Following the April reveal of the ‘W214’ Mercedes-Benz E-Class, we’ve spied a camouflaged example of the hi-po AMG E63 at the Nurburgring.
- AMG E63 plug-in hybrid spied!
- 520kW electrified straight-six expected
- Could hit 100km/h in around 3.5 seconds
Similar to the AMG C63 S E Performance, the E63 is expected to drop AMG’s woofly 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 for a down-sized combustion engine with plug-in hybrid boost. Expect a global reveal in 2024, with an Australian release to follow.
The bigger AMG is slated to use a longitudinally mounted 3.0-litre straight-six as its combustion-engine base and rear-mounted electric motor for a targeted 520kW, according to an Autocar [↗] report.
This is in contrast to the existing C63 S E Performance that will use a similar layout, but AMG’s hand-assembled M139L four-cylinder engine and rear-mounted electric motor for 500kW.
How do we know it’s an E63?
Spotted in the Nurburgring business park before the 24-hour race (won by Ferrari's 296 GT3 car), this AMG could be an E53 rather than the full-fat E63 – which is expected to use a six-cylinder PHEV powertrain from the S580E sold in other markets.
Marking the AMG test cars out from the cooking models is a new take on the Panamericana grille – or perhaps a disguise – with a box pattern rather than vertical slats. Also identifying it as a hardcore AMG product are red multi-piston brake calipers, cross-drilled rotors, and quad exhaust tips.
These have also featured on E53 test cars, however this car's multi-spoke black 21-inch alloy wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport EV high-performance tyres, a rear lip spoiler, and more aggressive front valance suggest it's the hottest of the lot – an E63 S E Performance.
Pictured here is a sedan, and while Mercedes is tipped to release an E63 wagon overseas, Australia is unlikely to get any long-roofed E-Class variants this generation.
Where’s the power coming from?
Mercedes-AMG has not confirmed powertrain details yet, but the Autocar report speculates (with confirmation from unnamed Affalterbach insiders) on the configuration and power outputs of the forthcoming AMG model.
At its heart sits a heavily modified version of Mercedes’ existing ‘M256’ 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine using components borrowed from the highly-strung M139L in the C63, with “similar bore dimensions”.
It’s expected that an electric motor similar to that in the C63 will be installed on the rear axle, presumably producing similar power (150kW) to that car with a 4.8kWh (usable) battery storing energy for the system.
Electric-only drive will be possible but – as in the C63 S E Performance – AMG's powertrain is more about outright performance than driving range. Mercedes-AMG is reportedly targeting outputs of 520kW and 1200Nm – up on the 500kW/1020Nm outputs of the C63.
Expect a similarly complex AWD system to that found in the C63 S E Performance as detailed by Alex Inwood in his first drive here.
The less potent E53 will reportedly use a version of the existing S580E’s 375kW plug-in hybrid powertrain that’s also based on a longitudinal six-cylinder engine. Further details will be revealed closer to the E63’s 2024 release date.