The best sporting car Mercedes has made in recent history

Our Verdict

Mercedes-AMG C 63 2011-2015
AMG has gone all out to make the C 63 a true driver's car

The Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG is a thunderous V8 super-saloon. It's fast, aggressive and beautifully built

  • First Drive

    Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé

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

    Mercedes-AMG C 63

    A successful upgrade of an already outstanding hot saloon

What is it?

It’s Stuttgart’s latest AMG offering, the Mercedes C 63 AMG saloon. Armed with 451bhp and 443lb ft it’s got a clear power advantage over its nearest rivals, and we’ve already driven it twice; once back in June, when Greg Kable called it “the most entertaining Mercedes since the 190 2.5 Evo,” and once six weeks later, when it seriously impressed Chris Harris.

Chris came away for the International launch of the new Mercedes C 63 AMG feeling very positively about this new Benz super saloon, but this is our first chance to try it in the UK. So will it seem as great in right-hand drive, on our own brand of bitumen?

What’s it like?

I was on the international launch of this car, and the first impression is that without the trick adjustable dampers fitted to Autocar’s launch car, the C 63 treads a touch more firmly than its BMW counterpart, or for that matter the RS4. It’s not so hard as to dent its otherwise impressive cruising capabilities, at least not on the standard 18” wheels fitted here. Lateral instrusions cause the biggest worry though, with the occasional thud, but even these don’t intrude too far into the cabin, and this aside the damping is well judged.

As impressive as the outright performance – with 451bhp from a 6.2-litre V8, it’s not exactly lacking – is the accessibility. Whatever speed you’re doing, in whatever gear, full throttle summons a sledgehammer of torque, 369lb ft anywhere between 2000 and 6250rpm and if you happen to be near 5000rpm the full 443lb ft.

But there’s a lot more to this car than a mighty engine and effortless cruising credentials. As we’ve chronicled all year, the C-Class is blessed with the sort of handling balance that vindicates a preference for rear-wheel drive cars, and the C 63’s considerable extra poke has done nothing to upset this.

On the road the turn-in is keen and controlled via a natural, feelsome steering now complete with a chunky DTM style wheel and a quick 2.5 turns. It’s at the track that things turn considerably more interesting, for even without the optional limited slip differential, the C 63 is happy to wag its tail with the best of them.

Despite carrying really rather serious speeds, the C’s is so remarkably well balanced it positively encourages you to push harder, without harbouring any nasty surprises.

Should I buy one?

Since first twisting the key I’ve changed my mind six times. C 63 or M3? Simple question, very tricky to answer.

Admittedly, our reception to the new M3, has been slightly luke warm, but that’s more to do with the high expectations we set for a new M product rather than any deficiency, for make no mistake the new M3 remains a superb enthusiast’s car. That the new Mercedes C 63 AMG runs the M3 so close, is perhaps, all you need to know – this is easily the best sporting car Mercedes has made in recent history.

If it were a V8 M3 CSL things would be much more straightforward, but its not, not yet. So for its bigger punch, meaner character, better steering and practically-as-good chassis I’ll give it to the Mercedes, at least until I change my mind again.

Jamie Corstorphine

Join the debate

Comments
12

29 November 2007

From the reveiw's I have been reading online, BMW has finally found some steadfast compeition from Mercedes-Benz. I think it is a long overdue achievement, after all the BMW M3 has been the performance compact sedan that other European manufacturers strive to achieve, yet have fallen far from the mark. Until recently, BMW had no compeition in this market. Audi made its debut with the S4/RS4 variants and they were remarkable cars as well. AMG did a great job with the c55 engine however its looks and handling left much to be desired. In retrospect, the C63 seems to be its response to the growing criticism. I cannot wait to see this car in the showrooms this Spring/Summer (no dates are confirmed for North American release)

Keep up the good work AutoCar

5 December 2007

Hi Autocar,

Firstly I would just like to say I love the magazine, it's great! The C63 AMG seems like a fabulous car and Mercedes really are making sure BMW don't have all the say in this segment of the market. It's also good to see the build quality is getting back to where it used to be. I have always loved coupes and am waiting with so much excitement to see what Mercedes does with the new CLK due for launch in 2008.

