This is the car Mercedes-Benz’s increasingly influential AMG performance car offshoot is relying upon to steal the thunder from the likes of the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Lexus RC-F: the rapid new second-generation C63 Coupé.
Set to make its public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show prior to going on sale in the UK in January, the muscular four-seat performance coupé is powered by the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine as the recently introduced C63 saloon and estate.
In range-topping S form, the new rear-wheel-drive C63 Coupé packs 503bhp and a sturdy 516lb ft. This is 23bhp and 74lb ft more than that produced by the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 used by the first-generation C63 AMG Coupé with an optional Performance Package.
It also trumps the RS5, M4 and RC-F by 59bhp and 199lb ft, 78bhp and 111lb ft and 33bhp and 125lb ft respectively, making the new C63 S the most powerful car in its class.
According to official performance figures released by AMG, it is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 3.9sec, or some 0.4sec faster than its direct predecessor. As before, top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, although buyers can specify the new car with a so-called Driver’s Package that lifts it to 180mph.
The styling of the new C63 is significantly differentiated from standard versions of Mercedes-Benz’s second-generation C-Class Coupé. The only exterior elements shared between the two cars are the frameless doors, roof and boot lid. The remainder has been designed expressly for the new car, with front fenders extending by 64mm and rear fenders up by 66mm in width over those of its standard sibling.
The wider body has been developed to house a revised chassis featuring unique tracks both front and rear. It also permits the fitment of standard 255mm wide tyres up front and 285mm rubber at the rear. The previous model ran on 235mm front and 255mm tyres. The wheels sizes vary according to model, with the new C63 receiving 18in rims and the C63 S 19in alloys.
Typical AMG styling touches include a heavily structured front bumper with a black insert and integral front splitter, a prominent grille featuring an oversized three-pointed star emblem, 'V8 turbo' identification along the flanks, black exterior mirror housings, beefed up side sills, subtle boot deck spoiler, uniquely designed rear bumper and four trapezoidal-shaped tail pipes integrated into the rear valance and diffuser element.
Inside, there are AMG-specific instruments, controls, gear lever and trim applications, along with a flat-bottom multi-function steering wheel and sports seats. Buyers can specify more heavily contoured optional performance seats, which allow a lower seating position.
As with the latest C63 saloon and estate, the C63 Coupé will be sold with the choice of two power outputs. In standard guise its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, known under the internal codename M178, develops 469bhp and 479lb ft.
In the headlining S model, which receives dynamic engine mounts, the reserves are increased to 503bhp and 516lb ft through increased boost pressure and changes to the inlet manifold, giving it exactly the same power output but 37lb ft more torque than the Mercedes-AMG GT S.
With a kerb weight of 1725kg, the new C63 S Coupé tips the scales 70kg above its predecessor, owing mainly to its increased dimensions. But with an additional 23bhp, it offers a marginally improved power-to-weight ratio at 292bhp per tonne versus 290bhp per tonne for the old C63 Coupé with Performance Package.
Drive is channelled through AMG’s seven-speed Speedshift MCT (MultiClutch Transmission) automatic gearbox fitted with a shorter final drive than in the C63 saloon and estate. In the standard C63 Coupé it operates in combination with a mechanical locking differential, but in the C63 S it is allied to a faster reacting electronic locking differential.