RE: Mercedes-AMG C63 S Edition 1: Review

RE: Mercedes-AMG C63 S Edition 1: Review

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Edition 1: Review

Nearly takes less time to hit 60 than it does to say its name; makes a better noise doing it too



Mercedes took us all the way to Spain to drive the C63 Coupe last year with the expectation of smooth roads and nice weather to inspire suitably sunny reviews. Didn't exactly work like that sadly. Nothing wrong with the car. But we didn't quite get to enjoy a 510hp rear-wheel drive V8 super coupe in the manner we'd hoped.

So to a role reversal, Yorkshire in October providing quiet, bone dry roads and a chance - finally - to put some hard miles in with AMG's BMW M4 rival. Rival? Well, in the way of things it doesn't so much offer an alternative to the established rivals. More humiliate them in the automotive equivalent of kicking sand in their faces.

Because even the updated, uprated M4 Competition Package looks a little outgunned when you compare it with the base C63. 476hp and 479lb ft from a suitably thunderous turbocharged V8 makes even the uprated 450hp and 406lb ft from the BMW's tuneless twin-turbo straight-six seem a little lacklustre. The car you see here - the bells and whistles Edition 1 - is based on the C63 S, 510hp and 516lb ft enough to make the Mercedes' 188kg weight penalty over the BMW seem less of a problem than it otherwise might.


Bottom line
These aren't the only big numbers though. At £61,800 the C63 is a couple of grand more than an M DCT-equipped M4 while the S version is a burly £68,710. A Lexus RC F, the sole naturally-aspirated V8 left in this sector, starts at £60,495 and goes up to £68,495 for the Carbon version with bonnet, roof and rear wing made from said material. 477hp, 390lb ft and a comparable weight problem to the AMG aren't perhaps so impressive on paper but the Lexus has sufficient style and character to make it worthy of consideration.

A very different proposition but the (relatively) more mature and comfortable MY17 Nissan GT-R starts at £79,995, offering the ability to (probably literally) drive circles around all of the aforementioned, including this equivalently priced Edition 1 C63 S. And if performance is what you're after moody matt grey paint, evocative V8 engine noise and a prominent yellow stripe will only get you so far when taking on a GT-R.

Plan B if you crave a macho, V8-powered coupe is, of course, to buy a Mustang GT and pocket the £40K change.

Decisions, decisions. Let's look at why you might go with the AMG...

Further proof that AMG can really do turbo V8s
Further proof that AMG can really do turbo V8s
12-point plan
A grand or so more than a C63 S saloon, the Coupe is a much more serious proposition thanks to the newly developed AMG rear axle. This is a significant investment, the 12-link design much more rigid than the stock set-up and offering far more control over the chassis tuning and general character of the car. It'll be carried over to the new E63 too and, no doubt, other AMGs to follow.

The 4.0-litre 'hot-V' V8 and seven-speed auto-with-locking-clutch MCT transmission are more familiar though, likewise the upgraded electronically controlled and fully variable locking diff AMG fits to its S-graded products in both this and the GT range. For more on that see our recent videoblog on that car and more of the same on this one.

As previously stated, the main impact is a huge increase in traction at the expense of some of the unreconstructed muscle car vibes. It's a difficult one for AMG - that brutish, power-crazed image is both its brand signature but also the source of some criticism, those who prefer the sharper, more focused character of BMW M products often dismissing the Mercedes equivalents as little more than overpriced hot rods. So the diff brings new-found sophistication and means the C63 S is faster and makes better use of its power, be that on rain-soaked Spanish tarmac or across a bumpy moorland road here in the UK.

Those arches and that paint? Moody!
Those arches and that paint? Moody!
Deliver on the promise
That makes it a much more focused driving machine than the C63 saloon or estate too. The stiffness of the 12-link set-up means AMG can exploit the wider front track and deliver a much sharper front-end, the S Coupe blessed with more weight and feel through the wheel than the saloon or wagon. And the result is more confidence than ever to carry the speed the V8 gives you up the straights into the turns. And enjoy them. Sure, the weight means it feels more blunt tool than precision instrument. And an M4 on the same road will feel much more agile and exploitable. But there's now poise to complement the traditional AMG firepower.