I have read to my disappointment that the new M3 has dreadly fuel range circa 200+ miles. I have an E92 335i and I now "just" get over 300 miles from a tank which is acceptable enough...

It is worth noting that the current CLK500 now has 388bhp and a 5.4 litre engine so I really hope Mercedes gives this engine more power, that way it will have (from what I've read) all the mechanicals of the new C class and is approximately the same price as the new M3. From looking at the spy photo's of the forthcoming car I think this car will be fabulous, especially with the amg bodykit. If Merc concentrate on building a drivers car, with more communicative steering and firm suspension then this will/could be the car that steals sales from BMW.

11 December 2007

Having driven both the RS4 and the M3 and being massivley impressed by both I still think that if it came to me parting with my own money I'd still buy one of these even without driving it.

I love the way It looks and now the Rs4 is an "old" model i wouldn't want to buy that and no matter what I couldn't buy a BMW.

2 January 2008

[quote Kee Law]

very nice car, but I still couldn't drive a mercedes. just as many think that driving a BMW makes you a photo-copier selling estate agent, if i drove a Mercedes i fear that people would think me ready to draw a pension.

[/quote]

errr thats a rather daft thing to say. I've had an M3 covertible (which got knicked), now l've got an SL 55 AMG. and trust me on this one. No one thinks l'm drawing on my pension.

26 April 2008

I've just been lucky enough to be lent (it's a long story) a C63 by Mercedes in Munich for three whole wonderful days. I cannot say enough good things about this car, it is just the best combination of effortless pootler and absolute V8 hot rod monster I have ever encountered. It has an engine note so glorious that it qualifies a music in my book & if you rev it in neutral the whole car shakes in that touring car manner.It looks absolutely fabulous and, in Munich at least, attracted a lot of admiring attention. With the drivers package fitted (which takes out the speed limiter) I maxed it at around 170mph on a derestricted autobahn with 3 people on board. I've driven the new M3 and, for me it just didn't feel as special or as joyfully a hooligan as the C63, although the interior of the mega merc could be a bit more plush for well over £50k, there was a bit too much black plastic on display on mine. But that is my only criticism, I'm totally in love and I want one!

27 April 2008

[quote Mr Angry]I've just been lucky enough to be lent (it's a long story) a C63 by Mercedes in Munich [/quote]

Tell us the story !

27 April 2008

Ok, well the story is that I earn my living managing the singer Bonnie Tyler. Last year we did a private party event for the big bosses of Mercedes Benz and after we had played I started chatting and drinking with a guy with whom I got on very well. He turned out to be the chief engineer for the S Class and his company car is the C63. I went on about how much I wanted to try one and he then said that he could fix it for me to be loaned one for a short time in Germany. Last week we had two shows in Munich with Bonnie, again a corporate event but this time for the supermarkey firm EDEKA and saince we were going to be in Munich for three days I took him up on his very kind offer and he was as good as his word and fixed the whole thing up via the main MB dealer in Munich. So thanks a lot Frank Klein, I really do owe you one!

27 April 2008

You held our for a hero till the end of the night and one came along. Super story.

27 April 2008

[quote 65 AMG]

[quote Kee Law]

very nice car, but I still couldn't drive a mercedes. just as many think that driving a BMW makes you a photo-copier selling estate agent, if i drove a Mercedes i fear that people would think me ready to draw a pension.

[/quote]

errr thats a rather daft thing to say. I've had an M3 covertible (which got knicked), now l've got an SL 55 AMG. and trust me on this one. No one thinks l'm drawing on my pension.

[/quote]

Hey - trust me on this one - we all know you've got a one inch penis.

;-)

27 April 2008

[quote 65 AMG]

[quote Kee Law]

very nice car, but I still couldn't drive a mercedes. just as many think that driving a BMW makes you a photo-copier selling estate agent, if i drove a Mercedes i fear that people would think me ready to draw a pension.

[/quote]

errr thats a rather daft thing to say. I've had an M3 covertible (which got knicked), now l've got an SL 55 AMG. and trust me on this one. No one thinks l'm drawing on my pension.

[/quote]

Hey - trust me on this one - we all know you've got a one inch penis.

;-)

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