So, we need to get it right out in the open, and out of the way, and that’s the elephant in the room: the 2024 C63 AMG is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder. Yes, you did read that correctly, I said 4 cylinders. So let’s get the fact that it’s 4 cylinders less than what it should be, and just move on to reviewing the car that it is. OK!!!

Now that we have that out of the way, we can have a look at the brand-new 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S E Performance hybrid sedan. That’s a mouthful, I know, but so is 675 combined horsepower and 1,019 Nm of torque created by this impressive engine and hybrid combo. Those are the sorts of figures we expect from a nose bleeding, rectum clenching C63 AMG. Will this car live up to its heritage or will it be a bit of a disappointment. I couldn’t wait to spend some time behind the wheel and find out.

What changed with the all-new C63? Well, it’s the engine and hybrid options that have been taken from the development of the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 team. This is the exciting side of electric vehicles, the combination of instant power from the electric motor and continuous power from the combustion engine. Each one has their pros and cons, but together, when they fill the gaps in each others’ performance bands, it can combine to create a street-legal track-weapon family sedan that can do 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds.

What We Like and Dislike About The 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance

What we like

  • Exterior Styling
  • Performance
  • Handling
  • Comfort
  • Interior space
  • Quality finish and materials
  • Those alloy wheels

What we don’t like

  • Engine size (not noise)
  • Price
  • Spec expectations for price

What’s In The 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance Range?

The C-Class range starts out with the C 200, C 300, C 350e, C43 and the C63. There is really only one standard variant available for the C63, the S E Performance.

This vehicle is powered by a combination of a petrol turbo-charged engine and battery hybrid electric power. The engine is a 2.0-litre turbo-charged straight 4 that creates 350kW of power. The electric motor which powers the rear wheels generates 150 kW of power, giving the C63 a combined power output of 500 kW. That is incredible for a turbo 4-cylinder, but the impressive stats do not end there; this combination of power units also delivers, 1019 Nm of torque. This propels the vehicle from stand still to 100kmh in just 3.4 seconds, which is rather insane for a 4-door family sedan, daily driver.

There is, however, a limited run of the First Edition models, which is the Mercedes-AMG C 63 SE PERFORMANCE F1 Edition. This is available in MANUFAKTUR Alpine Grey paintwork which is grey-to-black colour gradient and has 20-inch AMG forged wheels and red rim edging. The starting price for the F1 edition is $214,839

2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance Colour Range

In the true fashion of Mercedes, the C63 comes in a range of black, white and silver. It does however have two colourful options, Patagonia Red Bright Metallic and MANUFAKTUR Spectral Blue Magno. Both come with an additional price; the red is an additional $1,304 and the blue is an additional $4,261. Annoyingly, the blue is my favourite. 

  • Polar White
  • Graphite Grey Metallic
  • High-tech Silver Metallic (default colour)
  • Mojave Silver Metallic 
  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Selenite Grey Metallic
  • Sodalite Blue Metallic
  • Spectral Blue Metallic
  • MANUFAKTUR Patagonia Red Bright Metallic (+$1,304) 
  • MANUFAKTUR Opalite White BRIGHT Metallic (+$1,304) 
  • MANUFAKTUR Spectral Blue Magno  (+$4,261) 
  • MANUFAKTUR Graphite Grey Magno (+$4,261)

Including the optional equipment, our review car’s retail price is $226,200.

For a full list of specs and options available for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance, head on over to Mercedes-Benz New Zealand’s website

How Does The 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance Compare To Its Competition?

I am a bit torn here; the left side of my brain feels that there isn’t anything that would really compare to the new C63 AMG S E. Its power combination and delivery is amazingly impressive and is really pushing the bar up for performance sedans. However, on the right side of my brain, I just can’t help feeling or wanting that louder and deeper sound from a larger displacement engine that can’t be said. Without including full electric or typical combustion only vehicles, there are not many super performance hybrids available yet. 

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
Mercedes C63 AMG S E2.0L turbo Hybrid Electric350 / 10193.46.1280$199,900
BMW M3 xDrive Competition3.0L Twin Turbo Petrol375 / 6503.510.1480$191,200
Audi RS4 Avant2.9L Twin Turbo Petrol331 / 6004.110.6495$169,990
Lexus IS 300h F Sport2.5L Hybrid Electric164 / 2218.55.7450$90,100

Please note that DriveLife does its best to ensure the information above is correct at the time of publication, however, prices, specifications and models can change over time. Please bear that in mind when comparing models in the comparison table.

