Mercedes-AMG will make a clear decision to rise to modern demands with its upcoming third-generation C63 by axing the long-standing V8 and adopting an advanced four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain. However, the C63 should still produce more than 500hp.

The new C63 will be the first in a slew of new AMG models receiving electrified versions of the firm’s new M139 turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. It will go on sale in early 2022. The 4WD competitor to the likes of Audi RS4 and BMW M3 is already under development at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany.

The M139 engine that will power the new C63 currently powers the AMG A45 and its platform siblings. It produces 416hp and 500Nm in petrol-only guise. It has already been optimized for longitudinal mounting as well as mild-hybrid boost. It will appear not only under the C63’s hood, but also the new C43, albeit in a milder tune.

Mercedes-AMG will work with newly-formed Mercedes EQ to develop an advanced hybrid four-cylinder engine and drivetrain.

Ever since it was conceived, the C63 AMG has been synonymous with a big, powerful V8 engine. With the latest super-saloon dropping the V8 for a hybrid four-pot, how Mercedes-AMG takes its legacy ahead remains to be seen.

A 48V integrated starter motor features on the M139, which AMG has already fitted to the current CLS 53 4MATIC+. Aboard the CLS, the motor is good for 22hp and 250Nm. It will be further enhanced to produce even more torque for the C63.

Mercedes-AMG will offer the C63 and C43 in saloon, coupe, and convertible body types. The next C43 will also come in an estate avatar. Other models in the AMG range that are destined for electrification include successors to today’s GLC 43 and GLC 63 SUVs, GLC 43 and GLC 63 Coupes.

Mercedes-Benz’s electric car arm, EQ, will develop a hybrid drivetrain to work with the nine-speed torque-converter MCT Speedshift gearbox. In fact, boosted by EQ’s innovative inputs, AMG is aiming to deliver up to 750Nm from the hybrid architecture.

In terms of driving dynamics, a lighter engine always has advantages of less rotating mass leading to less inertia. Even saddled with the electric motor and power electronics, the M139 will be lighter than the current 4.0-litre M177 V8.

Both the new C63 and C43 will be hybrids for their next generation, with lighter weight and distribution than before.

The four-cylinder engine’s mass is concentrated lower than before, theoretically improving its overall balance. 4MATIC will be available in the new C63, this time with the ability to deliver all the power to either the front or rear wheels on demand. The result will be that engineers can now design the car to be more responsive and precise in some driving modes.

The decision to electrify the Mercedes-AMG C63 was largely influenced by parent firm Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker is escalating efforts to reduce fleet emissions. Technology for electrification across its model range was gained from engineering lessons learnt during the development of the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar.