Flagship performance C-class gets new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine and goes on sale this month
22 September 2014

Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance car division has given the new C63 super-saloon its first public at the Paris motor show.

The BMW M3 rival will be offered with a similar power output to the company’s recently unveiled GT sports car, with which it effectively shares its engine, when it arrives in UK dealerships early next year. Customers will, however, be able to place orders for the new C63 from this month.

The new car, officially named the Mercedes-AMG C63, will begin being delivered in saloon guise from February and in estate form from April, with sleeker coupé and cabriolet variants planned for introduction by the end of next year as part of a four-strong model line-up.

Read our review on the brutally fast Mercedes-AMG C 63

The C63 is the second model to adopt AMG’s new twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, which receives a fresh M177 codename in this latest incarnation owing to a lack of dry sump oil scavenging among other detail changes that differentiate it from the M178-designated unit used by the GT.

In line with the recent new model strategy at AMG, the 4.0-litre unit is being offered in two differing outputs, depending on model.

In keeping with the downsizing trend evident across the Mercedes-Benz line-up of late, the new engine gives away a considerable 2226cc in swept volume to the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre engine that has powered the C63 since its introduction in 2007. Despite this, AMG’s latest model packs more power and torque than its direct predecessor.

In the new C63, the M177 engine delivers 469bhp at 5500rpm and 479lb ft between 1750 and 6250rpm – respective 18bhp and 37lb ft increases on the old model’s peaks of 451bhp and 442lb ft.  

With added turbocharger boost pressure, the downsized AMG engine endows the new C63 S with an even more potent 503bhp at the same 5500rpm, along with 516lb ft from 1750 to 6250rpm, giving it 23bhp and 74lb ft more than the old C63 equipped with the optional Performance Package. It is also more than the previous limited volume C63 Edition 507, which had 500bhp and 450lb ft.

By comparison, its keenest four-door performance rival, the newly introduced fifth-generation BMW M3, offers 425bhp at 5500rpm and 405lb ft from its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine. Among the five-door estate competition is the Audi RS4 Avant, whose naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 delivers 444bhp and 317lb ft.

With a kerb weight some 15kg below that of its predecessor at 1640kg in saloon guise, the new C63’s power-to-weight ratio has risen by 14bhp per tonne over its direct predecessor to 286bhp per tonne.

The C63 S saloon tips the scales at the same kerb weight as the old model, at 1655kg, giving it an even sharper 304bhp per tonne, or 14bhp more than the car it replaces.

Channelling the sturdy reserves to the rear wheels is an updated version of AMG’s seven-speed Speedshift MCT automatic gearbox.

Combined with remote steering wheel-mounted aluminium shift paddles, it offers the driver the choice of up to five different modes via a so-called AMG Dynamic Select programme: C (controlled efficiency), S (sport), S+ (sport plus) and, exclusively in the C63 S, R (race).

An additional manual mode can be accessed via the shift paddles, although the gearbox is programmed to revert back to full automatic operation for improved fuel economy savings.

AMG’s official performance claims reveal that the C63 saloon has taken a significant step forward in terms of straight-line speed with a 0-62mph time that undercuts its predecessor by 0.4sec, at just 4.1sec – the same figure BMW quotes for its latest M3 in automatic form.

In estate guise the new C63 hits the traditional acceleration benchmark in a claimed 4.2sec – some 0.5sec inside the time Audi claims for the RS4 Avant. The C63 S is marginally quicker, with respective times of 4.0sec and 4.1sec for the saloon and estate. The top speed for all models is limited to 155mph.

Despite early rumours suggesting that AMG would follow the example of the latest E63 and S63 by providing the new C63 with optional 4Matic four-wheel drive, it is not available on the launch models.

As well as establishing lofty new performance benchmarks, the new C63 also boasts class-leading economy, according to Mercedes-Benz’s official claims. Combined cycle fuel consumption has improved by 11.0mpg over the outgoing model to 34.5mpg, allied to average CO2 emissions of 192g/km. The C63 S is marginally thirstier with figures of 33.6mpg and 195g/km.

The C63 rides on a heavily upgraded version of the standard C-class suspension, complete with three-stage adaptive damping as part of AMG’s Sport Ride Control system.

Among the detail changes over its standard sibling is a wider front track, unique rear wheel bearings offering greater negative camber for improved traction, firmer springs and dampers, altered bushing and a 25mm reduction in ride height.

In a move mirroring that of the GT, the standard C63 receives a mechanical locking differential, while the C63 S gets a more responsive electronically controlled locking differential.

As is now common place on AMG models, the electronic stability control system offers three settings: ESP On, Sport handling mode and ESP off.  

The car’s exterior sports plenty of AMG styling cues. Included is a unique front bumper housing a trio of large air ducts and a reworked grille sporting a small AMG insignia. The front wings are subtly widened and receive indents behind the wheel arches with V8 BiTurbo badges mounted on either side. The sills have also been beefed up. 

The C63 rides on standard 8.5x18in front and 9.5x18in rear 10-spoke alloy wheels shod with 245/40 front and 265/40 rear rubber. The C63 S sports larger 8.5x19in front and 9.5x19in rear wheels in a five-spoke design with 245/35 front and 265/35 tyres.

Inside, the standard C-class front seats have been replaced by a set of thinly padded AMG sports seats as well as a flat-bottomed multi-function AMG steering wheel, unique instrument graphics, stainless steel-faced pedals and AMG-specific trims.

Optional upgrades include carbon-ceramic brake discs and a performance exhaust system which features a flap that opens in three steps dependant on the gearbox mode the driver chooses.  

