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2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 Returns as a 791-HP Plug-In Hybrid

  • After a brief hiatus, the Mercedes-AMG S63 is back for 2023, and now wears the E Performance badge that signifies AMG’s sporty plug-in hybrid.
  • The twin-turbo V-8 and electric motor combine for 791 horsepower, which can catapult the big sedan to 60 mph in a claimed 3.2 seconds.
  • An air suspension and adaptive dampers should give the S63 the ability to switch between a cloud-like ride and athletic handling, and the cabin remains supremely luxurious.

Mercedes controversially replaced the 2024 AMG C63’s V-8 with a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder setup, raising concerns among AMG enthusiasts that other high-powered Mercedes could face a similar downsizing. But fear not, because the new 2023 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance retains its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, adding a permanently excited synchronous electric motor to produce a massive 791 hp and 1,055 pound-feet of torque. produce.

All that power rockets the gigantic sedan to 60 mph in a claimed 3.2 seconds and on to an electronically limited 180 mph top speed. The V-8 engine makes 603 hp and 664 pound-feet on its own, fed through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The hot-V setup, with the turbochargers tucked between the cylinder banks, is claimed to improve responsiveness. The V-8 also features a belt-driven starter generator integrated into the 400-volt electrical system.

The electric motor, meanwhile, is mounted on the rear axle and is paired with a two-speed transmission and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential. Second gear engages around 87 mph, when the e-motor reaches its maximum speed of 13,500 rpm, which drops the motor back down to a low rpm where it makes its peak torque. The electric motor can deliver 188 hp for up to 10 seconds, or a continuous 94 hp. While the gas and electric drive systems use separate transmissions, the all-wheel-drive system allows the e-car’s power to be sent to the front wheels as well, allowing the S63 to run as an all-wheel-drive EV.

The battery pack is located above the rear axle and has a capacity of 13.1 kWh, providing a driving range of approximately 20 miles. Mercedes says positioning the motor and battery on the rear axle improves weight distribution and handling.

The S63 offers four levels of regeneration—the lowest allows for freewheeling while the highest allows one-pedal driving and can feed up to 90kW back into the battery. Charging for the battery is handled by a 3.7-kW onboard AC charger, but Mercedes hasn’t given an estimate of recharge time.

The new S63 comes with seven driving modes. The car starts quietly in Electric mode—though a start-up sound “characteristic of AMG” plays on the interior speakers—and the S63 uses electric power exclusively up to 87 mph. The AMG also plays a low-frequency sound on exterior speakers up to 19 mph to alert pedestrians of the luxury shooter’s presence. As the battery’s charge gets low, the car will switch to Comfort, which balances the two drive systems for smooth driving. A Battery Hold setting maintains the remaining charge, while Sport and Sport+ prioritize the e-motor’s power for spirited driving. A Smooth setting flattens the torque curve and prevents electric-only driving, while Individual lets the driver customize the setup.

With air springs and adaptive dampers, the AMG Ride Control+ suspension system allows the S63 to transform from a leisurely cruiser to a sports sedan depending on the driving mode. The S63 also lowers by 0.4 inches when it exceeds 75 mph, and it features active roll stabilization thanks to electromechanically controlled anti-roll bars that can be split in half to handle different road imperfections on either side of the car. Standard rear-wheel steering makes the S63 more agile in tight spaces and more stable during high-speed turns.

The S63 looks indistinguishable from a regular S-Class, but features a new grille with vertical slats and a front bumper with larger air intakes. The S63 rides on 21-inch wheels, while the rear includes four trapezoidal tailpipes that include a diffuser. The cabin is suitably rich and opulent for an S-Class, with special AMG upholstery, stitching, seats and steering wheel. The infotainment system also gets specific AMG and hybrid displays.

Mercedes has not yet released pricing information for the S63 E Performance. The previous-generation S63 sedan cost $152,595, an increase of nearly $60,000 over the then-base S-Class. With the current S500 starting at $115,550, we expect the S63 to hit the $170,000 mark. Pricing and availability details will come later, but the S63 should arrive sometime in 2023.

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