The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe is an elegant rocketship that manages to combine traditional Mercedes luxury with staggering levels of power and speed.
The C63 AMG lineup benefits from the addition of a new 507 Edition model for the latest model year. Essentially an evolution of last year's 481-horsepower Development Package-equipped model, which it replaces, the 507 Edition boasts 507 horsepower, stronger brakes and a host of other upgrades inside and out.
In typical AMG fashion, the C63 AMG Coupe features large performance-oriented tires and wheels, an aggressive bodykit, a much sportier interior than the standard C-Class Coupe, and suspension and chassis improvements.
Unlike the M3's small displacement V8, the C63 AMG Coupe uses a big 6.2-liter V8 good for 443 lb-ft of torque and 451 horsepower. The torque curve of the engine is just as impressive as its output: from 2000 to 6250 rpm the driver always has more than 360 pound-feet on tap - ideal for powerful acceleration in any engine speed range.
Maximum torque of 443 pound-feet comes at 5000 rpm. The torque curve is equally impressive: from 2000 to 6250 rpm the driver always has more than 360 pound-feet on tap -- ideal for powerful acceleration in any engine speed range.
For those looking for even more power, the AMG Development Package ups output to 481 ponies by borrowing forged pistons, connecting rods and lightweight crankshaft from the SLS AMG's engine. Torque remains unchanged. Expect real-world zero-to-60 times in the high three-second range (Mercedes' conservative estimate has it taking a few tenths longer).
The Development Package also includes a variable intake manifold painted in titanium grey under the hood, an AMG high-performance braking system with two-piece front discs and red painted brake calipers at all four corners, a carbon-fiber spoiler lip on the trunk lid and the AMG performance steering wheel in premium leather with a unique grip area.
The C63 AMG Coupe is rated at 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.
A seven-speed automatic transmission dubbed the SPEEDSHIFT MCT utilizes a wet clutch pack in place of a traditional torque converter. The result is gear changes that can occur in just .1 second in the transmission's sportiest shift mode. The transmission features smooth rev-matching during downshifts and has a launch mode for stoplight racing; if drivers want to take control into their own hands, aluminum paddle shifters situated behind the well allow them to do just that.
The C63 AMG Coupe owes its outstanding handling dynamics to the AMG sports suspension and a three-link front axle design. The stiff configuration of the springs and gas-pressure shock absorbers ensures optimal road contact and low body movements when negotiating serpentine bends at speed.
The Electronic Stability Program offers a variety of settings. In "ESP ON" mode, the onset of handling instability leads to braking intervention at one or more of the wheels, accompanied by a reduction in engine torque. Briefly pressing the ESP key activates "ESP SPORT". In this mode the braking intervention to counter oversteer or understeer, as well as the accompanying reduction in engine torque, allows a higher dynamic threshold. Prolonged pressure on the ESP key activates "ESP OFF," whereby there is no intervention.
Inside, the C63 AMG Coupe features what Mercedes terms "race-inspired" sport seats with integrated headrests, prominent bolsters as well as memory functions for the driver, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and split-folding rear seats for cargo flexibility.
The interior is dominated by an prominent trim panel (finished in a faux aluminum) which stretches from the center air vents along the passenger side dashboard, adding visual width. Behind an aggressive 3-spoke steering wheel lie deeply recessed tubular gauges featuring a 4.5-inch color display in the center of the speedometer, which can call-up numerous screens and functions related to audio, telephone, navigation and vehicle settings.
A fixed 5.8-inch central display screen is surrounded by a stepped hood that flows across from the instrument cluster and continues into the passenger side through a subtle character line. The head unit includes a Bluetooth interface for wireless audio streaming and hands-free phone operation, an FM phase-diversity twin tuner, MP3 compatible CD drive, HD/AM/weatherband and a USB port in the center console.
Notable standard features include a panoramic sunroof, 14-way adjustable power seats, dual zone climate control and Bluetooth audio streaming.
For particularly hedonistic customers, a number of option packages are available to up the luxury quotient:
The multimedia package includes Mercedes' COMAND system (an iDrive-like interface) with hard-drive navigation including 40 GB of storage, Enhanced voice control for audio, telephone and navigation systems, SIRIUS real-time traffic service, an in-dash 6-disc DVD/CD changer, Gracenote media database, 10GB hard-drive with Music Register and a rearview camera.
A Lighting Package includes a headlamp cleaning system, Bi-Xenon headlamps with active curve illumination and Adaptive Highbeam Assist.
The Lane Tracking package brings Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist systems.
The Full Leather Seating Package nets leather upholstery and memory seats.
Mercedes-Benz has long been known for its safety features, and the C63 AMG Coupe will only add to that reputation. In addition to ABS and ESP stability control, the car boasts nine supplemental restraints including two-stage front air bags, a knee air bag for the driver and pelvic air bags which work together with curtain and side air bags to provide extra protection for front occupants in dangerous side-impact collisions.
Also standard is an "ATTENTION ASSIST" system that can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S.A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving. Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies the erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning and a "Time for a Rest?" message with a coffee cup icon in the instrument cluster.
Notable competitors include the brutish Cadillac CTS-V coupe, the razor-sharp BMW M3 Coupe and the stylish Audi RS5, all of which the C63 AMG Coupe should have no trouble keeping up with in a straight line or on a curvy race course.