► Insider intel: AMG to reinstate the V8
► Likely to mean return of M177 engine
► C and E-Class AMG V8s to arrive from 2026
So much of the Mercedes-AMG’s appeal came from its use of burly, deep-throated and immensely powerful V8 engines. But, as the latest C63 switches to four-cylinder power (with a likewarm reception from us) and the upcoming AMG E-Class is expected to use a plug-in hybrid straight-six, the AMG community isn’t pleased.
For the enthusiast fan base, use of four- and six-cylinders in higher-end AMG models isn’t good enough. Particularly when BMW’s M3 currently uses a non-hybrid straight-six, and the next-generation M5 will use a plug-in hybrid V8 powertrain when it launches in 2024. Even Audi’s next-generation RS models in the shape of the RS5 and RS7 will be powered by V6 hybrids good for up to 640bhp.
The only escape route out of this dilemma is the reinstitution of the M177 4.0litre V8 engine. Two independent sources that spoke to CAR say that the famed V8 engine, which currently delivers 831bhp in the AMG GT63 S E-Performance and 791bhp in the S63, will return to the high-performance AMG C and E models from 2026. The engine us currently being modified to meet the EU7 emission norm.
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 V8 powerplant, the PHEV battery plus e-motor, and the auxiliary equipment.
Since the C- and E-class are under evaluation for a life-cycle extension beyond 2028, that means the hardcore AMG versions may remain in production well into the next decade.