Mercedes has embraced electrification in all its forms, and that means some good things are coming from its performance brand, AMG, starting with the 2023 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance model which, the automaker suggests, “draw(s) upon technologies from Formula 1.”
By pairing a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with an electric motor mounted on the rear axle, AMG’s first performance hybrid punches out some big numbers: 831 horsepower and more than 1,033 pound-feet of torque.
“With the new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance, we are transporting our brand DNA into an electrified future,” said AMG Board Chairman Philipp Schiemer. “In doing so, we are following our own technical path, which is what has always made AMG so special and desirable.”
If the basic powertrain specs aren’t impressive enough, consider the fact that the hybrid version of the AMG GT will hit 60 mph in a mere 2.9 seconds, and 125 mph in less than 10. It tops out at 197 mph.
Taking some cues from Formula 1
The GT 63 S E is actually a plug-in hybrid, though there’s not much of a battery to work with, a modest 6.1 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion pack that, if it matters to you, will yield about seven miles in all-electric mode. The reality is that this hybrid is designed to deliver on the performance end, and if it happens to yield a bit better mileage and lets you run to the corner store without sipping any fuel at all, so be it.
“The layout with the combustion engine at the front and Electric Drive Unit on the rear axle offers numerous advantages,” said Jochen Hermann, AMG’s technical chief. “The optimized weight distribution, best possible utilization of torque and the very fast power delivery promise driving dynamics at the highest level. 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.”
In fact, the GT 63 S E Performance should satisfy those who expect hybrids to add environmental benefits, the automaker noting in a news release that, “the development team was also able to improve the efficiency of the entire vehicle in parallel — and achieve lower emissions as well as lower consumption.”
The program, was developed in-house at AMG’s Affalterbach operations. And it ushers in a future that will be focused, increasingly, on electrified drivetrain technologies, both hybrid and pure battery-electric offerings.
AMG goes electric
In July, when Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius laid out the parent company’s broad electrification strategy, officials revealed that the auto company is acquiring British-based startup YASA. The new acquisition developed a completely new high-performance motor design, called an axial flux, that will be used in future electric AMG models.
The new GT 63 S hybrid doesn’t use the YASA motor but the electrified portion of the sports car’s drivetrain alone still manages to deliver 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque through a 2-speed gearbox. At peak power, it spins up to 13,500 rpm. And while it is mounted on the rear axle, a modified version of the AMG Performance 4Matic system lets that torque be shifted to the front wheels, if needed.
The electric motor isn’t the only trick Mercedes is bringing to production with the 2023 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance model. The two twin-scroll turbochargers also have been electrified. While they still rely on exhaust gases to reach maximum boost, the system effectively eliminates dreaded turbolag by using electric motors to start them spinning immediately.
As with more conventional versions of the GT, AMG buyers will be able to adjust a variety of vehicle setting using the Dynamic Select system. That includes an EV mode. They’ll also be able to adjust the regenerative settings of the ceramic high-performance composite brake system. Level 3 should allow One-Pedal driving in many situations, drivers able to adapt to the flow of traffic simply by modulating the throttle. Race mode, however, dials that back slightly.
Flexibility for the future
The basic design of the GT 63’s electrified drivetrain is modular in nature. That means it can be sized up or down, depending upon application. On some models, that could mean smaller motors and a larger battery pack to put more emphasis on all-electric range.
The specs Mercedes-AMG is releasing come days ahead of the GT 63 hybrid’s formal debut at next week’s Munich Motor Show. And they’re actually for the European version of the new model. The performance brand says U.S. specifications will come closer to launch — which is expected sometime in 2022.