At the Monteblanco circuit, not far from Seville in Spain, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 SE Performance deploys its combined power of 831 horsepower and a torque of up to 1084 lb-ft with a bewildering aplomb.
And if the value of the pair is variable and not fixed, it is due to the complexity of the hybrid performance system developed by AMG to service this new GT that becomes the most powerful production car in the history of the brand.
An F1 strategy
In front of me, Bernd Schneider, multiple champion of the DTM series who is now also behind the wheel of a GT 63 SE Performance, guides me on this track of more than 4.1 km with nine bends and several variations of elevation gain. . The aim of this first series of laps is to master the “F1 strategy” developed by AMG to optimize the performance of the electrical system of this GT, identical to that used by an F1 driver in qualifying. On the first lap, the goal is to recharge the battery by driving at a slightly slower pace and taking advantage of regenerative braking to fill up with electrons.
Then we drove two laps, making the most of all the prodigious power and torque of this performance hybrid engine consisting of a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 with 630 horsepower and an electric motor that can reach 201 horsepower, which is driven. for a 6.1 kWh capacity battery that is discharged at a prodigious rate that offers 70 kW continuously and up to 150 kW for 10 seconds.
It is followed by a cooling lap during which the battery is recharged at a very fast rate, as its level has increased from 54 to 76% charge in a lap of 4.1 km.
A prodigious pace of unloading and loading
This battery, fully designed internally and built by AMG, weighs 89 kilos, consists of 560 cells and is cooled by liquid to maintain an optimum temperature of 45 degrees.
The battery is on the rear axle, as is the electric motor and two-speed gearbox. Notably, the rear-wheel drive electric motor can also drive the front wheels through the drive axle, so the car remains all-wheel drive even when driving exclusively in electric mode, up to 130 km / h. h.
However, the range in electric mode is only limited to 12 km, so the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 SE Performance has not been designed to optimize consumption, but to offer maximum power.
Powerful, but heavy …
In the circuit, the thrust of the curves is linear and very sustained, while the all-wheel drive system provides optimal traction. There are several driving modes in the program, and it is possible to completely deactivate the electronic stability control system to harness all the power and torque to make the car run.
However, the GT 63 SE Performance is also a very heavy car, weighing 2,380 pounds. Although the weight distribution is optimal, ie 50% at the front and 50% at the back due to the location of the electric motor and battery, we can not ignore this high weight. Therefore, composite ceramic brakes suffer a lot during two fast laps on the circuit, as do the tires.
To the road
Of course, the main goal of this car is not to go “all accelerator” on the circuit, and if Mercedes-AMG invited us to the Monteblanco circuit, it was mainly so that we could push it to the maximum safely and securely. controlled environment.
In the afternoon, I drove along the magnificent public roads of this region of Spain, where the GT 63 SE Performance proved to be imperial, the brakes were not used as much as on a circuit and the mass became less restrictive, curve speeds are lower.
The look of the job
A true monster of power and torque, the GT 63 SE Performance has a substantial look that is not subtle, and is not the most elegant of the performance GTs. That said, the quality of construction is there and its interior does not change with respect to the other variants of the range.
The MBUX telematics system, with configurable screens, even allows you to view real-time performance data, and access to all functions can be done via the touchpad on the center console or via the two control keys located on the radios of the direction. wheel.
The GT 63 SE Performance marks a new milestone in the rich history of AMG, which has always done things its way. With the internal development of all the main components of its hybrid propulsion system, Mercedes-AMG puts electrification at the service of performance to create this coupe-like variant of its four-seater GT. It will reach dealers in the country in late 2022 as a model for 2023, and its price will not be known until shortly before its arrival on the market.
We bet that the starting price will exceed the $ 200,000 mark and that the addition of options will further inflate the bill.