Home / Social media / Cars / The controversial 'its only a 2.0-litre' C63 S E Performance Powerhouse launched locally


When Mercedes-AMG announced the latest incarnation of its hugely popular C63 S sedan, fans were as happy as expected, until they found out the clever men in white coats decided to drop that iconic roaring V8 lump in favour of a turbocharged 4-pot. To add insult to injury, the setup was made hybrid. While that’s the way the industry is going there are plenty out there who think electric power is the devil and that it’s killing performance cars by replacing their mechanical souls with batteries. The thing is, you can’t deny how good electric power is, and how fast the technology is evolving. The all-new C 63 S E Performance may have lost the rumbling V8, but thanks to the way this new technology works, it gained power and silly amounts of torque. The trickle-down technology from the automaker’s Formula One exploits has changed the game, and I think the resulting performance is more than enough to make the naysayers choke on their criticisms. While the local launch of this luxury sports sedan may have just taken place, motorsport and proper motoring fanatics already know all about it and what it can do thanks to the great decision from Mercedes-Benz SA to enter one at the annual Simola Hillclimb. I haven’t had the chance to sample the car for myself, I wasn’t lucky enough to crack an invite to the launch, but I can easily form my own opinion on the car based on what trusted people say about the car. Enter my mate Chad Lückhoff, an ex-work colleague who is also a well-known motoring journo and presenter for AutoTrader SA. I’ve known him for many years now, and his opinion counts more than most. Chad was given the keys (key fob) to the new C 63 S E Performance along with an entry to race it up the hill at the annual Simola Hillclimb, SA’s premier motorsport event. The event attracts the fastest cars from all regions of SA, many purpose-built for the task of going as fast as possible up a steep hill, which in this case is a 1.9 km stretch of road in Knysna’s picturesque Simola district. Factory cars are usually at a disadvantage here, but this new AMG proved otherwise at the hands of Chad.

While Chad is one of those drivers that I’ll happily ride shotgun with on any road or track, he’s not a pro driver. He’s done plenty track stuff over the years, but as far as I know, his entry into the 2024 Simola Hillclimb was his first official race entry making it quite a big deal. A good time up the Simola hill is a sub-50-second run, and Chad aimed to get below that, as one does. It’s a big task, but luckily Chad had advice and pointers from Clint Weston, a pro racing driver and the head honcho at the AMG Experience at Zwartkops Raceway. It clearly worked because Chad took the sedan to the top of the hill at a ridiculous pace. That hybrid powertrain that all those people online keep complaining about even though they’re never going to buy the car, more than proved its worth. The C 63 S E Performance uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder lump that’s rated at a mighty 350 kW with 545 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful production 4-cylinder. Ok, that title actually belongs to the Mercedes-AMG A45 S with its 310 kW output. In the C63 S E, the petrol-fed lump is accompanied by a rear-mounted permanently excited synchronous motor that adds an extra 150 kW and 320 Nm of torque with a sort of overboost function into the equation to take the hybrid sedan’s power up to an astounding 500 kW with a maximum of 1,020 Nm of torque. Read that again. That’s mad. This equates to mind-blowing performance stats like a 0-100 km/h dash in just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 280 km/h if the right driver’s package is optioned. Power is sent to all four wheels via a fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system and AMG’s 9G Speedshift transmission. With the driver aids on board, the coaching from Clint and a helping of Testes Gigantis, Chad managed to not only tame the Simola hill, but he managed to secure a podium spot. Chad finished second in class and 5th in the Streetcar King of the Hill shootout - the win was taken by Clint in a Mercedes-AMG GT63 E-Performance. Chad posted a time of 45.922, and to put that into perspective, click through to the Simola results page and see just how many amazing cars that time beats. This Simola performance and Chad’s feedback is all you need to know about the new C 63 S E Performance. Well that, and it is also now available as an exclusive F1 Edition in SA. The F1 Edition adds a plethora of exclusive details to make it stand out from a ‘regular version’, and you can order one now. Screw those that have an issue with the powerplant, if you’re one of those lucky enough to be able to shop in this category, watch Chad’s Simola escapades - if that doesn’t sell you on this car, nothing will. The new C 63 S E Performance is available with a standard 2-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan, and pricing starts at R2,476,800.

Take a look at the YouTube video from my mate Chad over at Autotrader SA, he not only got to drive the all-new Mercedes-AMG powerhouse, but he also got to race it up the hill at the annual Simola Hillclimb and teach loads of bigger and purpose-built cars some manners: Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance - Conquering the Simola Hill Climb | AutoTrader

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