2023 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S PHEV prototype shown in Germany with 661-hp

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During last weekend's 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, Mercedes-AMG put a camouflaged prototype of its new C 63 S on display. The upcoming sedan's looks hid what was the biggest draw: its power plant. Starting with the M139 2.0-liter four-cylinder announced in the AMG C 43 (pictured) a month ago that makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, the full-fat AMG turns total powertrain output up to 661 hp and 553 pound-feet of torque. It starts with the M139 that here makes 464 horsepower by itself, becoming the highest-output production four-cylinder on the market. Then there's the electric motor unit borrowed from the GT 4-Door PHEV on the rear axle ladling in another 93 continuous horses, or 198 horses in ten-second spurts, and 184 lb-ft of torque. This puts the upcoming C 63 S 158 horses beyond both the last V8-powered C 63 S and the current BMW M3 Competition. 

The powertrain, including all the electronics, is said to weigh less than the previous V8 powertrain, putting less weight over the front axle and lowering the center of gravity. The C 43 was announced with standard handling boons like adaptive suspension, four-wheel steering, and a rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel-drive system. AMG said the C 63 will eventually move the game on with a fully variable 4Matic system.

The bodywork over all this E Performance gumption hasn't been morphed into unnecessary aggression over the C 43, either. There's an AMG Panamericana grille, a trio of large intakes beneath, new 19-inch alloys on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and the expected quad exhaust out back.

The last V8-powered C 63 S blitzed the 0-60 sprint in 3.8 seconds. With initial performance specs for the junior AMG C 43 predicting a 4.6-second sprint to 60 mph, the 2023 C 63 S could bring tears to the eye under hard acceleration. A debut should happen in the coming months in preparation for market launch in early 2023.

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