We should have seen this coming. Seems rumors about the future of the four-cylinder hybrid powertrain in the C 63 S E Performance and the six-cylinder hybrid coming in the E 63 S E Performance are making more noise than either engine creates on its own. Earlier this month, Car and Driver contributor Georg Kacher credited two insider sources for news that AMG could put V8 powertrains back in the AMG C 63 and AMG E 63 as soon as 2026. In answer to that, German publication Auto, Motor und Sport (translated) called its insider sources at AMG. The outlet said it “encountered a general shaking of heads” and the reply, “This is pure nonsense.” The conclusion was: “The rumors that the V8 is making a comeback in the AMG C and E class are simply wrong.”
Obviously, we on the outside have no idea what’s going to happen. It is also obvious, though, that carmakers don’t want to give away information on future product. Our own sources at AMG would need exhaustive convincing just to confirm the day of the week, to say nothing of future product details.
Since this is a battle of competing, anonymous insiders, all we can do is ruminate while we wait. Two days after the C/D article ran, the German blog MP Passion (translated) ran a piece titled, “Is the C 63 S E Performance from Affalterbach a slow seller?” According to that site’s anonymous insider sources in sales “spread across Germany … the demand for the C 63 S E-Performance amounts to … close to zero.” MB Passion’s canaries say the sedan doesn’t deliver the luxury it claims and it’s priced out of bounds in that country. Over there, the 671-horsepower C 63 S E Performance starts just shy of €115,000, the 503-hp, all-wheel drive BMW M3 Competition starts at just over €100,000. Not an egregious gap that high up the pay scale. But the former is a four-cylinder hybrid — perhaps three dirty words when petrolheads are spending more than six figures — the latter is a straight-six.
The kindest reviews of the Mercedes so far tend to praise the technical achievement while questioning the placement in this particular car, or the execution. Car magazine said, “It shouldn’t be four cylinders, it should be four liters … I just want that V8 back.” Throttle House might have best summed up the sentiment in MB Passion‘s article with the statement, “If Mercedes is targeting a new type of buyer, we’ve yet to meet one of them.” Let’s see what 2026 brings.