Necessary or not, downsizing is impacting all automakers. Just look at Mercedes and its plans to give the C43 and C63 replacements a four-cylinder engine, thus eliminating two cylinders from the former and four from the latter. However, the three-pointed star is among the few automakers to still offer a twelve-cylinder engine, albeit not in AMG S65 guise but rather as a Maybach S680. Speaking of the luxobarge, a new AMG S63 is on its way.

Ahead of its official debut later this year, the fullsize sports sedan has been spotted working out at the 'Ring gym. It still packs a mighty V8, but with a hybrid twist as the engineers are adding an electric motor. Indeed, the new S63 will be a PHEV with a combined output of approximately 700 horsepower. There are mumblings of a hotter version – presumably an indirect S65 successor – with over 800 hp.

Believed to be called S63e, the electrified saloon can be seen attacking the Nürburgring at full tilt. It seems fairly nimble for such a large and heavy car as the test driver goes berserk on the challenging German track. Few owners will hoon their prized possessions this way, but Mercedes wants to make sure the electrified AMG S-Class can take a beating.

Even after seeing thousands of spy videos, we still can’t quite wrap our heads around the idea of a large luxury sedan tackling the Nordschleife. Mercedes is pushing the S63e to iron out any last-minute kinks ahead of an expected premiere later this year. In the meantime, archrival BMW is also working on a sporty and electrified derivative of its next 7 Series, believed to be called M750e xDrive but with "only" around 560 hp.

With Mercedes saying it will be ready to go purely electric by 2030 where market conditions will allow, it's safe to say this will be the final V8-powered S63. It'll be interesting to see how the E63 will shape up since a report from Autocar mentions it's going to lose its V8 for the next-gen model coming before 2025.

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