Mercedes-Benz R&D, Markus Schäfer, says that it's ultimately "up to customers to decide" if AMG will keep using smaller hybrid engines in its vehicles, per Autocar.

Sales of the current C63 and GLC63 are reportedly below that of previous versions powered by V8s, which means that customers are voting with their wallets. And Mercedes dealers have chimed in as well, saying that customers will be confused by a four-cylinder CLE63 slotting in above the six-cylinder CLE53 among the AMG lineup, according to Autocar. I guess those hypothetical customers have never heard of Formula 1, which is where the AMG C63's beating hybrid heart was developed.

The V8 reversal remains officially unconfirmed, however, so it's possible that the AMG CLE63 may still be released as a four-cylinder PHEV, but that's looking more and more unlikely. Late last year, Mercedes-AMG said that it was reintroducing V8s for the C63 and E63 by 2026. Shortly thereafter, AMG shut down the rumors, but the return of the V8 now seems to be a possibility once more based on consumer demand. If it proves to be true, the decision would represent a dramatic shift that sees the pendulum swinging back in the direction of bigger engines as opposed to smaller ones that are nonetheless more powerful.

Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance Hybrid Mercedes-Benz

Got a tip? Send us a note: tips@thedrive.com

stripe
Mercedes-Benz NewsNews by Brand