What am I looking at?
Order books open next month, which gives you ample time to consider which of your children you wish to sell in order to afford one.
Let’s start with pedantry. The latest performance model from Stuttgart is now to be referred to as the Mercedes-AMG C 63 – rather than Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, as it was previously. This is to bring the name in line with the new Mercedes AMG-GT. Subtle name changes aside, there are some major updates over the previous AMG C-Class, given that this model is based on the latest platform.
The styling of the new C-Class has received typical AMG upgrades. At the front, there is a new front bumper with deep air dams that feed air into the intercoolers (more on which in a minute), flared front wings to accommodate the wider track, and AMG grille and badging. The rear has a more aggressive bumper that houses the quad exhaust pipes, and a subtle rear spoiler.
Inside, there are AMG seats, steering wheel and dials to differentiate the Mercedes-AMG C 63 from more basic models. There’s even a lovely clock made by IWC set into the dash.
Perhaps the biggest change comes under that bulging bonnet though…
What powers it?
Gone is the naturally aspirated 6.2 litre unit found in the previous C63, replaced by an all new, hand-built 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.
The engine is nearly identical to the one found in the new AMG GT, and despite losing 2,226cc capacity over its predecessor, it produces both more power and torque. You’ll now find 476hp squeezed under the bonnet (or 510hp in S form) backed up by 479lb-ft (516lb-ft in the S) of shove.
This – and a subtle drop in weight – results in even more rapid acceleration times. The sprint from 0-60mph now takes just 4.1 seconds (4.0 for the S) with respective estate models following one tenth behind.
There is also a huge improvement in fuel economy, with Mercedes claiming this to be “the most efficient performance engine of its kind”. They may have a point: with a 32% increase in efficiency over the old 6.2-litre, the new AMG C 63 is claimed to manage 34.5mpg on the combined cycle.
We – and many others – loved the old 6.2 unit, so we just hope the new engine hasn’t lost too much character.
Mercedes has upgraded the seven-speed automatic transmission; the shift times have been made “significantly quicker” to cope with the extra power.
To help cope further with the extra grunt, the C 63 has a suspension design that is unique to rest of the range, with three-way adjustable dampers and a bespoke steering setup. There are even active engine mounts which soften when cruising to reduce vibrations in the cabin, but then stiffen up during hard driving to make the car feel sharper.
How much will it cost me?
Prices and specifications have yet to be announced, expect some news on both next month. Given that the current C63 is priced at between £55-£60,000 before options it would be reasonable to assume similar figures for the new model.
There is always the perennially brilliant BMW M3 to consider. Like the AMG C 63, the M3 has gone down the turbo-charging route for it’s latest model, and combine the slightly flatter engine note with criticism directed at its new electric power steering system and there may be an opportunity for Mercedes to steal a march at the top of the class. There is also the estate-only Audi RS4, which while undoubtedly capable, is somewhat of a blunt instrument, lacking the involvement of BMW’s and Mercedes’ efforts.
In a line…
We just hope the new V8 is as spectacular as the last one…