Here’s your best look yet at the Mercedes-AMG C63e sedan

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CarPix/Andreas Mau

Spy photographers have captured shots of the next-generation high-performance C-Class sedan undergoing some winter testing. As with the SL roadster last week and the G-Class 4×4 squared last month, Mercedes is subjecting its venerable compact luxury sedan to harsh climates to ensure all of the new bits can handle Jack Frost and Co.

There will be quite a few new components on this fella, too. Late last month, Mercedes announced that every variant of the C-Class will harbor some type of four-cylinder engine under its hood, bolstered by varying degrees of electrification. Judging by the flaps on both sides of the camo’d car’s rear haunches—one for gas, one for electrons—this AMG-tuned C-Class will likely be some sort of plug-in variant. For the C63 nameplate, that likely means a change to C63e, if Benz decides to keep those numerals in the name at all. (The 63 was used to highlight the M156 V-8 engine that powered AMG’s variant of the C-Class from 2008–2015. That engine was actually a 6.2-liter motor, but Merc wanted to pay tribute to the famous 6.3-liter M100 V-8 that formed the building block for the famous Red Pig race car.)

Mercedes AMG C63e camo spy side profile
CarPix/Andreas Mau

Do we mourn the loss of the bellowing 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 found in the last C63? Certainly, but the new four-pot is no lost cause. The mad scientists at AMG have already managed to extract 416 hp from a boosted-to-high-heaven four-cylinder; add in 100–150 hp from an as-yet unspecified hybrid system, and total output of the new C63e will likely hover around 550 hp. Consider the instantaneous torque possible from electric motors, and we’re looking at a pretty compelling package, at least on paper.

Mercedes AMG C63e camo spy rear
CarPix/Andreas Mau

One thing that is not clear yet is whether this new C-Class will be exclusively rear-wheel drive. We know that the next-generation SL roadster will boast a version of Mercedes’ 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system; it isn’t a stretch to imagine the C-Class adopting the same tech.

We’re still a ways off from seeing this C-Class scorcher in full, but if the camouflaged photos here are anything to go on, it should possess technical intricacy and impressive performance in equal amounts.

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