Throttle response from this V8 is excellent for a turbo engine but there's still a degree of initial mush that lovers of the previous 6.2 won't like. There are few complaints once it spools up though, forced induction giving mid-range the old motor never had. The noise it makes is suitably epic too.

There are, in the way of things, a ton of modes to play with but the default damper setting strikes a superb balance between bump smothering and body control, the C63 far more composed on bumpy British roads than the occasionally wild M4. That and the diff do mean it's less playful than before though, that traditional rear-driven balance traded for smoothly deployed traction that only becomes lairy if you properly provoke it. In the old C63 you'd get hints of that even at relatively low speeds; now it's all but gone in the name of progress, actual and technical.

What is the fascination with harness cut-outs?
What is the fascination with harness cut-outs?
Shift of focus
Some things don't change though, the gearbox slow to deliver manual upshifts yet perfectly happy to dramatically block shift down two or more gears when you only requested one. As ever, Sport+ auto is often the better choice, timing its downshifts brilliantly but rather removing a layer of interaction. Both twin-clutch M4 and GT-R - eventhe auto Lexus - do it better.

And though the interior is smartly executed and suitably lavish - especially with the Edition 1 adornments - the rattle of frameless glass when you shut the door and an annoying squeak from the dash on bumpy roads are the kind of details that would infuriate those buying into the dream of vault-like Mercedes build quality. And the internet still hates that tablet-style display screen, even if it makes sense when you use it.

In the noise and thrill of the extravagant V8 acceleration, the poise and surprising accuracy with which it can pick apart a back road (even with all that extra weight) and the sheer charisma the C63 Coupe is a powerful force to be reckoned with though. This is AMG growing up and getting sensible. Thankfully not too sensible though.


MERCEDES-AMG C63 S COUPE EDITION 1
Engine
: 3,982cc twin-turbo V8
Transmission: 7-speed auto with lock-up clutch (MCT), rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 510@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 516@1,750-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 3.9sec
Top speed: 155mph/180mph* (limited)
Weight: 1,800kg (EU, with driver)
MPG: 32.8mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: 200g/km (209g/km with optional 'sports tyres')
Price: £76,895 (As tested £81,825 comprising of £335 for 360 degree camera £765 for AMG Driver's Package, £1,695 for Driving Assistance Package, £3,000 for Edition 1 'Motorsport' package and £825 for Head-up display)
*With optional AMG Driver's Package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: Dan; action pics and post production Sim Mainey

Author
Discussion

sidesauce

Original Poster:

864 posts

154 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Aside from the silly stripe I like that a lot. It'll sound great too.

Also - is it just me, or are cars now either sporting tyres with higher profiles (or are the shoulder profiles of said tyres giving the impression of higher profile)? I've noticed this on the the new Audi R8 and the Ferrari 488 too...

Dave Hedgehog

10,010 posts

140 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
stonking car, but 80k !!!!

and people moan the A45 is expensive even thou its only .3 slower to 60

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Tuesday 25th October 12:19

TOOMANYMS

25 posts

98 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
The writing style lost me, so I just looked at the pictures.

Krikkit

13,521 posts

117 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
stonking car, but 80k !!!!

and people moan the A45 is expensive even thou its only .3 slower to 60

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Tuesday 25th October 12:19
0-60 tells exactly nothing of the story!

Quite like that with the bonnet stripe, would probably ditch the side one though.

Edited by Krikkit on Tuesday 25th October 12:32

downhillmalins

116 posts

82 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
That exposed tin foil does a good job at cheapening the engine bay! I'm a big fan of not covering the whole thing in plastic and hiding the lump away, but it looks like someones dropped their leftover bratwurst in there
Advertisement

Dave Hedgehog

10,010 posts

140 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
downhillmalins said:
That exposed tin foil does a good job at cheapening the engine bay! I'm a big fan of not covering the whole thing in plastic and hiding the lump away, but it looks like someones dropped their leftover bratwurst in there
the downside with putting the turbots in the V, heat becomes a real problem

Riverside Red

708 posts

71 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
I'm 1500 miles into my ownership of a C63 saloon, I would have gone for the coupe and its excellent rear suspension, but needed 4 doors, and there's little in the price once you consider the coupe has a standard performance exhaust.