First Impressions Of The 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance

The Mercedes C63 AMG has always been the everyday punter’s powerhouse of performance, blending luxury with adrenaline-pumping driving experiences. While not being as aggressively designed as previous models, the sleek exterior design exudes sophistication and sportiness.

Our review vehicle was black on black wheels, and even though I am not a huge fan of black wheels, it looked stunning. As with most performance cars designs these days, the rear is way more aggressive than the front. The massive twin exhaust pipes clearly indicate this car has a purpose and that purpose is to go fast. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance?

You can see the interior of the C63 is sleek, with a lot of carbon fibre fine finished trims, including the stereotypical retro air vents across the main dash, with the central console and main display screen connected as a waterfall effect. The large square centre screen allows access to all the infotainment menus and settings, plus any car settings available. Below this is a selection of tactile buttons, general things that are required for quick access. 

The steering wheel is typical for an AMG, and feels like a high-performance wheel, with carbon fibre at the top and bottom of the wheel and a centre notch on the top to know where the steering wheel is pointing. Race cars have this, so it’s safe to say from a giant man-child’s point of view, this is cool. 

The wheel has twin spokes, both of which have an array of controls on them. These controls include settings, cruise control, audio volume, phone etc. Below these two are two spherical dials; The left-side dial allows you to custom-set options like the exhaust being louder or Dynamic Control on without setting any of the vehicle wide specific driver modes. On the right, you have the drive mode selection dial that can either be pressed or twisted, to run through the different drive mode settings: Individual, Battery Hold, Electric, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race.

Race mode sets the car to its most extreme setting and this can be used when you visit famous tracks around the world. So if you want to know what times around Monza are? The C63 can keep track of it as you go.

The driver’s display has been carried over from the EQ range, but is focused on high performance. The screen looks like a digital tunnel that you look into, and on the left and right are your RPMs and speed right in the middle. There are multiple colour gauges for throttle use and engine power delivered in real time. And when you floor it, you get two flame-effect tracks like the Back to The Future, which is fun. Overall, a fun and funky dynamic display.

The seats are comfortable, and much improved over previous AMG seats. Being so tall, I found previous seats were uncomfortable around the hips. The seats now are very supportive and very stylish, oozing the sense of a high performance vehicle, This is repeated in the back, carrying the theme through. They are not as deep as the front seats, but still look sporty.

There’s a full panoramic glass roof  that has a sun shade, which is split into two sections. You have the front which acts like a standard sunroof which can pop up and down and scroll back and there is the rear section, which is fixed glass.

The boot of the C63 is probably one of the few let-downs about the car, it’s not very big due to the hybrid battery. The normal C-Class boot is 455 litres, pretty reasonable. But the C63’s boot is only 280 litres, not far from half the normal size. The battery is under the boot floor, and the result of this raises the floor up, so it’s almost at the level of the boot lock / opening. This leaves you with a boot space that is not that deep. 

What’s The 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance Like To Drive?

The new C63 is a bit of a mixed experience when you first drive it. In all of my previous AMG vehicle reviews, the moment I look forward to is the engine start. This is because it should be a bit of drama, considering the car that it is. However, the start on the new C63 is a bit different, or should I say less exciting. When you press the start button the car starts up, with no noise from the engine. Just the hybrid electric side of the vehicle starts. They have added an audible growl, which is ok, but it’s a bit delayed and doesn’t really feel the same as a performance engine start. And one of my biggest pet peeves with these cars, is the start button itself. Mercedes-Benz have lost their way again, putting fancy buttons on the wheel, but the engine start button could be from any base model Merc. I don’t ask for anything flash, just a big red button, something that makes my inner child excited to push it. 

Once you get going in the C63 you lift off in full electric mode, that is until you need some more power, generally 10 or 15 seconds after unless you have it in EV only mode, the engine will fire up, and then it does sound good. The engine behind the all new C63 is one that will be hit or miss with most people. It’s not a V8 or a V6, but a 2.0 litre in-line 4 cylinder-turbocharged engine that creates 350 kW of power. Not bad at all for a 4-cylinder engine, it could even be the most powerful 4-cylinder engine currently in production. It’s not that surprising, as this engine would have come from the development of the 4-cylinder engine in the A and CLA AMG models. What sets it apart is that the C63 is a hybrid, which adds another 150 kW of power giving it a combined output of 500 kW. This figure is impressive, but they are half of what the combined torque is, yes the torque of this beast is 1,019 Nm, which is absolutely mental and amazing at the same time. 

