Why so smitten? Let's try and sum up what I've been wittering about these past few months. It's got to be about the engine. The combination of basically an SLS spec version of the M156 V8 and a family estate is something we'll likely never see again. Sure, there are and will be other V8 AMG wagons. But there's something about this particular combination of extremes.
the CLK63 Black. I loved its understated hardman looks, the extra savagery of its V8 and its stance and muscular driving style. If only they did one with a better gearbox. If only they had that powertrain and personality but in a wagon body.
I had to wait a few years but the 507 is pretty much that car. The 507hp power output is the same as that of the CLK Black, the torque down a little but the added bite and precision of that later MCT wet clutch/automatic hybrid gearbox more than making up for it. And it's a wagon! The influence of the CLK Black weighed heavily over the whole C63 range from the start, making it only fitting this run-out version tipped its hat.
The other overriding characteristic of the C63 I love is its simplicity. Passive dampers brilliantly matched to burly but not uncompromising spring rates, weighty hydraulic steering, great brakes, superbly crafted noise from the exhausts that seems entirely natural and ever present but never intrusive and a very straightforward driving style.
Amid the madness there's subtlety too. In a last hurrah at Brands Hatch GP and able to turn everything off the 507 felt hefty and a little clumsy initially. But settling down, calming the corner entry speeds and revelling in the predictability of the low-geared steering I was able to savour every corner exit as initial understeer could be bled out with earlier and earlier throttle inputs. Traction with the mechanical locking diff in the dry is awesome in mid to high-speed corners with just a hint of a rotation under full power and a delicious unweighting of the wheel as the rear axle dictates direction of travel before unleashing the V8's grunt up the straights, gobbling up race cars and track day specials alike. I got away with one second gear gassing out of Druids leaving smoke hanging in the air and prompt waving of the 'No Drifting!' boards but other than that kept it relatively low key.
And all this in a grey Mercedes estate with bike racks on the roof and a big boot.
Moans? OK. Fuel consumption is obviously fairly profligate but I think an 18mpg average over the entire 6,381 miles isn't outrageous. More of a problem is the small fuel tank; you don't dare go below a quarter tank meaning you're always stopping for top-ups. Tyre noise is a bit intrusive and the offset and overly tall driving position isn't perfect, though the seats themselves are very comfy. And for town driving the C mode is a bit sluggish off the line while S or S+ have your head thwacking the headrest and provoke moans from passengers. And there isn't a huge amount of room in the back either - my 18-month-old's feet were scuffing the back of the passenger seat even in its mid position. And the power tailgate, like all such things, was more of a nuisance than a convenience. Pointless.
For its bear-hug charisma, ability to turn every journey no matter how mundane into something to savour and the sheer lunacy of its basic premise this remains a very special car though. I'll be watching the classifieds very closely indeed...
Car: 2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507
Run by: Dan
On fleet since: March 2014
List price new: £68,470 before options (£80,075 as tested, comprising Privacy Glass £330, reversing camera £390, Lighting Package £150, three-zone climate control £590, Keyless Go £665, AMG Performance Media £2,040, Comand Online with six-disc changer £250, DAB £335, Harmon Kardon surround sound £650, phone pre-wiring with roof aerial £290, Designo Magno Platinum paint £3,660, rear axle limited-slip differential £1,745 and 19-inch wheels £510)
Last month at a glance: It's all over and Mercedes has its C63 back ... never raced or rallied, honest
C63 arrives, Dan hasn't let anyone else have a go since
Look, it's thirsty ... of course it's thirsty
C63: noise matters
Dan on the warpath after parking vigilante neighbour keys the C63
How did it take this long to get out on track?
Lead photo: Chris Teagles
Thanks: RMA Trackdays