The Mercedes AMG C63 Cabriolet packs a serious punch from its brawny V8 but it doesn’t feel quite as sharp to drive as the BMW M4 Convertible
Unlike BMW and Audi, Mercedes isn’t shy of shoe-horning a huge V8 into every version of its C63. There’s the four-door C63 Saloon, the stylish C63 Coupe and the more practical C63 Estate, but the car we’re reviewing here is the Mercedes AMG C63 Cabriolet – a soft-top alternative to the likes of the BMW M4 Convertible.
The latest C63 Cabriolet first went on sale in 2015 but it received a few tweaks in 2018 to help it keep pace with the likes of the BMW M4 Cabriolet. Outside, you’ll notice a new grille (inspired by the AMG GT sports car), some modified bumpers with new air intakes and a set of redesigned 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside you’ll find a new nappa leather sports steering wheel with redesigned multifunction buttons and selectors for the car’s driving modes and traction control settings. There’s also a new 12.3-inch digital cockpit which swaps the car’s standard analogue dials for a more visually appealing digital set that’s crammed with customisable information.
Thankfully, you also don’t have to pay extra for the 10.3-inch infotainment display on the dashboard. This display is bright and easy to read, but not quite as intuitive as the BMW M4 Convertibles iDrive system.
Also standard are leather-trimmed sports seats and an elegant dashboard design with some gorgeous metal air vents. It certainly looks more elegant than the BMW M4 Convertible’s cabin but doesn’t feel quite as solid in places.
If you’ve got some spare cash burning a hole in your pocket you can pay extra for some especially supportive Performance seats. Even without them, it’s a doddle to get comfortable in the AMG C63 Cabriolet and even tall adults will have enough headroom to stretch out with the roof up.
Surprisingly, space in the back seats isn’t particularly tight – for a convertible, at least. You only get two seats, but at least there’s just enough leg- and headroom for adults to get comfy on short journeys. Squeezing in through the gap behind the front seats is trickier, however – especially with the roof up. Bootspace is on par with the M4 Convertible, so there’s enough room for a couple of small suitcases or a few soft bags.
And standard equipment isn’t a worry. 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, ambient interior lighting, keyless entry and start, wireless phone charging and electric memory front seats are all included. Start getting busy with the options list, though, and things can quickly get out of hand.
If the C63 Coupe and C63 Saloon sound like listening to the Rolling Stones on CD, the drop-top C63 Cabriolet is more like an open-air gig with the volume cranked up to 11…
The Mercedes AMG C63 Cabriolet draws out a bit of a lead over the M4 Convertible when it comes to power, however. Its 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 produces 476hp as standard – 45hp more than the BMW can manage. Go for a C63 S version, however, and this figure takes a hike to a whopping 510hp.
In terms of acceleration, both versions are pretty comparable. The C63 S Cabriolet takes 4.1 seconds to reach 62mph from rest while the standard car arrives at the magic number just 0.1 seconds later.
Helping the Cabriolet leap out of the blocks so quickly is the standard nine-speed automatic gearbox. It changes gear quickly when you pull on the manual shift paddles on the steering wheel, and it’s just as happy to get on with the job itself as smoothly as possible if you leave it in automatic mode.
The C63 doesn’t feel quite as agile as the M4 Convertible – even with the electronic differential, active engine mounts and selectable driving modes all turned up to the max. It’s still riotous fun, however – especially in Race mode with the suspension and traction control set to their firmest and least intrusive settings respectively.
Thankfully, the C63 Cabriolet’s lairy demeanour can be toned down when wafting along with the roof down sounds more appealing than tearing down a country road. You’ll hear a little tyre noise at motorway speeds, but – in its most comfortable setting – the suspension irons out bumps well and you won’t hear much wind noise through the thickly padded fabric roof.
The boisterous Mercedes AMG C63 Cabriolet isn’t the most agile or sophisticated sports car on sale, but it’s still well worth considering – if only to hear the thundering bellow of that huge V8 with the roof down.