Where this combo works its magic is when you are on the power. Older cars that came with manual gearboxes have a pause where you have to lift off the throttle, change gear and then power on again. This creates an exciting kick to the pants, as the car launches forward again. Most high performance cars over the last couple of years have fluid automatics. By that I mean when you stomp your foot to the floor, the car will launch forward, and you will not feel much when the gears change. This hybrid is the best of both worlds as it launches you off in full electric mode and then a split second later kicks the petrol engine power in, bridging the gap in low torque from the engine and the electric motor. It’s amazing and so fast. The C63 rockets off and can achieve 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. To put this in perspective, the 2011 C63 AMG Black Series Coupé, (with two fewer doors and no back seats) powered by a 6.2-litre V8 and noted by Jeremy Clarkson as one of the maddest cars of the last century, gets to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. That’s impressive when you consider the C63 S E Performance is a daily driver.

The handling in the new C63 is sharp, with finger light steering and a good level of feel back through the wheel. The car itself is very well-balanced; I was a bit concerned that the battery in the rear might upset the weight distribution, but this was not the case. Maybe this is part of the reason why the battery is so small, enough to give the boost and performance, but not too much to upset the weight. I found myself feeling confident behind the wheel, confident in my ability to place the car exactly where I needed it to be on the road, entering and exiting corners to achieve clean lines. I did find that when you really put the power on, the back wheel can slip, which is not usual for an AMG, however it doesn’t feel like a rear-wheel drive slip, as it’s only powered at the rear by the electric motor. The car will launch off, but if it lets go too much, the electric motor will adjust and ensure consistent power delivery. 

Engine noise is good, not as good as it could be with a bigger engine, but as good as it can be for a 4 cylinder. When you set the car into Sport or Sport+ mode, the sound of the exhaust gets deeper, and the overrun is added in. On the power, the car sounds angry, it wants to go and go and go. And as soon as you let off, the overrun is beautiful, so rich and spirited, which makes you want to go again. 

There is so much driver tech in the C63, radar cruise, lane tracking, lane keeping and blind spot assist etc… All trying to create a safe driving experience for you. I was at an intersection and was about to pull out into a good-sized gap, and the car stopped me. It said there was an oncoming car, so it stepped in and cut all power from the pedal. I didn’t like this at the time, but it didn’t put me in a bad or dangerous position, which was comforting. 

The brakes on the C63 are on the money too; large drilled discs with large 6-pot red callipers at the front. The stopping power of these brakes is impressive, easily when you consider the weight of the C63 is over 2,000 kg. The feel, when you’re enjoying some spirited driving, is great. They are light to the touch and have a lot of travel, which gives the driver precise control. 

The big question some might ask is the fuel economy, does the 4-cylinder that packs all that punch drive like an eco warrior? In short, no, which was not unexpected. I got 11.6 litres per 100km, which is okay and in line with many regular 4 or 6-cylinder performance cars – but none of them perform like the C63 does. So in one sense it is more efficient, and you might be able to get closer to the manufacturer’s numbers of 6.1 litres per 100km if you drive like a saint. But why would you in such an amazingly savage vehicle? 

Fred’s Point of View

I had some initial impressions of the C63 when I picked it up. I slid – literally – into those sports seats. I’m not a big man at all, but my shoulders were forced inwards. No problem – I’ll just adjust the bolsters out. I found the controls on the centre screen, only to find the bolsters were already out at the maximum. For some foolish reason, I decided to put them on maximum and nearly lost a lung. These seats are snug!

Then I drove it, and instantly felt the rawness of this car. Over my time with the C63, that was my main takeaway; it’s a raw beast to drive, even without a V8 under the hood. It sounds amazing too, as I am sure John will point out. Thankfully, it’s not fake either; wind those windows down, and take in those exhaust pops and crackles in all their turbo glory.

Then you hit some bumps on the roads and that rawness bites you. This car rides hard, and sits flat. You would think that would mean excellent handling, and it mostly is. For example, the turn-in is excellent but I found that near the limit, the handling got a bit loose, with the car losing its composure a little. Not scary at all, but it needed gentle application of steering wheel and throttle to keep it going the way I wanted it to go.

That steering wheel has haptic controls on it. By far my least favourite ‘feature’ of the C63, but nowhere near as bad as the Volkswagen Touareg I recently reviewed. But I’d still prefer Mercedes-Benz’ previous steering wheel controls by far. They just work.

The heads-up display is huge and brilliant, and the audio quality is outstanding. Testing the audio in the C63 resets my level of what car audio should sound like, and gives me a new bar for others to reach (but I doubt they will). The Burmeister sound system in the C63 is incredible.

