Rumor has it that the next AMG C63 will be the first of a number of models to ditch their V8 in favor of 4-cylinder hybrid power. According to Autocar, the C63 could also lose a rear-wheel drive option, going instead with standard all-wheel drive.
The engine would be an electrified version of the new M139 turbocharged 2.0-liter. In it's most powerful current form, it is the most powerful 4-cylinder in production anywhere putting out 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, and that's without any electric boosting. The engine was engineered to be mounted transversely or longitudinally and also with an eye on hybridization.
For the C63, the M139 engine would adopt a 48 volt starter motor similar to the one used in the CLS 53 4Matic. On that car, the motor provides an additional 22 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, however in the C63, it would be tuned for even more power to reach up to a total system horsepower over 500.
One main advantage to this setup would be a significant reduction in weight over the front axle. Additionally, the engine/motor combination has a lower center of gravity, that would be expected to improve handling and control.
Moving the C63 to a hybrid powertrain is consistent with Mercedes' desire to reduce fleet CO2 emissions.