MERCEDES-AMG has flexed its newfound hybrid muscles with the reveal of its new GT63 S E Performance, a vehicle that largely rewrites the rule book of large sedans with its monstrous 620kW/1470Nm outputs.
Due to arrive Down Under in the second half of next year, the new four-door AMG flagship is the most powerful series production AMG to date, motivated by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 and a rear axle-mounted electric motor which combine launch the car from 0-100km/h in “less than” 2.9 seconds.
Bringing up the double-tonne in less than 10 seconds, the GT63 S E Performance will keep on pulling all the way up to 316km/h.
As usual for top-spec AMG sedan, drive is sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Despite the huge power and performance numbers, AMG says its new electrified hero will still only consume 8.6 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle and emit just 196g of CO2 per kilometre.
This is because unlike some lesser AMGs that have been fitted with a 48V mild hybrid system, the GT63 S E Performance features a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) layout with 6.1kWh lithium-ion battery to power the always-active electric motor.
Like most PHEVs, the aggro AMG can be driven on electric power alone with a claimed battery range of around 12km and EV-only top speed of 130km/h.
Similar to the all-electric set-ups of the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, the AMG’s electric motor has its own two-speed transmission, automatically shifting from one ratio to the other at 140km/h so it can continue to contribute maximum power at any speed.
Keeping the battery topped up between charges is a four-level regenerative braking system ranging from little more than coasting right the way through to full ‘one-pedal’ driving.
For those who prefer to use two pedals all of the time and plan on tapping in to the mountain of performance on offer, the GT63 S E Performance will ship as standard with AMG’s ‘ceramic high-performance composite’ brake system with the 420x40mm and 380x32mm rotors clamped by bronze six-piston callipers up front and single-piston floating callipers at the rear respectively.
Helping drivers get either maximum performance or maximum efficiency from their car are seven drive modes – Electric, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race, Slippery and Individual – that combine and alter the various powertrain, steering, suspension and safety system parameters in accordance with the driving situation.
Visually, the E Performance looks largely the same as the regular four-door GT63 with its fastback silhouette, gaping front apron, power-domed bonnet and fixed rear spoiler, though there are a few tell-tale signs that this one is a bit different.
The main giveaways are the new fluted trapezoid exhaust tips, red rear badging and dedicated ‘E Performance’ badges on the front wings as well as the integrated charge port cover.
Just like the performance credentials, things have been dialled up to 11 in the cabin with a heap of top-shelf creature comforts like the widescreen digital cockpit, latest MBUX system with hybrid and performance-specific readouts, Nappa leather upholstery, aforementioned drive modes and the latest iteration AMG’s Ride Control+ adaptive suspension system.
Mercedes-AMG board of management chairman Philipp Schiemer said the brand was transporting its DNA “into an electrified future” with the GT63 S E Performance.
“In doing so, we are following our own technical path, which is what has always made AMG so special and desirable,” he said.
“Developed entirely in Affalterbach, the performance hybrid offers a fascinating level of driving dynamics and rightly bears our new technology label E Performance.
“With this new concept, we are also opening up to new target groups who will experience Mercedes-AMG as the performance luxury brand of the 21st century.”