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Mercedes-AMG unleashes C 63 range

28.05.2015

ARE cars becoming too fast? That’s a question I thought about at the launch of the latest generation Mercedes-AMG C63 this past week. Having driven both the "normal" and S variants, I have to conclude, the level of performance available is staggering and the same can be said for its Bavarian rival.

How fast could it possibly be?

Both models are equipped with the brand's new M177 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which, in regular C 63 trim, pushed out 350kW/650Nm and in S guise, produces 375kW/700Nm. Helping get all that power down is the AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed sports transmission with "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport +," "Individual" and even "Race" settings if you have the S model.

Despite the fact that each weighs over 1 700kg, both variants will get to 100km/h in around four seconds, thanks to a launch control system and will go on to a limited top speed of 250km/h. The performance on offer is seriously impressive and the fact that there’s so much torque and such a strong pull to redline, means you don’t notice the car is turbocharged as much as you think you would.

Does it sound "AMG?"

In the devolvement of the car, the engineers went through over 50 different sounds before settling on one and what a sound it is! Picture running a V8 through Victorian plumbing; there’s gargling, popping, barking and even a forced induction warble from the exhaust.

Ride and handling

There is a duality about this car. With the adjustable suspension and drivetrain settings on tap, you can have an utter monster that works around the track with goodies such as a mechanical rear-locking differential (electronic in the S model), sticky tyres from the factory and massive brakes. Readers beware though, with the amount of power available, the Stability programmes should be left on or partially on, even though performance is very restricted with the former. Switching the systems off requires a very experienced driver and some funding for rear tyres.

On the other hand, you can leave everything in Comfort and the car whispers along with a scarcely believable consumption figure of 8.2 litres/100km; suffice to say we didn’t replicate that on launch. There is a level of comfort and usability with the car making this a car one could use every day.

Styling and interior

The way a sports saloon looks is important and I believe that Mercedes-AMG has nailed it with the new über C-Class. It looks more substantial and that’s because it is. Engineers had to make the front-end longer to accommodate the massive engine. This, in my opinion, makes the car look the way the new C-Class should always have looked, while the addition of racier front and rear bumpers amid the variants makes the entire car look that much more special. The S and Edition 1 model look even better but be prepared to pay for the added aesthetics.

Inside the cabin on the more bog standard model, is a pretty normal C-Class affair, while the aforementioned S and Edition 1 models look decidedly different and sportier inside. Therefore there is a C63 for most tastes, which is what the market demands… individuality.

Verdict

I know I did mention - at the beginning of this article - cars might be getting too fast, but that’s just the natural progression of things. Each generation of car has to be faster and better or else it’s considered a failure. In the case of the C63 there are settings that make it exploitable for most drivers, while in terms of pricing, it is highly competitive against its primary rival, the BMW M3/M4 duo, success!

Pricing and maintenance:

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S and C 63 come standard with a six-year/100 000km maintenance plan.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 S  R1 163 800
Edition 1  Plus R175 000
Mercedes-AMG C 63    R1 004 700
Edition 1  Plus R212 000

 

Article written by Sean Nurse
28.05.2015
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