Rejoice, fans of Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, for it seems the engine will be returning to the hottest C-Class and E-Class models. Car and Driver reports that the V8 will be reinstituted as the halo engine for these models, as AMG fans aren’t happy with the current engine range.
The all-new C63 is infamously powered by a turbocharged plug-in hybrid four-cylinder, while the next-generation Mercedes-AMG E63 is rumored to adopt a PHEV turbocharged inline-six. Apparently, these engines are not good enough to compete with what Audi and BMW have in store. The fate of the next-generation M3/M4 is unknown, but the current M5’s successor will retain its V8 engine while adding a healthy dose of electric power. Audi’s upcoming performance models will also be PHEVs, but they won’t drop down to four cylinders.
If we were Mercedes-AMG, we’d be scared too.
Citing two independent sources, Car and Driver says Mercedes is busy updating the 4.0 V8 to meet stricter Euro 7 emissions standards, and the engine will be ready to return to the C and E. Theyalso spoke to senior engineers directly involved, and they said both models would need only “minor changes” for the V8 to slide right in under the hood, which makes sense since the AMG C63 has had its front end lengthened substantially compared to the base C-Class. These models could hit showroom floors as early as 2026. Both models are part of Merc’s staple and will likely last well into the next decade.
Why the sudden change of heart? Mercedes went to great lengths to design its divisive 670-horsepower four-pot and defended it in the media, calling it “revolutionary.” While we agree that the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance is a technological masterpiece, we can’t ignore that it weighs just under 4,500 lbs. As Colin Chapman taught us, weight spoils everything. Plus, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder lacks the theater an AMG deserves.
Some might say that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t make mistakes. To that, we respond, have you heard of the X-Class? The short-lived pickup truck cost Mercedes a massive chunk of money, and it’s still fresh in the Germans’ memory. If anything, it taught Mercedes that you sometimes have to pull the plug.
We don’t think the four- and six-cylinder models will go away, however. A pool of early adopters out there love the idea of an AMG that can drive a few miles on electricity alone. But there’s a larger pool of buyers who remember iconic V8 AMGs like the SLS, CLK Black, and C55. They want and are willing to pay extra for the soundtrack, so why not make even more money out of them?
Thanks to the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance’s existence, we know the M177 V8 can be used in conjunction with a plug-in hybrid system. And the upcoming C and E models already have dedicated housing and storage spaces for the required parts. The most likely scenario is to shove the 831 horsepower system in there and charge a $50k premium over the standard models.
But that’s us being cynical. Maybe Mercedes-AMG left the door open all along, hoping politicians would change their minds about stricter emissions laws. UK’s prime minister already said its ICE ban might not go ahead as planned.
Whatever the reasons may be, we’re just going to celebrate these rumors from a very reliable and trusted publication.