Mercedes-AMG fans look away, the much-adored and angry E63 will be dropping its throaty twin-turbo V8 for an advanced new straight-six plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
The new saloon is set to be unveiled next year and will be the first in a series of Mercedes-AMG models to adopt the new electrified drivetrain. It will apparently be similar to the ‘P3’ hybrid arrangement found in the GT 63 S E Performance and new C63 S E Performance providing more grunt and the capacity for electric-only driving.
Nothing is confirmed but Autocar has learned that the range-topping version fo the new E-Class will receive a heavily reworked version of Mercedes’ M256 turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, mounted longitudinally and working in tandem with an electric motor on the rear axle.
The motor found at the rear will be similar in construction and performance to the 201 hp unit used by the other electrified ’63’ models.
Mercedes-AMG wants the new drivetrain to push out more than 700 hp and 1,200 Nm (884 lb-ft) of torque. This will see it outgun the new 671 hp C63 S E Performance but remain under the beastly 831 hp from the GT 63 E Performance.
With the increase in power and torque, the engineers are looking to beat the performance of the current E63 S which can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds despite a significant increase in weight brought on by the motor and battery.
Mercedes-AMG is also planning a ‘lesser’ E53 model which will probably run a milder version of the M256 engine in combination with a gearbox-mounted electric motor, in what insiders describe as a ‘P2’ PHEV system.