Raise your hand if you’ve seen this coming. Predictably, it would seem the four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain developed by AMG is hurting sales. Autocar reports demand for the new C63 and GLC63 models is poor after the German luxury brand dropped the mighty V8. The situation is so bad that Mercedes won’t be using the electrified 2.0-liter unit in the CLE63 as originally intended. Instead, the high-performance coupe/cabriolet will allegedly have the big eight-cylinder mill.

The British magazine cites “senior officials” within Mercedes saying the CLE63 will use the latest evolution of AMG’s M177 engine. The V8 won’t be a pure ICE setup either since it’ll benefit from mild-hybrid technology. The decision to upsize the combustion engine is also related to a lineup confusion a four-cylinder CLE63 might cause. Because the CLE53 already has an inline-six engine, putting a smaller engine in the range-topping CLE63 would disorient potential buyers.

Speaking with Top Gear magazine at the end of 2023, AMG CEO Michael Schiebe defended the four-pot PHEV. The boss in Affalterbach said the C63 will retain the downsized powertrain because it’s “very, very progressive.” However, R&D chief Markus Schäfer recently said the company is taking a close look at C63 and GLC63 sales.

At the Auto China show in Beijing last month, Schäfer said it’s “up to customers to decide” the engine they prefer. Ideally, that means more models that were supposed to get a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid will get the V8 instead. However, don’t get your hopes up just yet because Mercedes needs to keep up with increasingly stringent emissions regulations.

If the CLE63 is indeed getting a V8, it would be weird for the next E63 to have a smaller plug-in hybrid inline-six. Multiple reports indicate the new E63 will also lose the V8 but we won’t be too surprised if that’s not going to be the case anymore.

BMW fans don’t have to face these problems. The M3 G80 will keep its inline-six until the end of its life cycle. We’re hearing a next-gen M3 G84 could also have six cylinders, if approved for production.

Meanwhile, the new M5 models arriving this year will rock a V8. However, the G90 sedan and G99 wagon are going to be plug-in hybrids.

As for the M2, the compact sports coupe is expected to stick around until late this decade. The G87 won’t downsize its engine.

Source: Autocar, Top Gear