The last C63 was a beautiful but brutal thing. It would just as soon deafen nearby wildlife, orphan your children, and turn the sky black, as it would embarrass a BMW M3 on the local raceway. While it was a mental motoring machine, and downright scary in many situations, it was also captivating.
Though I loved it, I steered people to its competitors, like the Audi RS 4 and the BMW M3, because while not as enlivening, they were much more manageable. Now, though, there’s a new C63. And I am delighted to report it’s just as mental as before … but a whole lot more livable.
The very moment the new Mercedes-AMG C63 rumbles to life, any notion this monster has been diminished by downsizing its naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V8 to a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 is immediately quashed.
In fact, its rumble is more like the deep, ground shaking burble of a battle tank than any four-door luxury sedan. And that’s while its still sitting idle.
At full throttle, when the tacho needle is brushing 6200rpm, it’s hard to think of anything that sounds as good as this thing – only the $3 million, quad-turbo, 16-cylinder Bugatti Veyron comes to mind.
There’s nothing quite like it in the segment and the result is a testament to the abilities of those modern-day acoustic wizards at Affaltenbach, who were charged with creating such visceral sound effects for its hand-made engines.
Just like the Audi RS4 and the BMW M3 high-performance models, the C63 always aimed to deliver supercar level power within reach of the cashed-up middle class and in doing so, has proved wildly successful, particularly with the outgoing ‘204’ series.
Armed with 373kW and 610Nm of torque, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507 Coupe (the last remaining C63 variant) is priced at $159,500 and is the most powerful iteration of the current C63 model range. Performance is of course scintillating, with a 0-100km/h-sprint time of just 4.2 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 250km/h.
Mercedes-Benz and in-house performance tuner AMG tied the knot more than thirty years ago, but until now all AMG-tuned models bore the Mercedes-Benz name. That nomenclature changed with the arrival of two new models at last year’s Paris motor show: the all-new GT sports coupe and C63 sedan are officially known as “Mercedes-AMG”.
Both versions feature AMG’s all-new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, which has been tuned to deliver 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in the C63, and 503 hp and 516 lb-ft in the C63 S (note, the C63’s engine code is M177 versus M178 in the GT sports car). We know what you’re thinking: the hp figure of the C63 S matches the output of the GT S sports car but the torque figure is actually 37 lb-ft higher! By comparison, the 2015 BMW M3 is rated at just 425 hp and 406 lb-ft, while the 2015 Lexus RC F makes do with 467 hp and 389 lb-ft.
While the order bank for the new Mercedes-AMG C63 S has already opened, cars won’t arrive in showrooms until the third quarter of 2015.
Mercedes-AMG C63 standard equipment:
• AMG 19-inch alloy wheels
• AMG active dynamic engine mounts
• 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 and 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 paint
• Nappa leather upholstery
• Panoramic sunroof
• Thermotronic automatic climate control
Mercedes-AMG C63 S pricing (plus on-road costs):
Mercedes-AMG C63 S Sedan: $154,900
Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate: $157,400