With its 843 hp, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 SE Performance is currently the most powerful sedan on the market. We tested it on the circuit.
Nothing! Absolutely nothing! When you press the start button of the new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 SE Performance, you hear nothing. No rumbling, no whirring, no hissing. It’s all the more disconcerting when you know you’re sitting in the most powerful sedan in the world. A saloon that uses Formula 1 technology and looks set to decimate all other road users. But the silence is only short-lived, because the battery located in the trunk floor, combined with an electric motor housed on the rear axle, which makes this GT Affalterbach’s first plug-in hybrid, has a capacity all just enough to cover twelve kilometers in silent mode, after which the V8 takes over, doing what it is known for: noise.
Top speed of 316 km/h
But the twelve kilometers of autonomy are not supposed to make the car pass for a part-time electric either. The additional power has more of an electroshock function. It’s not for nothing that the 639 hp from the eight-cylinder and the 204 hp from the electric motor add up to 843 hp, making the four-door the most powerful model AMG has built for the road to date. . If we add to this a maximum torque of 1470 Nm, the four-door achieves electrifying performance. There are indeed only a few sedans capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and reaching a top speed of 316 km/h.
The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 SE Performance no longer has much in common with the plug-in hybrids of the S-Class and company. The Affalterbach troop alert indeed went to get the components of its battery in Brixworth, appropriated the technology of Formula 1 and developed a brand new battery with an energy density twice as high for a gain of power and space and the benefit of extremely fast energy storage and release. This is made possible by a hitherto unrivaled direct cooling system, with which each of the 560 lithium-ion cells is cooled and kept at the ideal temperature. Thus, the battery can give its maximum at any time and store enough energy during braking.
Like a kick in the back
We have the proof of it from the first lap aboard the powerful top-of-the-range sedan on the Monteblanco circuit, near Seville. A lap of 960 meters at 160 km/h, with a fully charged battery. The frenzied family car then shows what it has in its belly. The power released by the battery is immediately perceptible and with each change of driving mode, the tension goes up a notch. Each time, one has the impression that the 2.4-ton vehicle takes a new kick in the back, where the charging socket is located. Speaking of which, if you go to the highest of the four recuperation levels, all you need is a few hard brakes for the battery to be full again. The GT 63 SE thus displays a consumption of 7.9 l/100 km and an emission rate of 180 g of CO₂/km.
But back to the almost inexhaustible flow of electrical power. The GT 63 SE Performance also owes it to a two-speed automatic transmission which, for the first time, has been coupled to an electric motor and which shifts up a gear as soon as the 140 km/h mark is reached, without the driver feel anything. Visually, the new sedan from AMG hardly differs from its “little” sister, except for a few skirts and spoilers, some new decorative elements and a little more elaborate equipment in the passenger compartment. Only the name speaks volumes: Mercedes-AMG GT four-door 63 SE Performance. It’s a bit like someone spilled some alphabet soup. So much power, elegance and letters obviously have a price, which is not yet officially known, but which should be around 200,000 francs.