We've just returned from the international launch of the facelifted Mercedes-AMG C63 S. The official embargo lifts this week, but we'll give you a quick taste of what's changed.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S has been facelifted and we got the chance to drive the newcomer on public roads, de-restricted autobahn and on the technical track at Bilster Berg. While it may appear that Mercedes-AMG has simply changed the grille, the truth is that there are many changes that have occurred under the skin, with the aim of enhancing the C63 S dynamically and technologically. The facelifted Mercedes-AMG C63 S will land in South Africa before the end of the year. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.
New 9-speed transmission
The 7G-Tronic transmission has been replaced by the AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission, which is a 9-speed unit, as opposed to a 7-speed. MCT stands for Multi-Clutch Technology and what this simply means is it's more efficient and more responsive. For those wanting more technical detail, the conventional torque converter from before is replaced by a compact wet start-up clutch which is immersed in an oil bath, hence the term "wet clutch".
New digital dashboard
Mercedes-AMG has introduced a 12.3-inch instrument cluster for the C63 S. It looks very similar to that found in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which is a system we're big fans of. The graphics are crisp and modern, and customisable with three themes. You can further tweak the data displayed and choose what information is critical for your drive. Some may fancy seeing engine data such as gearbox temperature and turbocharger boost, while others may prioritise navigation and audio information.
New advanced steering wheel
There's a new-look AMG steering wheel for the Mercedes-AMG C63. Wrapped in soft Nappa with yellow stitching (there's an option for sexy carbon fibre too), it looks and feels the part. The key changes are the inclusion of two controllers, which can be configured to change engine modes, active exhaust, modify traction control settings and more. Critically, these two controllers keep the driver's hands on the steering wheel. The Blackberry-style navigation buttons from the E- and S-Class have also found their way into the C63.
For the track fanatics, Mercedes-AMG has introduced AMG Track Pace app. It's available as an option, but we'll see if Mercedes-Benz SA brings it in as standard. It comprises most of the world's greatest race tracks such as Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, but you do have the option of recording your own race circuits. The AMG Track Pace system will record over 80 sets of data 10 times per second. Data such as speed, braking, G-forces, acceleration are all logged, plus the car will save lap and sector times. Using this data, you'll be able to improve your times and driving skills. Cleverly, the car's GPS works with AMG Track Pace to work out the car's position so it knows when the track has been shortened. You'll also be able to measure acceleration and deceleration performance, and the app can record 0-100 kph, quarter mile and 100-0 kph.
Watch AMG Track Pace in action
Visually, there are a few changes to the exterior of the facelifted Mercedes-AMG C63 S. The highlight is what you see here, the Panamericana grille. First seen on the Mercedes-AMG GT R, it's now on most of the modern AMG models, SUVs included. It looks epic for the C63 S coupe, particularly when combined with one of the striking matte paint finishes. Other visual tweaks include new-look exhaust tips, new alloy wheels, rear diffuser and tail lamps.