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New Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance revealed: the fastest accelerating AMG ever is a plug-in hybrid

The Porsche 911-rivalling coupe receives a new, range-topping 805bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain

Mercedes-AMG has revealed its new top of the line GT, fitting it with a monster 805bhp V8 engine aided by a small plug-in hybrid system. We’ve already seen this powertrain do the business in Merc’s top-spec SL roadster, but as AMG’s Porsche 911-rivalling sports car, the GT takes the convertible’s more laid-back approach and aims for something decidedly sportier. 

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The numbers are big, starting with 805bhp that’s backed up by a colossal 1,420Nm of torque. This being a plug-in hybrid, that peak number is an ‘overboost’ figure, but the 1,050Nm basic torque output is still fairly wild. These numbers are generated from a powertrain that pairs AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 engine, which is mounted in front of the driver alongside a nine-speed MCT automatic transmission, with AMG’s hybrid module mounted on the rear axle. 

This hybrid system includes a 200bhp electric motor, a two-speed transmission and a mechanical limited slip differential all packaged into one unit between the rear wheels. The system draws power from AMG’s own 6.1kWh battery pack, which is mounted above the rear axle and borrows lots of high-performance tech from Merc’s F1 racer. 

AMG does quote a restrained 8-mile all-electric range, but as in the SL and new C 63, the battery is not designed for range. Instead, it’s designed to accept and deplete large amounts of energy as quickly as possible, something facilitated by its 400V electrical architecture. 

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With two power sources on two axles the GT is all-wheel drive, in this case the technology being Merc’s clever 4Matic+ system which is able to send both combustion and electric energy to either axle. It can also decouple the front axle in drift mode. Of course, the stat AMG has decided to leave out for now is the car’s proposed weight figure, which we figure will probably crack two tonnes. 

All of this technology makes this Mercedes-AMG’s the fastest accelerating model yet, with a 0-62mph time of 2.8 seconds. If you’re wondering how fast the multi-million pound F1-engined AMG One is, that’ll take 2.9 seconds – such is the rate of progress of these sorts of powertrain systems. Top speed is a little less impressive at 198mph, but it’s worth remembering that electric motors lose their punch at high speeds, making the V8 largely responsible for posting that number alone. 

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To slow all this mass down, AMG has fitted the E Performance with a set of carbon ceramic brakes as standard. Their size varies front-to-rear, with 420mm discs and six-piston calipers paired with 380mm units and floating calipers at the rear.

Visually, there’s little to tell the E Performance apart from lesser GT 63 models save for the rear charge flap and red badging. There will be the usual range of styling options, including an aero pack that’ll throw in a fixed-rear wing, plus a range of 20- and 21-inch wheel options. 

AMG will be offering the GT 63 S E Performance with its extended range of Manufaktur colour and trim options, highlighting the potential for personalisation – something that’s very popular at this end of the market.

When it goes on sale later this year, the GT won’t have many 2+2 high performance plug-in hybrids to rival, but that situation will quickly change. Porsche’s updated 992.2 911 is destined to offer a hybrid powertrain in both its Carrera and potentially even its Turbo models, while at the more GT-end of the spectrum, Bentley’s updated Continental GT is due late this year and will feature a hybridised V8.

AMG hasn’t revealed pricing for the UK yet, but with the non-hybridised GT63 already costing nearly £165,000 in its most basic form, this could creep ever closer to the big £200,000 mark.

Click here for our list of the best sports cars...

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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