This car has been a long time coming. First previewed by a concept revealed well over four years ago, the lengthily-titled Mercedes-AMG GT63 S E-Performance (the ‘4-Door’ designation has at least been dropped to quicken things up) has, at last, been revealed in production car form. And to help us forget all about the long wait, it comes with some absurd performance stats.
We were expecting around 800bhp, but the total system power of the GT63 E’s plug-in hybrid powertrain greatly exceeds this at 831. Oh, and the torque figure stands at 1033lb ft. Suddenly, the 690bhp, 642lb ft Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid doesn’t seem as outlandish as it once did.
AMG’s first PHEV (Affalterbach has made mild hybrids for a little while now) extracts those ridiculous figures from the usual 4.0-litre twin-turbo ‘M177’ V8 combined with a 6.1kWh battery pack and a single electric motor. The combustion part of the equation brings 631bhp to the party, topped up via the electrical stuff with an extra 200bhp. All of this makes for a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds, a 0-124mph time under 10, and a top speed of 195mph.
In a lot of PHEVs, a straightforard arrangement is used in which one axle is powered by combustion and the other electricity. Apparently, that was too simple for AMG. Here, the V8 powers both ends of the car via a nine-speed automatic gearbox, albeit with the rear wheels heavily biased. The motor meanwhile uses a dedicated two-speed gearbox to feed the rear electronically-controlled locking differential, supplying torque which can in some circumstances be transferred to the opposite axle.
This will be the blueprint for AMG’s future plug-in hybrids, the next one being the C63, which switches the GT’s V8 for an inline-four turbo engine. The setup’s use of a smaller battery does mean the electric-only range isn’t spectacular - you get a mere seven miles to play with in the GT.
A lower cell count does at least keep the weight figure under 2.5 tonnes, although at 2380kg (260kg more than a non-hybrid GT63 4 Door), this isn’t exactly a flyweight. To negate some of the effects of the added pork, the E-Performance gets a bespoke air suspension setup featuring new continuously variable pressure relief valves. These allow for independent control of the compression and rebound strokes, which should, Mercedes says, “increase the spread between sportiness and comfort.”
The bulk will also give the brakes quite a workout, but thankfully, there are carbon ceramic discs fitted as standard. Big ones, at that - they measure 420mm in diameter at the front (with six-piston calipers), and 380mm at the rear (squeezed by single-piston calipers). Braking at the rear is also supplemented by the regenerative effect of the motor.
Save for badging, it looks much the same as any other AMG GT 4 Door both inside and out. It does come with some fresh colour and trim options though, and the 20-inch front/21-inch wheels feature a new design.
We don’t know how much the GT63 S E-Performance will cost just yet, but given how much you pay for a GT63 S 4 Door, we could be looking at a figure nudging £150,000.