With the new S-Class officially in production, Mercedes-Benz is hard at work developing its more fascinating variants. This Mercedes-AMG S63e plug-in hybrid is one of the more noteworthy additions to the executive sedan portfolio, and one that is expected to raise some eyebrows when it hits showrooms.
This prototype doesn’t tell us a whole lot we don’t already know. In fact, it’s rather nondescript, and the camouflage effectively obscures even the charging port on the S63e’s left rear fender (as it does the fuel filler door on the opposite side). Still, automakers aren’t typically in the habit of slapping fake doors on their development cars just to throw us off their scent, so we have every reason to believe this is the real deal. Plus, this appears to be riding low on high-performance rubber, which is another dead giveaway that this prototype has some AMG seasoning thrown in.
Like many new plug-ins, the Mercedes-AMG S63e is expected to prioritize performance over efficiency, and considering that the base S500 4Matic boasts a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine with 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, the bar for “performance” models in the S-Class lineup is not exactly set low. Every Mercedes with this powertrain setup runs on a 48-volt electrical architecture that powers a number of important components. The upgrade S580 also takes advantage of the 48-volt architecture, but it’s powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with up to 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
The S63e will obviously lean heavily on that electrical architecture, and with the help of a modest battery pack and at least one electric motor, rumors suggest that it could produce as much as 700 horsepower. Fret not, fans of big engines. Despite Mercedes’ decision to pare down the S-Class lineup, we expect the V12 to return in a future Maybach model, and an AMG variant (S65, anybody?) can’t be too far behind either.