Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe Edition 507: Review


Oh for the simple life, eh? In a motoring landscape where even a Golf GTI has three steering modes it's a refreshing change to get into a fast car that requires little more than a twist of the key and a stomp on the accelerator to get the best out of it.

Enjoy it while you can - last of a breed
Enjoy it while you can - last of a breed
Saying that you'd be forgiven for thinking this simplistic nature and the magnificent 6.2-litre M156 V8 under the bonnet would make it something of an anachronism. When in fact Mercedes has already sold over 650 C63 coupes this year, an increase in nearly a third over 2012 which was itself a record year for AMG in the UK. Meaning if you can't find the £70K required for a C63 Edition 507 like this one right now fear not. There are already plenty around in the PH classifieds and a good supply to join them in coming years. Bravo.

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.

New wheels distinguish 507 from other C63s
New wheels distinguish 507 from other C63s
Here endeth the lesson
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.

Black Series vented bonnet ups the aggression
Black Series vented bonnet ups the aggression
Sorry, that's a bit snooty given that modern Mustangs and Camaros are actually pretty good at that too.

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.

507 Edition replaces Performance Pack option
507 Edition replaces Performance Pack option
If it hasn't already the M156 will go down in history as one of the great V8s and its character dominates the C63. It's happy burbling away in traffic and providing a bassy, muscular backdrop to every journey. And then, every once in a while, you'll just 'end up' extending your right foot a tad. You know, just to make that gap as you exit a slip road or something. And then the full ferocity is unleashed. It's not punch in the guts like the next-gen twin-turbo equivalents but instead just builds and builds ... and builds. Mighty.

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.

A poignant moment to reflect on a dying breed
A poignant moment to reflect on a dying breed
Leaving you to enjoy the engine, the steering, the brilliant damping and all-round no-nonsense nature. And, if you're of that persuasion, occasionally observing your direction of travel through the side windows. For with the optional limited-slip diff the C63 is about the most driftable cars this side of a Toyota AE86. The diff is aggressive enough to hold half a turn of opposite lock in the mid-way ESP setting in the dry, considerably more with it off and if you have the space, talent and tyre budget to indulge. £1,745 very well spent in our book.

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
£58,475 (current)
£63,330 (2012)
457hp/442lb ft
487hp/442lb ft
4.5/155*
4.4/155*
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

 

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Comments (58) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Blue One 11 Nov 2013

    A second hand Lexus ISF would deliver the same thrills, have the same build quality (if not better) and beat the manual tranny on the Merc.


  • Blue One 11 Nov 2013

    A second-hand Lexus ISF would give the same thrills/soundtrack, has the same if not better build quality and has a great manual tranny (as it were!)


  • Oddball RS 11 Nov 2013

    Echo echo echo

  • MPowerMark 11 Nov 2013

    I have to say it does look stunning in coupe form. Gun metal grey with multi spoke alloys......mmmmmmm

  • pimpchez 11 Nov 2013

    Also an IS-F looks even better in white

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