Credit where it's due to AMG, it's emphatically proven a lot of doubters wrong in recent years. There were varying levels of concern about Affalterbach making a 2.0-litre hot hatch, a four-wheel drive E63 and a Lambo-besting AMG GT. The worry was unfounded, as the current A45, E63 and Black Series are superb AMGs. Next year will be the toughest test yet, however, as the electrified four-cylinder C63 will make its debut. And that has an awful lot to prove.
If the impending demise of the eight-cylinder C63 has you worried (and the M3 Touring doesn't appeal), Manhart is at hand to extract the most from the outgoing W205 C-Class flagship. Yes, it's black and gold like every Manhart special, but it also has 700hp - and that isn't the kind of car it makes every week. Thanks to the installation of its own turbos, intercooler upgrade, carbon intake and ECU tune, Manhart claims 712hp and 679lb ft - enormous gains over the 510hp and 516lb of a standard (and very fast) C63 S.
It's said that the nine-speed auto has been tweaked to handle the additional potency. Notably a 0-62mph time hasn't been issued (potentially because it may not be much quicker with that power going through two wheels), but Manhart does believe that its CR 700 T can accelerate from 62mph to 124mph in just 5.5 seconds. Which is berserk; if it's hitting 62mph in four seconds, that means double that in fewer than 10.
The rest of the C63 upgrades are familiar for Manhart: H&R springs that drop the car on new 20-inch wheels - both presumably conspiring against the ride quality - and gold details throughout. Though the brakes and interior of this car haven't been touched, Manhart has upgrades available.
Predictably enough, this sort of performance doesn't come cheap. The 700hp performance kit retails at €18,000, which doesn't include the carbon intake (another €4,600) or the Manhart exhaust, which is €8,000. The cheapest upgrade for the 2018-on C63 is the €200 floormats, so don't say you weren't warned. Still, with early versions now available for £50k, you could have a 700hp C63 for the price of a new one, if not a bit less. Leave the gold bits off and nobody would be any the wiser...
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