MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG REVIEW
Vehicle style: Premium performance large sedan
Price: $169,407 (plus on-road costs and charges)
Engine/trans: 6.2 litre V8 | 7spd AMG ‘Speedshift’ MCT auto
Fuel consumption listed: 12.1 l/100km | on test: 13.7 l/100km
This car, the new Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Edition 507 is a bone crusher. It’s mercilessly quick.
Stamp on the gas and it doesn’t so much accelerate as ‘launch’. How is it possible, you are forced to wonder, that such a large capacity V8 can spin so readily?
The C 63’s throttle response is blinding, instant, as though waiting cocked ready to fire.
And ‘507’? That’s the horsepower-rating for the re-jiggerised 6.2 litre V8 under the bonnet. It sports modified internal workings lifted from the SLS AMG - lightweight crankshaft, new conrods and forged pistons.
The result is an extra 37kW over the ‘garden’ C 63 and something to keep you awake at night.
Really, the only question with this car is whether you’re prepared to pay the price for membership. Buckets of shekels are required friends, buckets; at $170k+ it’s one for the seriously well-heeled.
Quality: Yes, one smart interior. It has an ‘engineered’ feel – the cold-metal rotary controls and brushed-metal bezels around the no-nonsense gauges have a tooled look, as though cut on a metal lathe.
And it works as it should: the ergonomics are right, and everything is where you expect it. It’s the deletions, the absence of artifice that gives it such a feel of quality and class.
Comfort: The seats, quite simply, are superb. Meticulously trimmed in fine-grained supple leather, they are grippy, shaped to cosset the body, and immensely comfortable.
Like all the upper-spec MB models, inside it’s as snug and solid as a gentleman’s club.
Equipment: ‘Loaded’, for this top-of-the-tree model, may be erring on understatement. You pay for everything, and everything is what you get.
A quick list of the key standard features includes Map Pilot navigation, COMAND online multi-media system with 10GB music register, Bluetooth with audio streaming, Harmon Kardon Logic7 dolby surround sound, Nappa leather upholstery, ‘Thermotronic’ climate-control, AMG instrument cluster with race-timer, 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels
Storage: Take the wheel and you sit low in a spacious sedan interior; behind there’s good leg and headroom, and, front and back, ample cup and bottle holders for all passengers.
The wide flat boot-space measures in at a useful 475 litres (but this car is not about the boot nor the bottle holders).
ON THE ROAD
Driveability: Just nudge the accelerator and the C 63 ‘507’ barks and lifts its nose. Floor it and you’ll wet yourself.
You have to look to its muscle-bound German competitors to find any other conventional car so ‘on the nail’ and with such fearsome power. Using launch control, it will spear to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds.
Rolling acceleration is equally fearsome. In just seconds it will hit 160km/h and beyond (and despatch your licence to the shredder).
In fact, get on the sauce a fraction too early when overtaking, and, so potent the response, you risk launching yourself into the rear-quarter of the car in front.
Refinement: There are scant few V8s with anything like the creamy mechanical balance of the C 63 AMG; a balance it holds rights through the rev range.
The AMG seven-speed MCT twin-clutch transmission is superb, slips seamlessly through shifts whether howling from the line or kicking down (or when using the gearshift paddles). It slams enormous power to the tarmac without a tremor of vibration or coarseness.
But the C 63 AMG Edition 507 is no limousine: that’s to miss the point.
It growls and barks when shown the whip. And it rides on wide sticky boots, not ballet pumps, so it can be vocal on coarse road surfaces.
Suspension: You were looking for a wafting ‘magic carpet’ ride? Look elsewhere sir; those three letters on the rump – AMG – know nothing of which you speak.
The Edition 507 rides the contours of the road, and talks through the Nappa leather speed-sensitive three-spoke sports wheel.
Down below is an AMG sports suspension and wide rubber on menacing charcoal-grey 19-inch alloys.
This is a car that can be driven fast. Despite its ‘large car’ dimensions, it sits flat and unruffled when cornering (whatever the provocation).
Depending on your mood, you can select a ‘comfort’ drive mode, and, though certainly still firm, there is enough initial compliance to iron-out the hits, hollows and judders you’ll find on our secondary roads.
Braking: Braking too is equally superb. The C 63 AMG Edition 507 gets an oven more potent set-up with massive – but lightweight – ventilated and perforated composite discs (up front, 360mm x 36mm).
There are six-piston callipers over the front discs, and four-piston callipers at the rear, each painted red. Pedal feel and weighting is as good as you’ll find.
HOW IT COMPARES I
AUDI RS 6 Quattro ($225,000): Beautiful inside and out. Sounds like heaven, goes like stink and puts out an amazing 412kW and 700Nm. But, though much dearer, doesn’t quite nail it the way the Merc does for ‘feel’ and involvement.
That said, you wouldn’t hand the Audi back if one comes your way from a wealthy ageing Aunt (I’ve heard they’re out there). A tremendous car. (see RS 6 reviews)
BMW M5 F10 LCI ($229,900): More expensive (by quite a margin) and a thumping performance drive. With 423kW and 680Nm, the Beemer might get a nose in front as ‘the track-day choice’, but there are scant margins in it.
The AMG is a match off the mark, feels a little more ‘liveable’ as a day-to-day drive and – perhaps, it’s subjective - looks the more menacing. (see M5 reviews)
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
Warranty: Three years, unlimited kilometres
Service costs: Mercedes-Benz does not offer fixed-price servicing. Service intervals are 25,000km or 12 months, whichever occurs first. Service costs may vary, so consult your dealer.
VERDICT I OVERALL
How hot would you like your automobile served? They don’t get much hotter than this astonishing machine - Mercedes-Benz’ C 63 AMG Edition 507.
And fewer again are more satisfying at the wheel.
For muscled-up luxury, for supercar numbers in a sensible sedan, and at quite a price advantage over its German knuckle-buddies, the C 63 AMG Edition 507 is about as desirable as they get. That V8 is a hammer made in heaven’s forge.
If you can hurdle the price of entry - $169,407 for the saloon, plus on-roads and more again for the Estate and Coupe – you can be smug in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the country.
In that price you are paying more than $35,000 in GST and Luxury Car Tax. (There, I bet that makes you feel better.)
But you can be also smug in the knowledge that you are driving one of the world’s great cars.
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
- C 63 AMG Edition 507 - Sedan $169,407
- C 63 AMG Edition 507 - Estate $171,407
- C 63 AMG Edition 507 - Coupe $172,407