As we're sure you've heard by now, a juicy report from Car and Driver claimed Mercedes has already decided to bring back the V8 engine for the C63 and E63 as early as 2026. We reached out to the German luxury brand but it was a futile effort on our part as the company refused to comment on future products. However, a new report from Auto Motor und Sport indicates the eight-cylinder engine won't be returning after all.
According to an "employee familiar with product development," the V8 will not return in the C63 and E63, calling the original report as "pure nonsense." Consequently, the flagship C-Class is expected to retain the plug-in hybrid four-cylinder setup while the range-topping E-Class will also be bitten by the downsizing bug. The jury is still out on whether the next E63 will have an inline-six or will be demoted to a four-pot, although Autocar claims it will have a six-cylinder mill.
2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance: First Drive
As much as enthusiasts would love to see the V8 make a triumphant return, the chances of happening are slim, at least in countries from the European Union. Increasingly stringent emissions regulations are making it harder and harder for automakers to sell cars with large-displacement engines. With the Euro 7 standard programmed to come into effect in 2025, the future of big ICEs looks grim.
Another nail in the large combustion engine's coffin is represented by the steep taxes making performance vehicles less and less attainable. It would've been considerably easier for AMG, BMW M, and Audi Sport to keep their six- and eight-cylinder engines without resorting to electrification and downsizing had it not been for tougher legislation.
People have been quick to criticise automakers for deleting cylinders and adding hybridisation but this is basically the only way to keep performance cars alive going forward. Yes, a four-cylinder AMG C63 is a tough sell, but it's still better than no AMG C63… BMW M has already announced all next-generation models will be electrified to some extent, and Audi Sport won't be able to sell pure petrol RS cars for much longer either.
Selling petrol-only sports cars outside of the EU where there are less stringent emissions regulations doesn't seem feasible seeing as how Europe is a huge market for Mercedes and its main rivals. It would require higher development costs and the market would be considerably smaller after taking Euro countries out of the equation.