Mercedes-AMG is known for creating epic, bespoke cars that are powerful performers and stunning to look at. Take, for example, the gull-winged SLS, a classic beauty. The four-door GT is no less breathtaking, with its sleek design that turns heads. And when this style meets Formula 1-derived technology, the results are bound to be explosive.
The 2023 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 SE Performance is not only AMG’s first plug-in hybrid but also the most potent AMG yet. The electric motor adds an impressive 204hp to the twin-turbo 4.0 engine, resulting in a combined output of 843hp and a grin-inducing 1470Nm of torque. If you’re half the enthusiast that I am, then I already have your attention.
But let’s address the question on everyone’s mind: how does all that power feel out on the road? Well, to put it simply, when a car accelerates from 0 to 100 in just 2.9 seconds, and has an electric motor that delivers instant torque, the result is explosive. Short bursts of acceleration feel gut-wrenching, and the force with which you’re propelled forward is insane.
Use launch control, pin your foot down and it will warp your mind.
The exhaust note of the V8 engine adds to the thrill, with its deep growl and pops and crackles on lift-off and downshifts. The sound is amplified into the car via the speakers, giving the driver control over the level of aural drama. Ultimately, the F1-inspired hybrid technology that delivers incredible amounts of torque on demand makes this car even more special. The compact and light 89kg battery pack is not designed to offer range but to add to the performance, which it does with abundance.
The nine-speed gearbox keeps pace, offering quick shifts, which are snappy. Even in the mildest comfort mode, the gearbox shifts sharply, making it feel over-aggressive, especially if you have to crawl slowly in traffic. However, this car is not meant for pottering around in; it is best enjoyed at full lick. When all 1470Nm of torque is unleashed in boost mode for all of 10 seconds, it’s an unforgettable experience, but even with the regular 1100NM on offer the car is still an impressive powerhouse.
You can dial through many modes, the most aggressive of which is race, when it truly comes to life with a meatier steering, shorter gearing, and the ability to make the tail swing out on a track. In stark contrast the EV-only mode, EL transforms the car into a silent, smooth ride, with the battery-powered electric motor providing propulsion of up to 12km when fully charged.
If synthesised sound is your thing, you can opt for the sci-fi exhaust note, which adds an air of excitement to the driving experience. This car also has a limited slip differential, where the electric motor also comes into play sending power to the front wheels when they lose traction. This keeps the handling in check and provides an extra layer of confidence. The car’s 50:50 weight distribution, aided by the battery and the motor on the rear axle, is a big plus for the handling, especially considering the vehicle’s size and heftiness of nearly 2.5 tonnes. The all-wheel steering also adds to the nimbleness and ease of manoeuvring.
If you’re considering buying an AMG, it’s likely for the performance, and the Mercedes AMG GT 63 SE won’t disappoint. Thanks to its clearance, you get a supercar’s thrill without worrying about scraping the underside. Additionally, as a four-door, four-seater car, the AMG is also practical. It pampers you with premium interiors and comes loaded with features such as dual screens, wireless charging, a Burmester sound system, sunroof, and ventilated and heated seats.
The rear seats are spacious enough to seat adults comfortably. Moreover, the tablet in the rear seat lets passengers control the ambient lighting and media playback while keeping tabs on the driver. However, the delight is being behind the wheel, where you’ll feel like a superstar, attracting attention wherever you go. The car is a head-turner, especially if it’s in its gorgeous burnt orange colour.
The Mercedes AMG GT 63 SE is built for performance, and it delivers on that promise, without sacrificing practicality. It all comes at a hefty price tag of ₹3.3 crore, but for that you get cutting edge F1 tech, and as a four-door, four-seater car, it offers enough space for passengers and luggage, making it a good blend of muscle and functionality. To sweeten the deal, buyers will get their keys handed over by Sir Lewis Hamilton himself.
Renuka Kirpalani is executive editor (video), Autocar India.