Stiffer springs and a locking rear diff make C63 a track star

Our Verdict

AMG has gone all out to make the C63 a true driver's car

The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is a thunderous V8 super-saloon. It's fast, aggressive and beautifully built

  • First Drive

    Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe

    Effortless performance with a fittingly deep baritone growl that fully befits its muscle car brief
  • First Drive

    Mercedes C63 AMG

    A successful upgrade of an already outstanding hot saloon

What is it?

It’s Mercedes’ 451bhp C63 AMG, with a bit extra. AMG’s Performance Pack doesn’t actually turn up the sensational V8’s volume at all, though; the extras are all added elsewhere.

For £3210 you get new springs (10 per cent stiffer), composite brakes, aluminium trim, a leather/Alcantara steering wheel and, most notably, a locking rear differential.

What’s it like?

Well, the rear diff and springs do a great job, endowing the C63 with levels of traction and lateral grip that regular AMG pilots may not be accustomed to.

You will have to try very hard to unstick the C63, and even if you do, the diff will make sure that things have progressively enough for you to cope. The brakes have terrific stopping power, too, and decent pedal feel.

The best bits of the C-class’s cabin remain, including fantastic bucket seats, and the AMG steering wheel is a delight to hold.

Now, the downsides: the diff is a tad noisy (its whine becomes intrusive after a while) and the trade-off for that rigid chassis is a ride that borders on uncomfortable; it tramlines a bit, too.

Our test car was fitted with optional 19in wheels, though, so we’d ask for a test drive on 18-inchers before dismissing the suspension.

Should I buy one?

The C63 AMG is a strong enough package on its own, so dabbling with it demands serious consideration. The peachiest element of this package, in mechanical terms, is the diff, which is available as a separate option.

That means you’re left spending a sizeable supplement for springs that are potentially too harsh for B-roads, the brakes and that admittedly delectable steering wheel. It would be folly, but we’ve encountered far worse ones.


Join the debate


12 August 2008

Why does AMG insist with these after-market peripherals that are only ripping off the purist Mercedes fan from his/her hard earned cash instead of offering them as standard?

I haven't had the chance to drive the C63 yet but everything I've read here and elsewhere suggest that it's more than a fine driving machine so why doesn't Mercedes just offer the diff as standard and make it a great driving machine?...I'm just fed up with all the added packages AMG seems to think people need! For starters you have the 'regular' 63 AMG which is fine and for another £3500 or so (not sure) I think there's a driver's package - which is also fine because as long as the manufacturer is willing to give its customers the proper tools to get the best performance out of their machines, then so be it. I mean Audi have their Plus division, BMW M have their CSL cars, Jaguar and Porsche also have 'R' and 'RS'' respectively so why shouldn't AMG have one of their own.

And they's called the Black Series but before you get there, they have silly pointless pit-stops after the driver's package. Like for example a competition package which removes the speed limiter, adds a little more carbon fibre, slightly bigger bolstered seats and in the SLK gives you a flat-bottomed steering wheel!!

Come on, stop being so tight and have these as standard for a smaller premium over the regular car because if you don't you then end up with a very decent car but as in the CLK 63 AMG Black series' case, is nowhere near its bang-for-your-buck at £100,000! For that most people would rather have a Porsche 911 GT3 for the track and £20,000 left over.

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