In an interview with Car and Driver earlier this year, Mercedes-AMG confirmed the next-gen C63 due in 2022 would be powered by a four-cylinder hybrid. To an enthusiast, losing AMG V8s in the C-Class – and thus the sound they make – is like losing two rungs on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Car Spy Media apparently caught a prototype C63 S E Hybrid Performance lapping the Nurburgring in both wagon and sedan forms. We'll admit right now it's too early to start calling for eulogies and toasting the world that was, but we might go ahead and get the whisky and tumblers out because they don't just sound like four-cylinder engines, they sound like uninteresting four-cylinder engines.
AMG knows its stuff, so there's undoubtedly some tuning to come. These new Cs don't sound half as rorty as the AMG A45, a scenario akin to a criminal proposition that can't be allowed to make it to market. But who knows — AMG might want to make a statement with its new powertrain, letting the world know that power is still in, but cacophony is out. And one day we'll tell our grandchildren, "It really hit me that the world had changed for good when the new AMG sounded like a Dyson, and AMG didn't apologize for it. Hand me those Kleenex, please...."
And power there will be, the Affalterbach engineers confirming at least 500 horsepower for the coming top-flight models, putting them at least on par with the current 503-horsepower V8.
But if you want an AMG next year, you're probably out of luck anyway. The division halted V8 output in 2022 in the U.S. over quality issues, meaning that to get an old-school AMG that sounds something like an AMG, you'll need to buy an Aston Martin or one of the uber-expensive, hand-built AMG models likely trading way over its sticker price anyway. What's that they say about the times changing?
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