With a fire-breathing 6.2-litre V8 engine and lithe body, is the C63 AMG driving perfection or is it gloriously over-the-top?
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe introducedMercedes-Benz, to me, is split into two camps. On the one hand you have Mercedes-Benz, maker of fine, luxury and relaxed vehicles. These vehicles are driven by gentlemen who want refinement. Your local doctor probably has a C-Class or if he’s really well-off, has an E-Class. His wife most likely has an A-Class. If she has Stepford Wife aspirations, then she probably has an ML in her crosshairs. Politicians the world over lust after the S-Class, in black with the armoured window option ticked. Then, on the other hand, there are three letters that make petrolheads everywhere sit up and notice. A, M and G. AMG is the sporting/motorsport arm of the German marque and they have the job of turning your normal, run-of-the-mill Mercedes models into potent performance machines.
The C-Class can be regarded as Mercedes-Benz’s bread-and-butter. This vehicle is what brings the money in for the brand and, with a whole assortment of variations, have attempted to cover all the bases. There are petrol sedans, diesel estates and coupés. For the performance enthusiasts, there’s the C63 AMG now available in coupé guise. With its arch-rivals having coupé versions of the RS5 and M3, it’s about time that Mercedes-Benz joined the two door club.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe aggressive looksVisually, it’s menacing and aggressive with slightly flared wheel arches, bulging bonnet, black alloy wheels and large quad exhausts at the back. The test unit also came fitted with a carbon fibre bootlid spoiler, not necessary but a nice touch never-the-less. LED daytime running lights are fitted and make the C63 even more imposing in rear-view mirrors.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe potent engineThe AMG division is all about the engine and mechanical engineering. Release the catch, raise the bonnet and marvel at the hand-assembled 6.2-litre V8 engine underneath. It’s time for some figures, starting with power output. 336kW and 600Nm are not exactly shy, are they? Coupled with the 7-Speed gearbox with paddles behind the steering wheel, this C63 is ferocious from the get go. The benchmark 0-100km/h sprint is eaten up in a staggering 4.4 seconds and it’ll carry on until it reaches a limited 250km/h.
It has a great party trick too. Start the car up in the normal manner, but as you turn the key to start the ignition, give the accelerator pedal a nice hard jab. The resulting backfire and roar from the exhaust is ridiculously loud and extremely satisfying. Honestly, I was intimidated by this car. It’s fast and I’ve read too many stories of AMG vehicles biting those who carelessly tried to find the limit. Traction control stayed on at all times and only once did I dare engage Sport mode on the gearbox.
Look, you don’t have to drive this car hard all the time and this is where AMG has excelled itself. The C63, when driven gently, has impeccable road manners much like its siblings and momentarily you forget that you’re in a car that can get from highway cruising speed to 200km/h without breaking a sweat. It offers great all-round driveability and this aspect is where many sports cars fail. No one wants to drive with their foot flat on the accelerator all the time. Besides, if you tried to do that with this, you’d soon run into the strong-arm of the law. That’s if the tyres didn’t wear out first, or you went bankrupt thanks to a high fuel bill…
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe cabinBeing a Mercedes, it still retains a classy, upmarket interior. Naturally AMG has done a fine job of replacing the mundane bits with sporty carbon fibre items. Take the seats for example. These are two-tone red and black bucket seats that do a fine job of keeping you firmly in place. The steering wheel is part suede/alcantara leather and it feels lovely. For the money, you’re getting all the luxury items that you’d expect from Mercedes-Benz. Satellite navigation, climate control, Bluetooth telephone, aluminium pedals are just some things you can expect. It’s safe too andcomes with exceptionally strong brakes, an over-zealous traction control system that constantly nags as well as airbags lining the cabin.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe conclusionSo it looks great, goes like the proverbial clappers and boasts some high-tech wizardry in the cabin. Naturally, no car is perfect and the C63 AMG is no exception. Firstly, there’s that fuel consumption. If you put the hammer down and give it some gas, you’ll see the trip computer climb to 20L/100km. Some may argue that if you can afford to buy a vehicle of this nature, you’re not going to worry about the petrol price. Despite the safety systems constantly reining you in, those rear tyres are not going to last long either. What’s frightening though is that even overtaking someone on a damp suburban road will result in the wheels struggling for grip with all that power.
For just under R1-million, the C63 AMG coupé can be yours. It’s not as precise a driving tool as a BMW M3 but it’s filled with character and is able to beat its rival in a simple drag race.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe price in South AfricaThis awesome piece of German machinery comes in at R980 346
We like: · Loud · Brutally fast · Epic soundtrack
We don’t like: · Drinks petrol · Eats rear tyres · Will terrify non-experienced drivers
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupé specifications
Engine: 6.2-litre, V8, petrol Power: 336 kW @ 6 800 rpm Torque: 600 N.m @ 5 000 rpm Transmission: seven-speed automatic Wheels: 18-inch 0-100 km/h: 4.4 seconds (claimed) Fuel economy: 12.3l/100km (claimed combined cycle)