Currently reading: New York motor show 2011: Merc C63 AMG coupe
Mercedes' new hardcore AMG coupe will aim to outgun BMW’s M3 coupé and the Audi RS5

Mercedes is aiming to outgun BMW’s M3 coupé and the Audi RS5 with this hardcore AMG version of its recently launched two-door C-class.

The C63 AMG coupé produces up to 480bhp from its normally aspirated V8 motor, putting it well clear of its two German rivals and giving the model raw acceleration that wouldn’t disgrace a mid-engined supercar.

Unlike the recent CLS AMG, the C-class coupé from Mercedes’ in-house tuning division sticks with the familiar 6.2-litre, normally aspirated V8 engine. In the latest spec, the unit produces 451bhp and 443lb ft, more power and considerably more torque than the BMW (295lb ft) or the Audi (317lb ft). That’s enough to take the C-class from 0-62mph in 4.5sec, with a limited top speed of 155mph.

See official pics of the Merc C63 AMG coupe - now with New York show pics

However, Mercedes will also offer an AMG Performance Package for the car, swapping the front brakes for composite items, adding interior flourishes and adopting the pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft from the version of the engine used in the gullwing SLS AMG supercar. The tweaks increase power to 480bhp (torque stays the same), cutting a further 0.1sec from the 0-62mph time.

Just one transmission is available: AMG’s seven-speed Speedshift automatic. It offers a number of modes, accessed via a rotary controller (another SLS AMG carryover), that cut shift times to as little as 100ms. There’s also launch control.

The C63 AMG coupé gets a different chassis set-up from the regular two-doors, with three-link front suspension, multi-link rear suspension and wider track at both ends. There’s also more negative camber, thicker anti-roll bars and revised spring and damper rates.

Read Autocar's first drive of the new Mercedes C-class

The visual cues include an AMG front splitter, LED daytime running lights, side air vents, five-spoke AMG alloy wheels, bespoke side sill panels, a rear diffuser and twin chrome exhaust tips.

Interior features include an AMG performance steering wheel (coated in Alcantara if you specify the Performance Package), metallic trim, AMG sports seats, covered with a new breathable man-made fibre called Dinamica, and piano black finish on the instrument panel.

The C63 AMG coupé will be officially launched in July, around a month after the regular two-doors. Final prices have yet to be specified, but expect them to be around the same figure as the M3 coupé’s £57,190 sticker.

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