Pricing is yet to be revealed, though it will remain under £60,000, meaning only a small increase over the £58,475 of today’s car. The estate will command a premium of around £1000, while the more potent S versions will cost around £6000 more than the standard specification models. 

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jer

23 September 2014

I want an estate, close to perfect all rounder, still think real world mpg will be nearer 23.

24 September 2014

...estate looks stunning. Lovely colour too.

Just need to hear it now.


24 September 2014

I wouldn't necessarily call the latest M3/M4 under-powered, but their power and performance advantages over their predecessors aren't great. But more telling for the M3/M4 is that the power and performance difference between it and the M135i/M235i, which has the same engine, is not huge and that's more telling when the smaller car is only a M-Perfomance model. If BMW decided to do a full-blown M version of the 1 and 2 Series, life for the M3/M4 would be very comfortable, especially with the probable huge price differences. Mercedes seems to have delivered a performance model with the expected amount of power for the class and I'm sure Audi will follow suit too with the next RS4. I know power isn't the ultimate expression of a performance car, but it's still a key factor and when you consider the advantage the M5 has over the previous model, BMW's marginal increases with the M3/M4 looks a tad baffling.

24 September 2014
Lanehogger wrote:

BMW's marginal increases with the M3/M4 looks a tad baffling.

Agreed, especially given that the RS4/5 and old C63 were each putting out 450bhp or so long before the M3/M4 launch.

However, there is quite a price differential building up between the Beemer and the Merc: an M3 lists for around £55k, the C63S is apparently going to be £65k. Yes, you can easily spec the M3's price up to £60k, but I'm sure you can add a fair few grand to the AMG too. That could put the C63 into the same bracket as a 911 for some purchasers. And let's face it, the majority of people who are in the market for this sort of car aren't going to buy the "second-best" version: if I had enough money for the C63, I'd work a little harder to get enough for the C63S.

I'm sure that leaves room for an M3 CSL/CS/GT with a chunk more power for a few grand more cash to close any perceived performance gap - after all, if Merc are going to do a two-tier super-saloon thing...

I'm sure this Merc will be a great car, and hopefully they'll have kept most of that NASCAR soundtrack intact, but it's styling is leaving me a bit cold - it doesn't look special enough - and I think the price is possibly getting a bit silly too.

24 September 2014

All those pictures and not one of the back seats of boot...

doh

24 September 2014

A 4.0 twin turbo, and it only pumps out 503bhp in its most potent form? An engine of that size and tune is equivalent to a 6.0 NA or a supercharged 5.0 of similar state of tunes, but you'd expect somewhere in the region of 550bhp upwards. Just look at the supercharged 5.0 V8 in the Jaguar XFR-S for example, that produces 542bhp, or the 3.8 turbo in the McLaren 650S which produces just over 600bhp. It seems Mercedes don't have the capability or engineering knowhow to deliver more from this engine. The R version of the XE will match this C63 on power and performance, but from a smaller, but more efficient engine, such is Jaguar's engineering prowess.

24 September 2014
Saucerer wrote:

A 4.0 twin turbo, and it only pumps out 503bhp in its most potent form? An engine of that size and tune is equivalent to a 6.0 NA or a supercharged 5.0 of similar state of tunes, but you'd expect somewhere in the region of 550bhp upwards. Just look at the supercharged 5.0 V8 in the Jaguar XFR-S for example, that produces 542bhp, or the 3.8 turbo in the McLaren 650S which produces just over 600bhp. It seems Mercedes don't have the capability or engineering knowhow to deliver more from this engine. The R version of the XE will match this C63 on power and performance, but from a smaller, but more efficient engine, such is Jaguar's engineering prowess.

24 September 2014
Saucerer wrote:

A 4.0 twin turbo, and it only pumps out 503bhp in its most potent form? An engine of that size and tune is equivalent to a 6.0 NA or a supercharged 5.0 of similar state of tunes, but you'd expect somewhere in the region of 550bhp upwards. Just look at the supercharged 5.0 V8 in the Jaguar XFR-S for example, that produces 542bhp, or the 3.8 turbo in the McLaren 650S which produces just over 600bhp. It seems Mercedes don't have the capability or engineering knowhow to deliver more from this engine. The R version of the XE will match this C63 on power and performance, but from a smaller, but more efficient engine, such is Jaguar's engineering prowess.

This is one of the most stupidest things I've read in a while. You really are a prize knob!

24 September 2014
Saucerer wrote:

A 4.0 twin turbo, and it only pumps out 503bhp in its most potent form? An engine of that size and tune is equivalent to a 6.0 NA or a supercharged 5.0 of similar state of tunes, but you'd expect somewhere in the region of 550bhp upwards. Just look at the supercharged 5.0 V8 in the Jaguar XFR-S for example, that produces 542bhp, or the 3.8 turbo in the McLaren 650S which produces just over 600bhp. It seems Mercedes don't have the capability or engineering knowhow to deliver more from this engine. The R version of the XE will match this C63 on power and performance, but from a smaller, but more efficient engine, such is Jaguar's engineering prowess.

Unbelievable! I've never read such drivel!

This 3,982cc twin-turbo V8 is essentially two of the 1,991cc single-turbo four-pots from smaller Mercs, and that engine delivers 355bhp and 450Nm of torque in the A45AMG. So in theory, the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in this should easily deliver 710bhp and 900Nm of torque without going beyond what's already been done.

24 September 2014

I'm bored with 500hp saloons. A 500hp Sprinter might be fun.

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