The first “performance hybrid“ model from Mercedes-AMG also claims the mantle of its most powerful series-production model ever. The combination of 4.0-litre biturbo V8, 150 kW electric motor mounted on the rear axle, and surefooted 4MATIC+ traction adds up to exceptional acceleration and sublime responsiveness – but also, outstanding efficiency – in the new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE.
The GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE four-door coupé marks the next step into Mercedes-AMG’s electrified future, and demonstrates that exceptional performance – peak power of 620 kW and torque of 1400 Nm, and 0-100 km/h in as little as 2.9 seconds – needn’t come at the expensive of fuel economy. Indicative consumption is just 7.7 litres per 100km (ADR 81/02), while an all-electric range of 12 kilometres enables emission-free local driving.
The integration of a powerful combustion engine with a permanently excited synchronous electric motor and a lightweight, high-performance battery pack follows the strategy adopted in Formula 1 by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing team.
As in F1, maximum propulsion is always available when the driver needs it – for example, to accelerate powerfully out of corners or when overtaking. The electric power can always be called up and frequently reproduced via high-regeneration performance and on-demand recharging.
This also applies on the race track. During internal AMG test drives at the Hockenheimring, AMG test drivers were around two seconds faster per lap with the E PERFORMANCE Hybrid than with the AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ without additional electric drive.
Layout for dynamic driving
Jochen Hermann, Chief Technical Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, said the layout, with the combustion engine at the front and Electric Drive Unit on the rear axle, offers numerous advantages. “The optimised weight distribution, best possible utilisation of torque and the very fast power delivery, promise driving dynamics at the highest level,” he said.
“Added to this is the high-performance battery developed in-house, which has twice the power density of conventional drive batteries and, like many other components, is inspired by technology from Formula 1.”
Utilising F1-proven technologies
Development of the lithium-ion battery was inspired by technologies that have already proven themselves under the toughest conditions in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team’s Formula 1 hybrid racing cars.
In the course of development, there was a lively exchange of expert knowledge between the High Performance Powertrains (HPP) Formula 1 engine shop in Brixworth and Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach.
The AMG high-performance battery combines high power that can be called up frequently in succession with low weight to increase the overall performance of the vehicle. Added to this are the fast energy draw and the high power density.
This means that during a brisk drive in hilly terrain, for example, drivers can immediately call on the full power potential on uphill stretches, while regeneration is strong when driving downhill.
Another feature of the lightweight battery is its innovative direct cooling: for the first time, a high-tech coolant based on an electrically non-conductive liquid flows around all 560 cells and cools them individually.
The battery has a capacity of 6.1 kWh, with continuous output of 70 kW and peak output of 150 kW for 10 seconds. The battery’s low weight of only 89 kilograms allows for very high power density of 1.7 kW/kg, whereas conventional batteries without direct cooling of the cells achieve about half of this figure.
Charging is via the 3.7 kW on-board AC charger, at a charging station, wallbox or household socket. An electric range of 12 kilometres allows a practical operating radius, such as for daily urban commuting.
Ensuring electrifying performance
The 150 kW electric motor is positioned at the rear axle, where it is integrated with an electrically shifted two-speed gearbox and the electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential in a compact electric drive unit (EDU). The lightweight high-performance battery is also located in the rear above the rear axle. This compact design has numerous advantages:
- The electric motor acts directly on the rear axle and can therefore convert its power more directly into propulsion – for that extra boost when moving off, accelerating or overtaking.
- The power of the electric motor can inherently be applied at full torque, therefore particularly agile starting is possible.
- In addition, the driver immediately experiences a noticeable performance increase thanks to the integrated, electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential: The hybrid model is even more agile when accelerating out of bends, and provides more traction and therefore more driving safety.
- As slip at the rear axle increases, the drive power of the electric motor is also transferred to the front wheels as required for more traction. The mechanical connection of the fully variable all-wheel drive makes this possible by means of a propshaft and the drive shafts of the front wheels.
- The positioning on the rear axle improves the weight as well as the axle load distribution in the vehicle and thus forms the basis for the convincing handling.
The AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE features an expressive design with a low front section, muscular body, squat greenhouse and dynamic fastback highlights the sporty genes of the four-door coupé.
Another striking feature is the characteristic front apron: it appears to be cast from a single mould, and blends into the dynamic design of the overall vehicle. The outer air intakes are wider and more pointed towards the centre of the car. The airflow is channelled to the wheel arch coolers by three vertical fins.
Exclusive identification features at the rear are the rear apron with integrated plug-in charging flap and the model designation highlighted in red. With the hybrid, AMG is also introducing externally fluted trapezoidal twin exhaust tailpipes. An “E PERFORMANCE” badge on the wings indicates the hybrid drive.
AMG Performance steering wheel adds extra value
The AMG Performance steering wheel with its distinctive twin-spoke design and seamlessly integrated control buttons offers tangible and visible added value.
The three rounded twin spokes combine strength with lightness. The round AMG steering wheel buttons impress with brilliant displays and their perfect turn-and-press operating logic. This allows important driving functions and all driving modes to be controlled without having to take one’s hands off the steering wheel.
As a new feature, it is possible to select the regeneration levels of the hybrid drive via the steering wheel buttons.
A widescreen cockpit display features the MBUX multimedia system with AMG hybrid-specific displays and functions.
In the instrument cluster, the driver can read the electric range, the power consumption, the output and torque of the electric motor and the temperatures of the battery and electric motor. High-quality graphics on the multimedia display visualise the power flow of the entire drive system, rpm, output, torque and temperature of the electric motor, as well as the temperature of the battery.
Luxuriously equipped four-seater
At its heart, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE four-door coupé is an exceptionally luxurious grand tourer. A generous level of standard equipment includes Exclusive nappa leather upholstery and grey open-pore ash wood trim, a 14-speaker Burmester® surround sound system, three-zone THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control, heated and cooled front seats with heated armrests, heated rear seats, ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours, head-up display, sliding glass electric sunroof, wireless device charging and smartphone integration, MBUX navigation with augmented reality, and power-closing doors.
The standard Driving Assistance Package Plus includes a comprehensive suite of safety assistants including DISTRONIC Active Distance Assist, PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side, Active Steering Assist and Active Lane Change Assist, in addition to the protection of nine airbags.
In total control
The AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE rides on AMG RIDE CONTROL+ suspension, which is based on multi-chamber air suspension with automatic level control, combined with adaptive, electronically controlled adjustable damping.
This damping system is completely new: for the first time, two pressure relief valves are used. These continuously variable control valves, located outside the damper, adjust the damping force for each wheel to suit the situation in just a few milliseconds. The rebound and compression stages are controlled independently of each other.
In keeping with the extreme power values and the associated performance, an AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system comprises bronze-coloured 6-piston fixed callipers at the front and 1-piston floating callipers at the rear.
The AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE also includes AMG rear-axle steering, adding greater precision at high speeds and exceptional maneuverability in low-speed situations.
The Mercedes-AMG-developed 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system combines with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT nine-speed transmission and a suite of AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs to adapt to any driving situation, while the standard AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package adds dynamic engine mounts and a RACE drive program including a ‘drift’ mode.
Everything but quiet
When driving on all-electric power, the legally required Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System warns the surroundings that the Performance hybrid is approaching. A specially composed low-frequency, speed-dependent AMG sound is emitted to the outside via single loudspeakers at the front and rear. The sound can also be heard at a subdued level in the interior, as acoustic feedback for the passengers.
At higher speeds, the customer can select the sound experience between “balanced” and “powerful” using the sound buttons in the centre console or on the steering wheel (recognisable by a frequency wave symbol): When driving on all-electric power, either a discreet or a powerful sound experience is generated. When the combustion engine starts, the selected setting influences the sound of the exhaust system. In every situation, one thing remains the same: under all conditions, the performance hybrid is immediately recognisable as an AMG by its sound.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE four-door coupé is priced at $399,900 (MRLP + on-road costs) and is now available to order from Mercedes-AMG retailers. So it may not be suitable for a novated lease.