This week’s final reveal of the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance means AMG can turn its focus – and ours – to the hot versions of the next E-Class. And the first of those in the queue is the AMG E53 seen in these spy shots.
Expected to make its debut shortly after the launch of the non-sporty 2024 E-Class sedan next year, the E53 will undergo a fairly extreme mechanical transformation. The old car’s turbocharged inline six will be swapped for a version of the electrically supercharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder M139 engine now seen in the new SL43, C43 and C63 S, albeit in very different configurations.
While the SL43 and C43 are only fitted with basic mild-hybrid assistance and make 376 hp (381 PS) and 402 hp (408 PS) respectively, the C63 S gets a more extreme version of the gas motor that generates 469 hp (476 PS), and then tops it off with a plug-in electric motor to deliver a total of 671 hp (680 PS).
This prototype’s twin fuel and charging flaps (one on each side) tell us it’s definitely a full hybrid, but what we don’t yet know is how many of the C63’s 671 horses will find its way into the E53. A look at how AMG pitched the previous E53 relative to the last-generation C43, C63 and C63 S gives us a bit of a clue though.
The last E53 made 429 hp (435 PS), which put it between the C43 (380 hp / 390 PS) and C63 (469 hp / 476 PS), with the C63 S comfortably ahead on 500 hp (510 PS). So it’s unlikely that AMG will give the E53 the new C63 S’s full component of 671 hp, or even much beyond 600 hp (608 PS), if it even breaches that threshold.
The E53’s E63 big brother won’t arrive til later, and it’s guaranteed to be packing even more power than even the C63 S. But speculation is still divided on how it will make that power. Some sources suggest that the E63 will also downgrade to a four-cylinder PHEV powertrain, while others think it will get a version of AMG’s hybrid-assisted 4.0-liter V8 that makes up to 831 hp (843 PS) and 1,084 lb-ft (1,470 Nm) in the AMG GT63 S E-Performance four-door coupe.
Our hunch is it will go the V8 route. Pushing the C63’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid setup to deliver even more than 671 hp isn’t going to be easy, and we already know BMW is going down the V8 hybrid route for its next M5, which us rumored to have well over 700 hp (710 PS). Which option do you think AMG will take? Leave a comment and let us know.