Mercedes Debuts its First Performance Hybrid

The first hybrid-electric model from Mercedes-AMG, the new GT 63 S E Performance pairs a twin-turbo V8 engine with an electric motor on the rear axle to produce a combined 831 horsepower and 1,082 pound-feet of torque. (Mercedes)

Electrifying a car's powertrain results in lower tailpipe emissions. It often has another upshot: increased performance, with more horsepower and stronger acceleration on tap from the electric motor. Mercedes-Benz levels up by introducing the AMG GT 63 S E Performance, the first plug-in hybrid from the AMG variant that also happens to be the most powerful AMG model in the lineup. This 4-door coupe aims to intensify the desirability of plug-in hybrids with its outrageous acceleration and performance.

Responsible for generating a monstrous total of 831 horsepower and 1,082 pound-feet of torque is a 630-hp biturbo twin-scroll turbocharged V8 engine fortified by a 201-hp electric motor located on the rear axle. The permanently excited synchronous motor, powered by an AMG-developed 4.8-kWh battery pack, allows for an AMG-stated zero-to-60 mph acceleration run of 2.9 seconds. However, independent publications were able to achieve runs in the mid-2-second mark. A 9-speed automatic transmission sends the power to the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. Mercedes notes that these are European specs that may change before the car's stateside debut.

Electric pumps that circulate a high-tech liquid coolant through its cooling modules, rather than the traditional air- or water-cooled system, manage the battery's temperature. This innovation keeps the battery operating at an optimal temperature, allowing for the use of a compact, light battery that also provides high power density.

Brake regeneration of the battery is selectable from Level 0, which acts as a conventional vehicle, to Level 3, which maximizes power derived from the brake that allows one-pedal driving, as in an all-electric vehicle.

Although Mercedes has yet to release details like charging times and total driving range, the GT 63 S E Performance does have an electric driving mode that allows for 7 miles of all-electric travel at speeds up to 80 mph.

Underpinning the new GT 63 S E Performance is an air spring suspension system with adaptive dampers, allowing seven different driving modes. An electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential manages traction.

Outside, AMG's new performance hybrid features a model-exclusive front fascia design, red badging to distinguish it from a regular GT 63, a color palette of seven new exterior paint choices, and either 20- or 21-inch wheels. In addition, owners may achieve further personalization with appearance enhancements like the AMG Night, Edition, and Carbon equipment packages.

Like many electrified vehicles, the AMG GT 63 S E Performance has a silent engine start, but the automaker allows you to pipe in the sonorous roar of a V8 through the car's speakers. You can also choose how the car sounds inside and out, whether in electric or internal combustion engine mode.

Mercedes' performance-driven AMG division joins Volvo's Polestar in amping up the exhilaration aspect of their shift toward electrification. The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63 S E Performance will debut stateside for the 2023 model year; we will report on prices and more specific details as the date approaches.

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