I too was a hater of the daft iPad, but now wouldn't change it, however they could enlarge the display a bit and reduce the black surround. The two bits of tin foil also intrigue me and many others when they look under the bonnet, they do look a bit cheap and nasty but my attention is soon drawn away to the two turbochargers which are on display in the engine's V. I think the engine cover is removed to allow better cooling in the C class application, the cooling fan runs for a while after parking up.

Coming straight from the NA R172 SLK55 and supercharged motors, I really feel the turbo lag on the M177 especially when mooching along in "C", so much so that I normally drive in sport with the dampers set to their softest setting. This sees the mpg drop well below what I was seeing on the 5.5 litre V8 of the SLK and this disappoints me a bit when going turbo is supposed to be all about efficiency.

Overall I'm enjoying the car, the saloon is a bit of a Q car with devastating mid range, and we'll see what the next three years bring.

Hope you enjoy your time with the coupe Dan.

RR

AMGJocky

1,402 posts

52 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
stonking car, but 80k !!!!

and people moan the A45 is expensive even thou its only .3 slower to 60

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Tuesday 25th October 12:19
Oh yeah, A45 over this every day rolleyes

There's no comparison.

Oddball RS

1,756 posts

154 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Great car, silly stripes and wheel rim detail, and a daft name.

Germans being cool down at the discotheque, yah.........

Dave Hedgehog

10,010 posts

140 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
AMGJocky said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
stonking car, but 80k !!!!

and people moan the A45 is expensive even thou its only .3 slower to 60

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Tuesday 25th October 12:19
Oh yeah, A45 over this every day rolleyes

There's no comparison.
the point is very valid

if the A45 is viewed as expensive this for 80K is hysterically over priced

driftingphil

73 posts

83 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
From the Photo I'm guessing these are charge cooled?

AMGJocky

1,402 posts

52 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
AMGJocky said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
stonking car, but 80k !!!!

and people moan the A45 is expensive even thou its only .3 slower to 60

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Tuesday 25th October 12:19
Oh yeah, A45 over this every day rolleyes

There's no comparison.
the point is very valid

if the A45 is viewed as expensive this for 80K is hysterically over priced
It appears you're unaware cars do more than just accelerate to 60mph.

kapiteinlangzaam

17,809 posts

169 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
The stripe is utterly ridiculous.

Which focus group told Mercedes-Benz that was a good idea?

stuckmojo

1,936 posts

124 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Nice, but I'd take a Giulia over this

TerryThomas

1,228 posts

27 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Stripes?

Matte paint?

Are Mercedes stuck in a time warp?

PhantomPH

2,984 posts

161 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
AMGJocky said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
stonking car, but 80k !!!!

and people moan the A45 is expensive even thou its only .3 slower to 60

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Tuesday 25th October 12:19
Oh yeah, A45 over this every day rolleyes

There's no comparison.
the point is very valid

if the A45 is viewed as expensive this for 80K is hysterically over priced
Actually, the hysterical part is the depreciation. wink

benjeffrey

63 posts

36 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
12.1 MPG, once a C63, always a C63!

Driven properly as well, of course.

stuart-b

3,601 posts

162 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
That colour contract is just nasty. The stripe and stupid orange on the wheels - just makes it look totally underwheeled. Bad.

Interesting about the rear suspension - bit silly not to share that on the saloon too imho.

All seems a bit disjointed - sort the gearbox out !

FN2TypeR

5,765 posts

29 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
The paint work and stripes are utter garbage IMO, I bet it's a stonking vehicle though!

Speedgirl

46 posts

103 months

Tuesday 25th October 2016
quotequote all
A black stripe would be better. By coincidence we was at Brooklands on Sunday looking at the buses and popped into Mercedes. They were a bit quiet and had some spots free on track so thought it rude to pass the opportunity by, they had a CL63 and C63, I got the latter. Lovely car, didn't notice the turbo lag, did notice the speed which picks up nicely. I had an issue with the brakes though. Left footing with a bit of overlap and the man said something about Mercs cutting the gas if the stop pedal is pressed, that is not good. And the ABS threshold was a bit low which led it to kick in at the end of the quick bit on the handling circuit and generate a fair bit of squirrelling. I'm not sure if that's a trait or my ineptitude but I think Dan should investigate this matter in depth. The man also said the E63 handles better than the C63 and the old NA is better than the turbo. The CL63 was a bit of a barge by the way but drifted very well.