Good grief, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the long-awaited plug-in hybrid version of the Porsche Panamera-rivaling AMG GT 4-door, and the figures are beyond ridiculous.
To give it its full name, this is the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance. Much like the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, this PHEV will sit at the top of the GT 4-door range. However, the Porsche makes do with a paltry 671hp, while the folk in Affalterbach have combined the usual AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with an F1-inspired high-performance battery and electric motor for a total of 831hp and 1,468Nm of torque.
We’ll repeat that just in case you glossed over it. That’s 831hp and 1,468Nm in a luxury four-door sedan/coupe thing. Madness. And if you needed yet another comparison, the non-hybrid GT 63 S makes 631hp.
AMG has used a P3 hybrid layout for the E Performance, which essentially means the electric motor sits on the rear axle with the battery above it. That battery is a 6.1kWh unit that weighs 89kg and has “twice the power density of conventional drive batteries,” says Merc. It has been designed for fast power delivery and maximum regeneration (there are four separate regen modes like on many EVs), so it’ll only do around 12km on electric power alone, but the max 831hp is always available for all four wheels.
The setup also means optimized weight distribution, while direct battery cooling deploys a non-conductive liquid coolant that flows around all 560 cells individually so that EV power is never compromised. Complex, right?
The electric motor sends its power through a two-speed gearbox and an electronically controlled limited-slip diff to the rear wheels, although Merc’s 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system will steal some of its power for the front wheels if the rear begins to slip. The V8 still uses a nine-speed dual-shift gearbox, the 0-100kph sprint is dispatched in 2.9sec and top speed is 315kph.
The PHEV gets a new front bumper and a rear bumper with an integrated charging port, as well as E Performance badges on the wings, but otherwise, the looks remain fairly similar to before.
Being the new flagship means the E Performance comes with AMG’s Ride Control+ air suspension and ceramic brakes as standard, though, while the interior brings hybrid-specific displays and things like EV range and temperatures of the battery and the electric motor on the instrument display. An optional rear-seat screen can show your backseat passengers the same info. Very cool.
There are seven drive modes—Electric (at speeds of up to around 130kph), Comfort, Sport, Sport+, RACE (which AMG feels the need to capitalize), Slippery, and Individual. There are also four settings for the AMG Dynamics system that uses sensors to ascertain the speed, lateral acceleration, steering angle, and yaw rate to anticipate how the driver wants the car to behave. Those levels are Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master. No doubt everyone will be sticking it in Master straight away...
Thoughts on AMG’s 831hp behemoth, Internet?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.
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