Mercedes-AMG isn’t kidding around, it seems. Barely a month after we broke the story that the company was planning to slot the A 45’s four-cylinder engine into its larger rear-wheel drive models, more information has surfaced regarding this rather ambitious plan – and it turns out Affalterbach is going so far as to use it to replace its trademark rumbly V8s.

The news comes from the pages of Autocar, which reported that the next-generation C 63, set to go on sale in 2022, will be the first to adopt a hybrid version of its M139 2.0 litre turbocharged four-pot mill. This engine, which already sees service in the latest A 45 and CLA 45, currently produces up to 421 PS and a thumping 500 Nm of torque in “S” tune.

That’s some way down on the 510 PS and 700 Nm produced by the outgoing 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8, but the addition of an 48-volt mild hybrid system with an integrated starter-generator – a more powerful version of the 22 PS/250 Nm unit in the mid-range 53 models – is expected to boost outputs to match the power output and boast even more torque. This, despite the engine possessing half the swept volume and cylinder count.

To support the extra performance, the C 63 is set to get a lithium-ion battery that’s larger than the 0.9 kWh unit in the 53 models, along with better kinetic energy recuperation that can harvest power from each wheel. Even with all this – and the fitment of the E 63‘s variable all-wheel drive system – the new car’s weight distribution is expected to be less nose-heavy, given that the four-pot itself weighs 48.5 kg less than the V8.

It’s not just that – the weight of the powertrain is said to be concentrated lower, allowing for a lower centre of gravity that should make for greater agility and body control. Doubtless purists won’t be happy with all this talk of electrification and the death knell of the iconic eight-cylinder engine, but what do you think of this move? Sound off in the comments after the jump.