Mercedes has started selling the top-model C-Class in the US. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance arrives at $83,900, nearly $40,000 less than in Europe.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance is making its US market debut after much controversy surrounding the model over its powertrain: a supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electrically driven turbine and a powerful electric motor driving the rear axle. The new top model replaces the old Mercedes-AMG C 63 (W205), which had the familiar 510 PS (503 HP) 4-litre twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet. In theory, the new model is much more powerful, with the combination of the 476 PS (469 HP)/545 Nm (402 lb ft) 4-cylinder turbo engine and 204 PS (201 HP)/320 Nm (236 lb ft) electric motor delivering a total of 680 PS (670 HP) and 1,020 Nm (752 lb ft) and accelerating the AMG C 63 S E Performance from 0 to 100 kph in just 3.4 seconds.
If we compare, the BMW M3 Competition, equipped with a 3-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with 510 PS (503 HP) and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) without any electrification, does the same in 3.5 seconds.So the new Mercedes-AMG has 170 PS (168 HP) and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) more but accelerates only 0.1 seconds faster than the BMW M3 Competition.

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance turbocharged engine transmits power to all four wheels via the AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel-drive system includes a limited-slip rear differential, torque vectoring function, and integral steering while the electric motor is mated to the rear differential via a two-speed transmission.

A battery with a gross capacity of 6.1 kWh powers the electric motor and gives an electric range of 13 km WLTP. The Plug-In Hybrid system is designed for performance and not for fuel economy. But as revs increase, you realize the limits of the 4-cylinder engine, which lacks the ferocity of other larger displacement, multi-cylinder engines above 5,000 rpm. And the electric motor’s maximum power is only available for 10 seconds.

In Europe, sales aren’t great, and AMG’s new boss, Michael Schiebe, says the PHEV system isn’t the problem, but controversy has arisen over the 4-cylinder engine. Schiebe says the same PHEV system using a V8 engine in the Mercedes-AMG S 63 S E Performance has been very well received by the market.

To boost sales, Mercedes is selling the new AMG top model in the US at a much lower price than in Europe. The price for the USA is $83,900, almost $40,000 less than in Europe. Basically, with the price difference, you almost buy a Mercedes C 300 ($46,950).
In Europe, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance costs 115,713 euros ($123,549), exactly $39,649 more than in the USA.

In the US, Mercedes has tried to bring the AMG C 63’s price in line with the BMW M3 Competition ($80,400 with rear-wheel drive, $84,300 with all-wheel drive), while in Europe, the BMW M3 Competition/Competition xDrive is much cheaper than the AMG C 63. In Europe, the BMW M3 Competition/xDrive costs €96,300/100,300 while the Mercedes-AMG C 53 starts at €115,713.

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