There have been rumours, speculation and lots of consternation, but today Mercedes announced the upcoming four-cylinder AMG C-Class models and divulged technical information on the new electrified drivetrain layout. Click here to check out the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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Inline turbocharged four

Mercedes-Benz sees the electrification of the modern automobile as inevitable and is keen to accelerate (pun intended) the development process. The firm is drawing heavily from lessons learned in Formula One, where the Three-Pointed Star has claimed seven successive titles.

In terms of the four-cylinder AMG C-Class the basis will be a powerful 2,0-litre turbocharged engine. This development of the existing engine we know from the A45S will develop more than 330 kW. It will be combined with an electric motor developing up to 150 kW/320 N.m, depending on what badge it carries. Reading the image above it seems the range-topping C63S (if that continues to be its designation) will have over 480 kW of peak power. 

Watch our Mercedes-AMG A45S track video here.

Mercedes says that total power and total torque will enable future AMG models to achieve and surpass performance of the current vehicles with V8 engines. The new engine will sit in a longitudinal position and is mated with a nine-speed transmission. 

An electric drive unit, along with its battery, will be placed over the rear axle. Electric drive is sent to the rear wheels through a two-speed transmission and limited-slip differential. An electric actuator switches to 2nd gear at maximum speed of 140 km/h The electric power unit can feed power to the front wheels when required. Interestingly when drivers apply too much power the control electronics use it to recharge the battery rather than allowing the ESP to intervene.

Electric turbo

The biggest innovation on the petrol engine is the electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. This tech is borrowed directly from the firm’s Formula One racecar and is called MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat). It uses an electric motor to spool up the turbo before there is enough energy in the exhaust gasses to do so. This system eliminates the boost threshold (often incorrectly referred to as turbo lag) and makes for instantaneous response from a large turbocharger unit.

Mercedes press info states the preliminary performance values of the test vehicles are already very promising: From the combination of front and rear engine, overall performance can be achieved on a par with the most powerful Mercedes-AMG Performance models with the current 4,0-litre V8 biturbo engine. This also applies to the sprint from standstill to 100 km/h, which is completed in well under 4,0 seconds, depending on the power and vehicle, and whose linear acceleration is a very special pleasure. The electric motors rev up to a maximum of 18 000 r/min and enable a top speed of up to 250 km/h.