2.9.2021Mercedes announces its first performance PHEV
With the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance, Daimler has presented its first high-performance plug-in hybrid. The vehicle has a system output of 620 kW. However, the purely electric range is just twelve kilometres.
The German carmaker announced at the end of March that the Mercedes Performance subsidiary AMG was working on an independent PHEV drive – and at that time also provided the first technical data. Incidentally, a study of an 800 hp AMG PHEV was shown a few years ago at the Geneva Motor Show.
The production model based on the AMG GT 4-door will now follow at the IAA Mobility in Munich. Visually, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance is hardly distinguishable from the purely petrol-powered examples. Only the “GT 63 S” lettering can be found at the rear, but highlighted in red for the hybrid. The “E Performance” note is only on the side of the vehicle between the front wheel and the door – and even there only in small letters below the lettering for the “V8 Biturbo”. The rear design is dominated by the four large tailpipes, and the tailgate, which is also positioned at the rear, almost disappears.
The powertrain is the transaxle hybrid designed by AMG: the familiar V8 engine with four litres of displacement is at the front (470 kW), while the electric motor is positioned at the rear axle. The specially developed electric motor has an output of 150 kW and is combined with the electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential and the electrically shifted two-speed gearbox in one housing as the “Electric Drive Unit”.
The focus during development was obviously very much on performance rather than emissions. With the PHEV’s electric range of twelve WLTP kilometres, Daimler does speak in the press release of a “practical action radius, for example in the city or in residential areas”. In practice, however, only a single-digit figure is likely to remain of the standard value – and the petrol engine will remain the main source of propulsion.
The battery has a capacity of just 6.1 kWh, but weighs only 89 kilograms. The engineers from High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth – the Mercedes subsidiary that develops the Formula 1 drive – were also involved in the development. The battery has a particularly sophisticated cooling concept so that it maintains its performance level under heavy load – with maximum power output during acceleration and frequent power consumption during recuperation in the braking zones.
Unlike in more civilian Mercedes PHEVs, the battery is only charged with alternating current. An optional DC charging option is not provided, even in view of the battery size. The onboard charger has a capacity of 3.7 kW.
In total, the drive offers a maximum of 1,400 Nm of system torque in addition to the 620 kW of system power. The AMG GT 63 S E Performance is said to accelerate to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 316 km/h. Mercedes-AMG quotes WLTP consumption at 8.6 litres, with power consumption at 10.3 kWH/100km in the standard test. The combined CO2 emissions are 196 grams per kilometre.