The beginning of the end of turbo lag
The automobile fraternity hasn’t witnessed an era like this before. An era where mental V8s with their evil soundtracks coexist with silent and powerful electric vehicles. This coexistence won’t last long though as carmakers continue to downsize and fill in the void with hybrid technology, with the ultimate aim of phasing out ICEs. A case in point is the Mercedes-AMG C 63. Its next generation, due for reveal by the end of 2021, will ditch the V8 for a four-cylinder engine. Is Mercedes-AMG choosing emissions over enthusiasts? Will we still be able to make the C 63 go sideways like this (assuming it comes to India), like we did last year? The answer is far from disappointing.
Ditching V8s certainly sounds blasphemous, but before you condemn Greta Thunberg back to school, let me shed some light on what Mercedes-AMG has planned for its next generation performance cars. The evolution starts with the upcoming C 63 and the new AMG GT 73 four-door. Both cars will be based on what Mercedes-Benz calls its new E Performance hybrid strategy. They will get a single, highly efficient, rear-axle-mounted electric motor integrated with a two-speed transmission and an electronically controlled rear differential.
Thanks to this placement, the electric motor gets its own two-speed transmission to eliminate energy losses that can otherwise be caused through the staple 9-speed automatic. The system also enjoys highly efficient recuperation as the technology in principle allows minimal losses from the engine and the transmission. Moreover, recuperation efficiency is amplified with 14 litres of liquid flowing through the 560 cells of the 6.1kWh battery, all of which are cooled individually. Thanks to this a minimum of 70kW (94bhp) of electric power has been made available at all times, while peak e-motor power of 150kW (200bhp) gets delivered when the battery is fully charged.
And now let's talk about the arc reactor in Iron Man’s chest. Mercedes-Benz’ M 139 four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, to be mounted horizontally as opposed to transverse mounting on Mercedes-AMG’s pocket rockets, will now be paired to an MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit - Heat) system. Yes, it has been derived from F1 and features an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger that aims to eliminate turbo lag. As we all know, turbo lag is the delayed reaction from the engine after you mash the pedal to the floor. Well, it doesn’t exist in F1 and soon it won’t in the new C 63 either. Refer to the infographics below to understand how it works.
Mercedes-Benz worked closely with Garrett to develop this new e-turbo for its passenger cars and it looks promising. In this system, a minuscule electric motor, measuring just 4cm is integrated on the exhaust side of the turbocharger. This motor is powered by the car’s on board 48V electrical system and it spins the turbine before it accepts the exhaust gases, enabling a very high rate of airflow and spontaneous responses to throttle input. Together with the rear-mounted electric motor, this techno-wizardry will result in the C 63 delivering north of 600bhp.
If you think that’s insane, then hear this out. The upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT 73 4-Door will also benefit from this system, except that this 200bhp electric drivetrain will work in tandem with the 4-litre V8 to a devastating effect, producing over 800bhp and more than 1000Nm. It’s in situations like these when I like to use words like, PREPOSTEROUS! No one ever thought that the GT 63 4-Door was slow, but we never say no to faster cars. So we’ll accept your proposition, dear Mercedes-Benz. Along with the greener C 63, the GT 73 also gets globally revealed towards the end of 2021.