AutosMercedes-AMG CLE 63 ditches hybrid plan for V8 power, heeding fans

Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 ditches hybrid plan for V8 power, heeding fans

Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 was originally supposed to be powered by a plug-in hybrid.
Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 was originally supposed to be powered by a plug-in hybrid.
Images source: © Autokult | Mateusz Lubczański

10:32 AM EDT, May 12, 2024

The forthcoming Mercedes-AMG CLE 63's initial plan to feature a 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid engine was met with skepticism after its introduction in the C63 and GLC 63 models failed to impress the market. Responding to customer feedback, the German automaker reconsidered its strategy.

The launch of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 marked a significant shift that did not sit well with the brand’s biggest enthusiasts. The company decided to replace the beloved 4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 with a 2-liter, 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid engine, a move as bold as it was controversial despite the engine's 680 hp power output and Formula 1-inspired technology.

Michael Schiebe, the General Director of AMG, was initially confident in the hybridization concept, a sentiment that didn’t last long as market reception began to waver.

The same PHEV system was intended for the Mercedes-AMG CLE 63, a decision seemingly set in stone until British publication "Autocar," citing brand insiders, reported that the model would instead feature a gasoline V8 engine with 585 hp.

Mercedes-AMG CLE 63 to feature a V8, swayed by sales figures

Customer feedback, essentially voting with their wallets, appears to be pivotal in changing the course. The plug-in hybrid variants of the new C 63 and GLC 63 saw a dip in sales compared to their forerunners. 

Both fans and dealers advocated for the V8’s return, highlighting concerns that a 4-cylinder engine could potentially overshadow the 3-liter straight-six offered in the Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 and confuse customers.

As late as April 2024, Markus Schäfer, the head of research and development at Mercedes, admitted that customer feedback would shape the future of their hybrid systems. The company took these insights to heart and, despite initial claims of incompatibility due to structural challenges, opted to reimplement the V8 engine.

According to Autocar, Mercedes's new flagship coupe will feature the AMG M177 V8 engine in a "mild hybrid" configuration. This compromise aims to satisfy those longing for the V8, blending performance with a nod toward efficiency.

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