A moment of silence please as the 6.2-litre C63 AMG is no more. That is a car that will be remembered in years to come, and dare I say it, will become a future classic. With its theatrical V8 powerplant and lunatic driving dynamics, it showed the world AMGs could be more than just fast cars in a straight line. Where rivals from Munich and Ingosdalt battled for precision the C63 was happy letting its tail out and making lots of smoke and noise.
It had character and I do mourn the loss of it. It was a spectacular car, a car that got Lewis Hamilton in trouble a few years ago in Melbourne. I loved that car and I wasn’t alone. The C63 was the most successful AMG in history with over 40,000 produced. For most manufacturers following a car as iconic as the C63 is a hard task but that hasn’t stopped Mercedes from trying.
The new ‘W205’ generation C63 AMG debuted at the 2014 Paris Motor Show last year in, er, Paris and caused quite a stir. Mercedes-AMG ditched the jurassic V8 in favour of a new 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 from the AMG GT. In standard from the new C63 developed 467bhp/343kW. That’s more than before and is still more than rivals from BMW, Audi, and Lexus. Not content with being a bit more powerful than its rivals Mercedes also introduced a new ‘S Model’ to the C63 range which upped the power to 510bhp/375kW. That’s the sort of power cars such as the Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, and Aston Martin DBS had a few years back. Now you can get that in a medium-sized German sedan with a claimed fuel economy of 8.6L/100km. Then there’s the impressive torque figure of 700NM.
The C63 S sends its power to the rear wheels via Merc’s tried and tested 7-speed MCT wet-clutch automatic. 0-100 km/h is done in 4 seconds and top speed is limited to 250. Mercedes Benz Cars Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Horst von Sanden, claims the C63 S “won’t just move the goal posts, it creates a new sports ground”. With that kind of power and torque I have no doubt that it could literally move mountains.
For many, the defining characteristic of an AMG is the noise. The old ‘M156’ 6.2 engine is considered to be one of the best sounding engines of recent times. Those worried this new smaller capacity, turbocharged unit has lost some of that signature noise should do a quick search on YouTube. If the videos of the AMG GT are anything to go by then this new C63 should sound as good, if not better, as the old car. AMG have made a lot of effort to keep the glorious V8 noise alive. They’ve fine tuned the exhausts with valves and slats. With a back catalogue full of naturally aspirated and supercharged V8 there should be no worries about a turbocharged AMG V8 sounding anything less than fantastic.
Most markets get a choice of C63 or C63 S, New Zealand will only be getting the top-spec C63 S. Why? Because it’s better and I suspect the C450 AMG Sport might have had something to do with the decision. The C63 is the only car in it’s class to be available as both a sedan and an estate. Prices start from $164,990 for the sedan and $167,990 for the estate. That’s considerably more ($70k more) than the most expensive C-Class, the C300 Bluetec Hybrid, but then the C63 does have considerably more power (306bhp/225kW more) and Mercedes has thrown more standard equipment at it. On top of the usual C-Class kit you get:
• AMG 19-inch 5 twin-spoke alloy wheels
• AMG active dynamic engine mount
• AMG illuminated front door sill panels
• AMG instrument cluster with TFT multi-function display and RACETIMER
• AMG Night package
• AMG performance exhaust system
• AMG performance front seats with memory function
• AMG performance steering wheel in black nappa leather/DINAMICA
• AMG specific analogue clock in IWC design
• AIR-BALANCE with oxygen ionisation
• Burmester® surround sound with 13 speakers, 9-channel DSP amplifier
• COMAND Online
• Digital TV Tuner
• Head-up display with virtual image windscreen projection
• Heated front seats
• LED Intelligent Light System with adaptive high beam assist plus
• Metallic paintwork
• Nappa leather upholstery
• Panoramic glass sunroof
• THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control
Oh and did I mention 510 bhp?
As this is part of the new generation of AMGs it’s also been engineered to take on corners as well as straights. To match the V8 power are some clever engineering feats. As standard, of course, the C63 S gets AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers, an electronic rear locking differential (perfect for those traditional AMG powerslides), and AMG DRIVE SELECT which lets you choose from a number of driving modes.
A first in this segment are dynamic engine mounts. Usually a feature in the most exotic sports cars this is another feature carried over from the AMG GT. Essentially, these dynamic engine mounts reduce movement of the drivetrain by adapting their stiffness. When driving along normally they’re soft and reduce noise and vibration. When you drive a bit more enthusiastically the mounts stiffen up and prevent the engine and transmission moving around.
Orders for the C63 S are now open and Edition 1 models will be available at launch in strictly limited numbers. As a package the C63 S is hard to beat. With a characterful V8, Mercedes luxury, and those looks it almost makes $164,990 seem like great value. Do it.
2015 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG S Sedan: $164,990 MRRP
2015 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG S Estate: $167,990 MRRP