One feature I found that was new was the ability to make the car park front in, or reverse in, when doing an angle park and using the automatic parking feature. It was as simple as tapping the image of a car on the screen, and the C63 would park nose in, or nose out – your choice. Excellent.

This car is a licence loser; it begs you to drive it harder than other cars to hear the exhaust or feel the performance of that engine. For those that say that a performance EV has everything that a driver’s car needs should drive the AMG C63 Performance to get an idea of what a performance car should feel like.

Pete’s Point of View

I got my hands on the AMG over a couple of days, and unfortunately they were some of the wettest we’d had for a while. I was therefore somewhat cautious in my exploration of its performance. Even with such caution, OMG – what a car. When stationary, it is purposeful-looking, almost aggressive. Our test car was Obsidian Black with Black AMG wheels, red AMG brake callipers, and dressed with the optional AMG exterior carbon kit. Even in black, it makes a statement that this is one serious car. The test car also came with some goodies from the options catalogue for the interior too; the carbon package, and performance seats. The seats live up to their label – firm and with significant side bolsters. Each time you get in, you have to make allowance for those bolsters. Interestingly while feeling firm, I found the seats sufficiently comfortable to not be a problem on longer trips.

The interior is simply stunning. A coherent classically Mercedes high-quality interior with an array of buttons on the steering wheel including two special “AMG performance” combo dial/ buttons, paddles, and stalks. I was impressed that even with the vast number of functions, the symbols used and their placements were logical, and took little time for them to become intuitive.

Driving it is something else. Because it’s a hybrid, the start is silent. Ask for some acceleration and the petrol engine starts. The performance maximises the best combination of both a small capacity turbo petrol and the instant torque of EVs. In Comfort mode, the exhaust soundtrack is moderately subdued, while still permitting rapid acceleration. Changing the mode to Sport, or Sport +, or Race, ups the ante, increasing the throttle response, the exhaust sound, and the stiffness of the suspension. It is quite a feat of engineering that a road-going can have such a range of usability and function with the space and facility of a family car.

It is very quick with an advertised 3.4s to 100kmh and while I didn’t test that myself, I’d believe it. In Sport + and Race especially it can be brutal – in the most incredible and spectacular way. The BYD Seal was similarly quick 0 – 100km/h, but without any of the drama and involvement of the AMG, its exhaust popping and barking all adding to the experience. In fact, the BYD Seal had no drama at all, the only experience being the G-forces. In the tight twisty hill roads, the AMG is so much fun, like an oversized go-kart it sits so flat, the power instantly and always available. Driving it is a bit like an addiction, with every acceleration and through every corner it gives another endorphin hit.

In summary, it is an amazing car with class-leading engineering. While the firmness of the ride together with the performance seats have the potential to become tiresome when used as a regular driver, the fun factor would likely win over any such negatives. It is a worthy successor to the AMG lineage, absolutely delivering on the performance/driver involvement front while also being a ‘greener’ option than any of its predecessors.

2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 S E Performance – Specifications

Vehicle TypeHybrid Performance Sedan 
Starting Price$199,990
Price as Tested$226,200
Engine2.0L In-line 4-Cylinder Turbo Electric Hybrid
Power, Torque
476 / 1,019
TransmissionAMG Speedshift MCT 9G
Spare WheelN/A
Kerb Weight, Kg2,144
Length x Width x Height
4834 x 1990 x 2875
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
Fuel tank capacity,
Fuel Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 6.1
Real-World Test – Combined – 11.2
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
Turning circle
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty5 Years Unlimited KM Warranty
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link – 5 Stars – QMU216

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John Galvin (JSG)
It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.
2024-mercedes-benz-c63-s-e-performance-hybrid-car-reviewSummary Section of Review I know I said I wouldn't talk about it again, but this car would sound better with a V8, and it could be hybrid too. But the fact of the matter is that the new C63 AMG is a monster, and does the name and badge the justice it deserves. The Hybrid combo is so good, it fills all the gaps you want it to, and it leaves you clenching your butt in that excited while being a touch scared way.  It's a luxury car for the most part, but performance is its game. It would have been nice to see Mercedes-Benz’s massage seats for the driver and passenger as  I do not think it should be an unexpected option for a $200k vehicle.  This new C63 is a step forward in the right direction for performance cars. It's the best of both worlds, as they say. Most will also say, V8s can be hybrids too, and I am sure in time we will see them back in the C63 once again. But for now, this weapon is a mighty impressive one, and not to be overlooked. Treat yourself to a test drive and open your mind to some new possibilities outside the realms of V8s.


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