My Drive this week was the Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S. When AMG gets its hands dirty producing the sports versions of Mercedes-Benz’s cars, you know they aren’t stuffing around and this car is no exception. The C 63 is based on the standard C Class and comes with a range of sports enhancements across the entire car.
The new C 63 is quite a different beast from the old one. In the previous generation we had a 6.3 litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, but with stricter and stricter exhaust emissions rules coming along, Benz has taken the axe to the engine’s displacement. There’s now a much smaller 4.0 litre V8 doing the rounds, but with twin turbos to boost output, power and torque are actually better than before. There’s 375 kW of power to tap into, while the massive 700Nm of torque comes at just 1750 RPM. The turbos sit inside the engine V area, helping to reduce lag by shortening the path of the exhaust gases to the turbo.
AMG also put a lot of effort into the sound you get from the engine exhaust. The engineers said they wanted to make sure downsizing the engine didn’t change the sound in any way, but they do leave the driver with a choice, the good old exhaust opener button that you can push to open up some flaps to get more of a burble and many, many more decibels.
Power is put to the rear wheels through a seven speed automatic transmission that acts and feels like a dual clutch, but Mercedes points out it’s actually a multi-clutch gearbox. It’s a little complicated, but think of a torque converter automatic that’s had the torque converter removed and a single clutch put in its place, while a number of planetary clutches on the other gears allows for double declutching on downshifts. Putting the C 63 into any of the racier sports modes will bring the gearbox to life.
The suspension is very focused on sports driving, with a tune that’s extremely firm and tight. AMG has equipped the C 63 with adaptive suspension, allowing you to select from Comfort, Regular and Sports profiles, but even in Comfort it’s much firmer than the regular C-Class, making it pretty difficult to stomach for everyday driving. Take the C 63 to a racetrack though and it’s totally in its element.
The braking package is also race spec, with monstrous 390 mm vented discs in the front and 360 mm discs in the back. You can also option ceramic discs if you want to do some serious racing.
Standard features in the C 63 S include adaptive cruise control, climate control air conditioning, a 13 speaker sound system, digital TV tuner, and a head up display with speed, gear position and a bar-shaped tachometer. This head up display goes great with the AMG instrument cluster that displays turbo boost, oil temperature and transmission temperature in the centre LCD. There’s also some beautiful leather, racing-themed seats with loads of electronic adjustment, as well as a leather and Alcantara steering wheel.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S can be had in both sedan and wagon body styles, and can be yours from $155,490 plus on-road costs.
17 October 2015