2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ Review
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First Drive: 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ Review

A high-performance plug-in hybrid sedan boasting the most powerful production 4-cylinder engine in the world, we head to southern Spain to put the 671-hp Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ to the test, with a price tag expected to surpass the $100,000 mark when it arrives to Canada.

Key Features:

  • The C63 is equipped with the most powerful 4-cylinder engine in the world (from a production car); the 2.0L engine delivers an impressive 469 hp on its own
  • The ICE engine is working with a second engine (mounted on the rear axle), but this one is electric, and it delivers 201 hp
  • The total power figures are mind-blowing: 671 hp and 752 ft-lb of torque
  • There is only one gearbox option: a 9-speed automatic unit with manual mode
  • With two engines, the C63 is also all-wheel drive with its well-known 4MATIC+ system. This one is fully variable and even comes with a Drift mode
  • Based on the latest C-Class platform, the new C63 retains all the safety systems offered in the regular sedan
  • Rear-wheel steering is standard for a much improved handling
  • The C63 is equipped with an adaptive suspension, with three modes : Comfort, Sport and Sport+
  • The performance sedan has a 6.1 kWh capacity battery to power the electric engine, which gives the C63 a very short distance in electric mode. Expect less than 10 km once it reaches our roads

Direct competitors:

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
  • Audi RS 5 Sportback (Competition package)
  • BMW M3 competition
  • Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
  • Lexus IS 500 F Sport

“There is no replacement for displacement”. You’ve heard this expression before, and yes, it has proven true on many occasions, but in this case, electrification IS the replacement… at least in part, since there is still an ICE engine in the latest iteration of the C63 AMG. 

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ | Photo: Vincent Aubé 

Yes folks, the mighty C63 is not offered with a V8 anymore. Rest assured, the 4.0L twin-turbo engine is remaining in other AMG vehicles, but this newest version (of the C63) will have to fight the other high-performance sedans (BMW M3 or Audi RS 5 Sportback anyone?) of the segment with a different formula, one that can also be described with the lengthy name used for this model: 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+. 

If the older V8 is more your thing, take a look at our BMW M3 vs Mercedes-AMG C 63 comparison review.

The “E Performance” is the added electrification bit of this new super C-Class and expect more models with that badge coming out of the Affalterbach AMG factory in Germany in the months and years to come. In fact, as we were in the southern part of Spain, the gents at AMG also showed us what to expect with the 2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance 4MATIC+, but let’s come back to our main subject: the new AMG C63 for the 2024 model year.

A high-performance PHEV sedan available in only one flavour

Born in the era of electrification and SUVs, the C63 remains a niche product with a price tag expected to surpass the $100,000 mark in Canada. That is why the high-performance plug-in hybrid sedan is only offered in one trim, but rest assured, the latest addition in the AMG catalogue can be optioned with several extras, like those superb 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels or the choice of three AMG Performance steering wheels and two AMG Performance seat packages. 

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ | Photo: Vincent Aubé 

AMG design packages

There are also five different design packages: AMG Aerodynamics package, AMG Exterior Carbon-Fiber package I, AMG Exterior Night package, AMG Night package II, AMG Exterior Carbon-Fiber package II. The special sedan can also be dressed with several materials such as Nappa leather or, yes, more carbon-fiber elements for the interior.

F1 Edition

A very special and limited edition of the car will also be offered in Canada: the 2024 C63 S E Performance F1 Edition, but there are only 36 units planned for our market. Dressed with the exclusive MANUFAKTUR alpine grey solid paint finish, the F1 Edition also benefits from decals on its voluptuous body, while red trim lines on the sides and rear aprons add a touch of colour to the ensemble. 

The F1 Edition is equipped with exclusive 5-twin-spoke matte black AMG forged wheels and red trim flanges, an homage to the Official FIA F1 Medical Car from Mercedes-AMG.

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 interior

Inside, the new C63 is a highly optioned C-Class sedan with the two screens, one behind the steering wheel and the other, in the centre of the dash, which takes a lot of space between the two front passengers.

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ | Photo: Vincent Aubé 

Let’s just say there is a lot going on in that 11.9-inch touchscreen with several apps available through the tips of your fingers or even through the MBUX Voice Control system. There is also a large heads-up display that helps when you don’t want to explain (to a police officer) why you were going too fast on the highway… in your 671-hp super sedan!

While the centre console is mostly devoted to storage spaces for your keys or your phone, the sports steering wheel, on the other hand, is rich in tactile buttons, too rich in fact. It’s getting complicated to understand all the different options available on that “round thing used to steer a car”. 

The good thing is that this sports steering wheel is a joy to hold in your hands, especially with all the twisty roads in that part of Europe. The last key element from that C63 interior is this pair of performance bucket seats which hold your body quite well in the curves.

Performance & driving impressions

The big question here is to find out how the new drivetrain copes with the C-Class chassis. With two engines, four wheel-drive, a battery and an automatic transmission, the new C63 is a complex car, but this transition is necessary, and to summarize this car in two words : it works! 

V8 engine replaced by a much more powerful 4-cylinder for 2024

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ | Photo: Vincent Aubé 

Sure, the throaty V8 is gone, but it’s replaced by this impressive powerhouse that delivers nearly 200 hp more than the outgoing model. Ok, all this technology comes with a price: weight. 

The previous C63 was a heavy car, but this new generation is heavier, and it showed in some of the curves at Ascari Circuit, a privately owned racetrack based in the lovely Andalusia community in Spain. This complex was inspired by several racetracks around the world, and to be honest, it’s not the easiest layout, even for good drivers. 

After a few good laps though, I started to get the hang of it. In a straight line, the longitudinally installed 4-cylinder turbo engine combined with the rear-mounted electric motor catapults the C63 to impressive pace speeds in less seconds than it takes to pronounce the sedan's full name: 2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance 4MATIC+!

The sound of the engine in Race – or even Sport Plus – mode is much more convincing, with the automatic transmission shifting at a pace worthy of other AMG creations. And even though the manual mode involves the driver a bit more, the auto setup is faster than a human being... on a racetrack. 

2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ | Photo: Vincent Aubé 

Back on the road after some convincing laps at Ascari, fact, we did put it back in manual mode on the twisty road back to our hotel in Malaga, because well, it was just better with the paddles behind the steering wheel.

Verdict: is this hybrid-powered Mercedes-AMG sedan worth it?

Clearly, the AMG brand is in electrify mode with this second PHEV model after the AMG GT63 S E Performance unveiled last year. It remains to be seen if this new drivetrain will change fans’ opinions about the sportiest C-Class available on the market, even though the smaller 4-cylinder engine offers a very nice melody. 

But, in terms of performance and overall quality, this new C63 S E Performance is a game changer, even with its ridiculously small range in EV mode of 13 km according to the WLTP method. The only question remaining is: will other performance brands follow Mercedes-Benz in this new PHEV performance option or will they go straight to EVs? 

We’ll know soon enough…

Ready to buy a used hybrid sedan?

View all our pre-owend hybrid and plug-in hybrid 4-door cars here. Every vehicle from Canada Drives has completed a 150 Point Inspection, comes with a no-charge 30 Day / 1,500 km warranty, and is covered by our 7-Day money back return policy.

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