V-8 to Return to Mercedes-AMG C-Class and E-Class Models by 2026

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We hear that Mercedes-AMG is considering bringing the V-8 back to the high-performance C-class and E-class models.The twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 could possibly be combined with a hybrid setup, as in the AMG GT63 S E Performance and AMG S63.These V-8 models could arrive as soon as 2026, sources say.

The AMG community is not amused. The most powerful AMG C-class, the C63, traded the V-8 for a hybridized turbo-four, and the next top-of-the-line E-class, the upcoming E63, will make do with an inline-six plug-in-hybrid setup. Some say that’s not good enough to do battle with the BMW M3, which has a twin-turbo inline-six, and the future BMW M5, which is slated to have a hybrid setup with a twin-turbo V-8. The upcoming Audi RS5 and RS7 will also be powered by a V-6 hybrid good for up to 640 horsepower.

The only escape route out of this dilemma is the reinstitution of the M177 4.0-liter V-8 engine, which will return to the C- and E-class in 2026, two independent sources say. The eight-cylinder is currently being modified to meet EU7 emissions standards. This engine is currently used in the 831-hp AMG GT63 S E Performance and the 791-hp AMG S63, and it’s combined with a hybrid setup in both of those applications.

Mercedes-AMG

According to senior engineers directly involved in the matter, both the C-class and E-class need only minor bodywork changes to accommodate the twin-turbo powerplant, the PHEV battery plus electric motor, and the auxiliary equipment. Since the C- and E-class are under evaluation for a life-cycle extension beyond 2028, the hardcore AMG versions may remain in production well into the next decade.

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Contributing Editor

Although I was born the only son of an ornithologist and a postal clerk, it was clear from the beginning that birdwatching and stamp collecting were not my thing. Had I known that God wanted me to grow to 6’8″, I also would have ruled out anything to do with cars, which are to blame for a couple of slipped discs, a torn ligament, and that stupid stooped posture behind the wheel. While working as a keeper in the Aberdeen Zoo, smuggling cheap cigarettes from Yugoslavia to Germany, and an embarrassing interlude with an amateur drama group also failed to yield fulfillment, driving and writing about cars became a much better option. And it still is now, many years later, as I approach my 70th birthday. I love every aspect of my job except long-haul travel on lousy airlines, and I hope it shows.