Daimler has unveiled its first high-performance plug-in hybrid in the form of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance. The vehicle boasts a system output of an impressive 620 kW - while its purely electric range is just twelve kilometres.
The Stuttgart-based company had already announced at the end of March that the Mercedes performance subsidiary AMG is working on a stand-alone PHEV drive system - and at that time also provided the first technical data. Incidentally, a study of an 800-hp AMG PHEV was already on display at the Geneva Motor Show a few years ago.
At the IAA Mobility in Munich, the production model based on the AMG GT 4-door now follows. Visually, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance can hardly be distinguished from the purely petrol-powered models. At the rear, there is only the "GT 63 S" lettering, albeit highlighted in red for the hybrid. The "E Performance" notice is only on the side of the vehicle between the front wheel and the door - and even there only in small letters under 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 drive system is the transaxle hybrid designed by AMG itself: the familiar V8 engine with four litres of displacement sits 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 a single housing as the "Electric Drive Unit".
The AMG engineers hope that this drive layout (also known as the P3 hybrid) and the design of the electric motor will provide an "extra boost when pulling away, accelerating or overtaking" - if the electric motor acts directly on the rear axle. However, if rear slip increases, the power of the electric motor can also be transmitted to the front wheels. According to Daimler, the automated-shifting two-speed transmission on the rear axle is intended to ensure the spread from high wheel torque for agile pulling away to safe continuous power at higher speeds" with "its specially tuned transmission ratio" - at 140 km/h at the latest, the car shifts into second gear.
"With the new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance, we are transporting our signature DNA into an electrified future," says Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "In doing so, we are forging our own technical paths that have always made AMG so special and desirable. The performance hybrid, developed entirely in Affalterbach, offers a fascinating level of driving dynamics and rightly bears our new technology label 'E Performance'."