The wicked new Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupé definitely has the edge over its ‘sensible’ four-door brother, writes The Wheel Deal
Sawn-off shotguns. You’ve got to love them. For despite sporting a more diminutive set of proportions than their lengthier brethren, these stubby weapons of mass destruction seem to pack way more stopping power thanks to their considerably shorter barrels. Yep, what they lack in all-out range they make up with the kind of brute, pointblank force that demands serious respect. All neatly packaged within a frame that can be concealed under some trench coat (suspicious, moi?), it’s this weird, almost disproportioned dichotomy between size and strength that have turned sawn-offs into such infamous cultural icons.
And it’s a trick that Mercedes-Benz has done well to emulate with their all-new C63 AMG Coupé – a slightly smaller, squatter and more curiosity-piquing version of the performance saloon that’s been haunting the BMW M3 since its release back in 2007.
Don’t get me wrong, the ‘sensible’ four-door version is a wicked bit of kit but there’s something about the Coupé’s sportier silhouette that makes the trousers of my inner Stig tighten like never before. Seriously, from no matter which angle you choose to look at it, this is one devilishly handsome car. Ands it is not just the deletion of two rear doors that makes it so. No, the most noteworthy parts contributing to the Coupe’s more lustworthy sum can be put down to a lower roofline (41mm); slimmer, more tapered glasshouse and that stubby derriere loaded with more aggression than a Winchester double-barrel pump.
Oh yeah, line-up that carbon fiber boot spoiler dead in your sights and you’ll be able to wonder at one of the most purposeful rear ends in the business. For not only does the C63 Coupé get a multi-bladed air diffuser (one that actually works) but also a bold set of twin chromed tailpipes; vast trumpets that broadcast a thunderous V8 bellow far and wide.
Of course being a mightier-than-thou AMG model there’s plenty more cosmetic war paint stroked into the final mix. I could go on for countless paragraphs but the one that’ll immediately launch a great big axe of awesome straight into your soft, impressionable mind is that freshly sculpted front end; the aluminum bonnet of which has sprouted two power dome bulges that make the C63 Coupe look properly evil. Add in a revised front radiator grille, blade-like side skirts as well as some 18-inch five-twin-spoke alloys and it’s obvious that Mercedes-Benz made this machine with the Y-chromosome in mind.
So in terms of overall aesthetics it’s safe to say that the two-door version of C63 is, on the all-important Man-o-Meter, right up there with bikini-clad supermodels. But what is like to drive? You know, to slip inside that snug leather-lined cabin and give it beans? Well to find out, the good people at Mercedes-Benz South Africa decided to let me (and a handful of other motoring journalists) loose upon the asphalt of Zwartkops Raceway.
Now considering the Coupe’s performance credentials, you would expect this to be a launch match made in heaven. Unfortunately, and despite the presence of 358 tar-rippling kilowatts, it just wasn’t. And this is simply because by the time I got in behind the wheel, all those sensitive micro processors lurking beneath the hood seemed hell-bent on putting my car into Limp Mode as quickly as possible.
Perhaps it had something to do with the summer heat, but I couldn’t do a single flying lap without the computers kicking in and limiting my fun to a thoroughly frustrating 77km/h. Whatever it was, it seemed to plague all of the other launch cars too; switching vehicles revealing nothing more than the same and thoroughly exasperating malady. Bringing back similar memories of the E63 launch held at Kyalami a couple of years ago, I can only deduce that – despite their savage Mopar-like power – the current AMG portfolio just isn’t suited to track-day tomfoolery?
Whatever. It might not share the same circuit staying power as its rivals from the M and RS camps but along the everyday roads that carve their way across the Magaliesburg, the E63 Coupé proves to be proper barrel of monkeys. An out-and-out muscle car in the old-school sense, it devours kilometers like some ravenous piranha; that free-revving V8 engine providing almost limitless thrust right up to the redline.
Pretty much on a par with its four-door brother in terms of pace, I actually think that – when really pushing the envelope – the Coupé has a very slight edge to the way it cuts through corners. For even though it shares the same AMG sports suspension system with selective damping, its lower centre of gravity makes it feel just that little more nimble and planted.
An effortless everyday hero, the C63 AMG comes equipped (as standard) with a plethora of performance-orientated features that make driving on the limit even more of a cinch. Purists will undoubtedly pull their noses up at the AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed gearbox but in real world conditions it really does make a lot of sense.
Silky smooth when stuck in polar bear-friendly ‘Controlled Efficiency’ mode, it suddenly morphs into a cog-swapping master once you switch to Sport, Sport Plus or Manual. The latter by the way, besides arming those magnesium paddle shifters stuck behind the Alcantara-clad steering wheel, will shift into the next gear in just 100 milliseconds. That’s racecar fast.
To be expected the AMG speed-sensitive power steering still seemed a little too light for my liking, especially in and around the centre point, but other than that there wasn’t much else that detracted from the Coupe’s thuggish looks and performance. After all, how can any true petrolhead not get all hot and tingly about a car that – despite the very in-vogue fad of turbocharging – keeps it real with 6.2-litre normally aspirated V8 engine?
So there you have it. If you’re looking for a no-compromises track-day special there are, admittedly, sharper (and more affordable) machines to throw your money at. But if you want to lock and load with an extremely livable German muscle car that, in between the banality of everyday driving, revels, like Vin Diesel, in living life one quarter-mile at a time, then the swish new Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe is your weapon of choice.
The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupé at a Glance:
Engine: 6208cc V8
Power: 336kW at 6800rpm (358kW with AMG Performance package)
Torque: 600Nm at 5000rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h (electronically limited)
0-100km/h: 4.4 seconds (4.3 with AMG Performance package)
Fuel Consumption: 12l/100km
Pricing: From R923 700 (Add R71 800 for AMG Performance package)
Coupe styling is very attractive
Planet-stopping V8 power
Improves upon the saloon’s handling
Doesn’t seem to like the track very much
Certainly not cheap
Thirsty when driven hard
On 12.11.2011, our brother, Nirmal Saraf, was driving a Mercedes S-class (claimed to be one of the most safest cars of the world), from Jaipur to Agra alone during the day. At about 12 o’clock, he met with an accident. A truck moving parallel to his car, took a sudden turn due which he had to apply sudden brakes. Unfortunately he hit the truck from the driver’s side. Due to the collision the rod, which holds the windscreen of the car broke and hit Nirmal near the shoulder, which caused him to loose control of the car. The car hit a few kiosks on the roadside. People nearby had to cut the seat belt and somehow managed to get him out of the car and an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital. But unfortunately the doctors couldn’t save our brother’s precious life. Even after such a big collision only one airbag opened of the Mercedes S-class and that too of the passenger’s side (left side) where as the car was hit on the driver’s side. Mercedes claims that ‘SAFETY’ is their utmost priority, and that they have provided 8 airbags in their S-class. Then why after such a big collision only one airbag opened and that too of left side where there was no major hit? Is selling the car more important than ensuring the security of it? We do not know what the ‘S’ in the name S-Class stand for, but its definitely not SAFETY.
Thanks for sharing these photos! This new C63 AMG looks beautiful!