Looks promising, but can it perform equally as good? Does it 'dance' too much like its predecessor?
Photos by Azfar Hashim
There is so much to like about Mercedes-Benz AMG division’s latest rocket: And I would like to begin by saying just how aesthetically faultless it is with all the AMG kits and addenda.
Front bumper with extra large air intakes? Lovely. Bulges on the bonnet? Aggressive. Pronounced shoulder lines and wide wheel arches at every corner? Striking, yes. Detailed rear bumper for better aerodynamics? Good for warning clueless tailgaters. Four exhaust tips? Means business for sure. Big wheels? Yummy…
Then we come to the cabin. This car definitely shouts ‘s-p-o-r-t-y’ at first glance: Flat-bottomed, semi leather/alcantara steering wheel, carbon-fibre inserts on the center console, huggable and supportive pair of sport seats for driver and front passenger and red seatbelts to sum it all up. And this being the top-of-the-line C-Class, how can you forget the IWC Schaffhausen clock that’s sure to be a conversation starter? Oh, I almost forgot to mention the premium Burmester sound system.
So there you have it, Mercedes pulling all the stops they possibly could. They’ve thrown all the good stuff into this one car, and that’s quite amazing; or to use the current lingo loosely mentioned among young people half my age, ‘amazeballs’.
All that said, what’s highly important about the C63 S is of course its heart. Nestled under the bonnet is a glorious 4.0-litre bi-turbo’d V8 engine, and paired to a quick shifting 7-speed AMG Speedshift MCT 'box, what you get is 503 bhp worth of whack and 700 Nm maximum torque. And that’s definitely a lot for a car that weighs less than 1.8-tonnes.
It gets to 100 km/h from standstill in only four seconds – four seconds in the real world, but according to my mere butt feel, it probably took about 0.9 seconds instead. Yes I'm exaggerating here, but to look at it another way, that’s how massively quick this car is. The traction control system also does a great job of putting all that power down, preventing any sort of unnecessary wheel spin; hence if you want to ‘fumigate’ the neighbourhood, you have to switch off the traction control off totally.
Like a buffet menu, you can also personalise how you want the car to behave
For a first timer, the way it lurches forward may come across as, well, scary; definitely more intense than in BMW’s M4 Coupe. But as you get used to it, there will be that one particular moment where you can’t help but just be amazed at this car’s capability at covering grounds. Select Sport or Sport+ for more immediate throttle and steering response, along with aggressive exhaust note plus transmission character. There is Race mode as well, but as I’ve discovered, there’s barely any use for daily drives; best reserved for track days, this.
Handling is surprisingly another of the car’s forte. Contrary to most belief, for a 500+ bhp rear-wheel drive coupe, you can actually take corners fast without any fear of the rear snapping and throwing you into a drift; unless you’re in Sport+ which allows you to be more playful, that is. Particularly in Sport, you get good feedback and feel from the steering wheel and traction is constantly in check. Which means this car can definitely scare hot-hatches who underestimated how serious this car is, in every front.
Oh yes, the brakes are equally serious; those six-piston front/four-piston rear shave off speed brilliantly and during imaginary track days, allows you to brake late confidently. Not that I’m encouraging, but, you know…
In another twist, the C63 S can behave in a sedate manner. In Comfort, it drives along the expressway in a comfortable manner, just like in a C 200 – cabin is well insulated against wind and engine noise, and uneven road surfaces (read: KPE and MCE) are ironed out without drama; but due to the low-profiled Continental ContiSportContact6 rubbers, temporary metal grates and pothole ridden roads do throw the car off.
In a nutshell, the C63 S AMG Coupe is an everyday sports car that is luxuriously packaged but is mental at the same time. If you want to go places fast but without having to show up with a creased shirt, this is the perfect car for you. On top of that, you could keep up with your Ferrari/McLaren/Lambo driving friends during those cross-country convoys up North.
I call this 'The-buttons-of-happiness' area
(I’ve also lost count the number of times I’ve used the word ‘amaze’ in this review…)
Even adults can get comfy at the rear
Paddle-shifters feels solid and a joy to use
Supportive and huggable seats - comfortable even for daily use