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Four-Cylinder Be Gone? AMG Is Bringing Back the V8

Report suggests AMG may have learned this lesson the hard way

  • Unsurprisingly, AMG's plug-in hybrid four-cylinders haven't proven very popular.
  • As a result, it's reportedly reversing course in a big way.
  • Senior AMG personnel confirmed that the V8 is coming back.

A report from Autocar suggests that AMG's V8s are coming back, and we say it's about time. The upcoming CLE 63 AMG — which was originally slated to get the C 63's plug-in hybrid four-cylinder powertrain — will instead get the classic 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from the AMGs of yore, Autocar says. The report says that the V8 will make up to 585 horsepower and will have mild hybrid assistance rather than a full-on plug-in hybrid setup.

When Mercedes' performance arm, AMG, announced that the C 63 was going to be sold with a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder powertrain, there was immense outcry from enthusiasts and customers alike. That decision ran counter to what AMG has been about for the last 30-plus years, and rumors started to swirl that desperately low sales led senior figures in the organization to rethink their decision to kill the V8. A report from Car and Driver in the middle of last year suggested that the V8s could make their way back into the AMG C 63 and E 63 by 2026. That report was countered in August 2023 by a German auto magazine, Auto Motor und Sport, which quoted an employee familiar with Mercedes product development as saying C&D's suggestion that V8s were coming back was nonsense.

2024 Mercedes-AMG C 63 e performance rear exterior

While this new report from Autocar doesn't claim the C 63 and E 63 will get the V8, it does confirm that slow sales have been the cause of some consternation for AMG's top brass. The reported change back to V8s also comes due to calls from Mercedes dealers who claim that positioning a four-cylinder CLE 63 above the six-cylinder CLE 53 AMG (which we recently drove for the first time) would confuse customers.

Frankly, nothing would move AMGs faster than simply putting the V8 back under the hood of its cars and rethinking the flat-out spring toward electrification (as Mercedes already has, ditching its 2030 timeline). Whether the slow C 63 sales move AMG to put the V8 back under its hood for a 2026 refresh — and put a V8 in the upcoming E 63 — remains to be seen. But this report shows that customers can still vote with their wallets and even a brand as large as Mercedes-AMG will have to respond.

Edmunds says

More V8s in more AMGs, please!