Researching this review it would have seemed the C63 is a pretty straightforward car. Big V8 in little Merc, saloon, estate and, more recently, coupe bodystyles. Easy. Only the car has in fact come on some way since it first launched in 2007. The engine has remained a constant, delivering 457hp in standard form and 487hp with the optional Performance Pack. In 2010 Mercedes UK offered an uprated DR520 version based on the Performance Pack car with - surprise - 520hp and a premium of £9,995. A facelift in 2011 added the coupe and AMG's wet-clutch Speedshift MCT auto. This was followed in July 2011 by the 517hp Black Series, inspired by the much loved CLK Black Series that was a big influence on the C63's development. Last year the Performance Pack option was discontinued, the Edition 507 (go on, guess the power output...) stepping in to fill the gap earlier this year.
Available in saloon and estate versions too, in coupe form as tested the Edition 507 could be considered a Black Series lite, with nearly the same power and pace but lacking the more wild mods such as the 40mm/79mm increase in front/rear track, flared body, fully adjustable coilover suspension and standard limited-slip diff.
All of the more powerful C63s - Performance Pack, DR520, Black and 507 alike - get the SLS-donated engine upgrades, meaning forged pistons and con-rods and a lightweight crank. Losing three kilos from these components not only increases the tuning headroom, it also increases response and means the big V8 revs up faster and more cleanly. So, yes, you want your C63 to have that box ticked, basically.
We got a ticking off for saying the C63 Coupe was like a traditional muscle car last time we tested it but ... it is. OK, it's not built by rednecks and you don't need to wear a stars'n'stripes bandana to drive it. But the influence is clear, even if it's got a somewhat broader operating window. You know, one that includes going round corners as well as blitzing quarter miles.
But firing up a big V8, slipping a shifter into D and letting rip offers inescapable comparisons. And might well make you want to holler yeehah. Or, perhaps, ja, for sure.
Take it slow
As previously discussed, AMG's genius is in making the C63 a pleasing car to drive slowly. It's no wafty old barge and the firm springing isn't shy at lower speeds. But the solidity of the car and the pitch-perfect damping mean it doesn't shake, rattle or roll and it's a points draw when it comes to potholes and speed bumps.
The steering's tactility derives from more than just the Alcantara wheel too. We've just about come to terms with electric steering and most manufacturers seem to have reached an acceptable compromise with it. Or you'd think so until you drive a car like the C63 and remember what a well-judged hydraulic one feels like.
A paddle-shift manual option is included in the gearbox modes but, frankly, is the weak link in the package. It'll shift quickly enough when it wants to but often refuses to come down the ratios at the same point as you do. Frankly, as in many AMGs, SLS included, the auto S+ mode is actually better at judging the right moment and even blips itself.
The C63 Edition 507 then. Sounds great. Magnificent V8. Loves going sideways. Simple pleasures for simple folk...
MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG EDITION 507 COUPE
Engine: 6,208cc V8
Transmission: 7-speed auto with wet clutch (MCT), rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 507@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 450@5,200rpm
0-62mph: 4.2 sec (estate 4.3 sec)
Top speed: 174mph (limited)
Weight: 1,730kg (coupe, according to EC)
MPG: 23.5 (NEDC combined, estate 23.1)
CO2: 280g/km (estate 285g/km)
Price: £68,470 (£74,200 as tested)
C63 AMG price/performance comparisons:
|Version||UK price new||Power/torque||0-62/vmax (mph)|
|C63 Coupe (MY11-)
+ Performance Pack
|DR520||C63 +£9,995 (2011)||520/479lb ft||4.1/187**|
|C63 Coupe Black Series||c. £120,000||517hp/457lb ft||3.9/186*|
|507 Coupe||£68,470||507hp/450lb ft||4.2/174*|
*Limited, ** Saloon