When news broke that the coming Mercedes-AMG C 63 would give up its demonic-sounding V8 for a hybridized four-cylinder powertrain, enthusiasts around the world howled dirges and spilled lager on the ground for a fallen comrade. Then AMG showed a prototype of the 2023 C 63 S at last month's Nürburgring 24 Hours. The power numbers attributed to the static display put the new electrified C 63 at 661 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, a nifty 158 ponies more than could be had in the erstwhile V8, proving all was not lost.
If we can believe our ears while listening to a video of a prototype out testing, however, the demonic part definitely has been lost. Carspotter Jeroen shot nearly six minutes of the new AMG around and on the Nürburgring, its exhaust note quieter than a vacuum cleaner's and less interesting.
To ensure we weren't imagining the bedlam we used to hear from an AMG's quad pipes, we cued up videos of past AMG C 63s roaring through the Eifel Forest. We found that yes, indeed, they did roar. So far, this new one does not. Even under hard acceleration, with the exhaust facing the camera, there's mostly wind and tire noise shrouding a drone interrupted only by gear shifts. In fact, at the 29-second mark, there's something somewhere else on the track making more noise that the Mercedes filling the screen.
A brief bit of one of our research videos demonstrated where things are headed. A W212 AMG E 63 blasts through a trio of corners spouting an absurd amount of growl, crackle, and pop, followed by an AMG One that, well, doesn't.
The specs for the 2023 AMG C 63 S are still grand, though. The M139 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 464 horsepower by itself, becoming the highest-output production four-cylinder on the market, and helping the sedan to the kind of acceleration that might reset the segment. A debut should happen in the coming months in preparation for market launch early next year.