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Mercedes-AMG to bring back V8 for C63 & E63 performance models in 2026 – report

New 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder hybrid C63 not going down well with fans, apparently

A report from Car and Driver is suggesting that a V8 engine is set to return under the hoods of the Mercedes-AMG C63 and E63 high-performance sedans from around 2026.

When Mercedes-AMG revealed a new 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder and plug-in hybrid powertrain in the C63 last year, dropping the famed V8, it was met with much controversy and derision from countless enthusiasts and owners around the world.

The M139L 2.0L four-cylinder turbo engine which has been the subject of consternation develops a solid 350kW and 545Nm in the 2023 C63 S E Performance, which makes it the record holder for highest specific power output of any four-cylinder engine.

The addition of an electric motor system boosts total system output to 500kW and 1020Nm, which is phenomenal in anyone’s language. An official 0-100km/h time of 3.4 seconds is nothing to sneeze at. A 6.1kWh battery gives 13km of electric-only range, as well.

A few areas where the car has faced criticism include the elephantine kerb-weight of 2165kg and the loss of the V8 soundtrack. Not to mention the feelings of inadequacy when compared with direct rivals from BMW M and Audi.

Likewise, the upcoming E63 AMG large performance sedan will adopt an inline-six hybrid system, dropping the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 from previous generations.

The next-gen 2025 BMW M5 is expected to adopt the XM’s twin-turbo V8 and plug-in hybrid powertrain. In the XM Label Red, an output of 550kW and 1000Nm propels the 2785kg land whale from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds. Expect very low 3s for the M5.

The automotive world has been engaged in the trend of downsizing and electrification to meet ever-toughening emissions regulations for some time, but this trend is at odds with the expectations of high-performance customers. The report says:

“The only escape route out of this dilemma is the reinstitution of the M177 4.0-liter V-8 engine, which will return to the C- and E-class in 2026, two independent sources say. The eight-cylinder is currently being modified to meet EU7 emissions standards.”

If this report comes to fruition, it is expected a V8-powered C63 and E63 could be on the market by 2026. According to the article, both vehicles have the space to accommodate AMG’s new E Performance 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 hybrid, which develops 450kW and 900Nm, and a total system output of up to 620kW and 1400Nm.

We will keep you updated with more details as they come to hand. In the meantime, you can rekindle with the old V8 biturbo in our 0-100 and exhaust sound video below.

Mitchell Jones

Eccentric car nut and just as enthused by roasting an egg on the air cleaner of an old Hemi as he is hunting the horizon in a space-age electric supercar, Mitchell's passion for motoring started at a young age. He soon developed a meticulous automotive obsession for obscure facts. He joins Driving Enthusiast as a features writer and car reviewer, following a near 10-year stint at PerformanceDrive.
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