New Mercedes-AMG C63 has a lot of what you fancy
QUIET AND REFINED COUPE HIDES A GROWLING HEART
Don’t make any assumptions about the all-new Mercedes-AMG C63 S. Sure, it may look like a stylish coupe but behind that chic diamond grille is a genuine sports car.
Following on from last year’s exceptional C-Class sedan comes the C63 coupe that’s been sent to the AMG factory and given a dynamic makeover.
Priced from $172,900, the C63 S comes with the AMGs 4-litre, V8, twin-turbo, direct injection engine producing 375kW of power and 700Nm of torque. It’s paired with AMG’s speedshift 7-speed transmission and powers from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds.
The outgoing C63 S was famous (or infamous) for its naturally aspirated, 6.2-litre V8; the luxury coupe gaining a reputation for being a tail-flicking bogan, albeit an affluent one.
The naturally aspirated engine had to go because of ever-increasing emissions restrictions in Europe — but don’t despair because the all-new C63 S’s engine will keep any owner happy. That engine is also found in Mercedes-AMG’s phenomenal GT S sports machine.
The C63 S’s main competitors in New Zealand are Audi’s S5 coupe, BMW’s M4 coupe and the Maserati Ghibli S.
The C63 S sits on wider tyres than the C-Class sedan and wagon with 255mm on 19-inch rims at the front and 285mm on 20s at the rear.
It also has head-up display, a panoramic sliding sunroof and LED intelligent light system.
Inside, the C63 keeps the C-Class sedan’s clean lines and infotainment centre but it is hyped up thanks to an IWC analogue clock, performance front seats and a race timer in the display panel.
The two rear seats are on the tight side and would suit kids, teens or a short trip for adults.
On the safety side, there is a 360-degree parking camera, parking sensors and Distronic Plus that includes active cruise control, lane keeping assist and blind-spot warning.
The car’s front bumpers have increased 64mm and the rear 66mm over the previous generation C63, and they give the vehicle a strong presence.
Don’t mistake the rear-wheel drive V8 for an everyday business car. It may have poise, but it can be equally raucous thanks to the AMG Performance Exhaust.
My neighbours weren’t impressed when I left for an early Sunday morning drive and gave them a V8 rumbling alarm clock.
Heading out on the open road for a long drive is what this vehicle is made for.
Thanks to the AMG Dynamic Select function you can set the C63 S to whatever driving style you feel like: comfort, sport, sport+ and race — the last two are best for track days.
In comfort mode around town the C63 S is quiet and refined, and while the ride is firm there’s enough give in the suspension to keep things comfortable.
But head out of town, hit sport and that performance vehicle is on show.
I drove from Auckland to Te Awamutu avoiding State Highway 1 and instead tackling the quiet and often empty back country roads that follow the Waikato River.
I dialled in sport mode first and the C63 S surged into performance mode, with such spirited and enjoyable driving that I had to keep an eye on the speedo.
The rough back country roads, combined with the Michelin Sport tyres, produced a lot of cabin noise that even the Burmester surround sound couldn’t compete with.
But turn off the stereo, wind down the windows and you hear the V8’s sports exhaust at work – and that is the sweetest sound track.
The bumpy road surface combined with the sport suspension gave a firmer ride and a purer performance drive demanding I pay attention to the road surface and handling.
But I dialled back in comfort mode when I arrived at Te Awamutu and the C63 S turned heads during a busy Sunday lunchtime.
The C63 S may not have its predecessor’s famous engine but you can’t mistake the AMG input with the new V8 turbo.
MERCEDES-AMG C63 S
|ENGINE:||4-LITRE, V8 TWIN-TURBO ENGINE|
|PROS:||Coupe look with sports performance|
|CONS:||Tight rear space.|