What is it?
Welcome to Italy, and an AMG launch. The sun is baking a tagliatelle-esque stretch of Tarmac that’s snaking along the coast, and what bonanza of Affalterbach brutality is awaiting us? The all-new - and that’s a truism for once, as there’s never been one before – C-Class Cabriolet; specifically, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Cabriolet.
It completes a quartet that includes saloon, estate and coupe, and like them, comes in two flavours: the 479bhp C63 or the full-fat C 63 S that we’re in. We hear so much about cars with enormous power outputs these days that it's easy to become desensitised to them, so let’s contemplate the C 63 S's stats for a moment: it makes 503bhp and 516lb ft from its bi-turbo V8, which propels this two-tonne drop-top to the magic 62mph in 4.1secs. This is a four-seater convertible remember, and that’s Porsche Carrera GT territory. Well, almost.
The mechanicals are familiar. Two turbos nestle between the cylinder heads in a set-up AMG calls a ‘hot inside V’, to aid throttle response, they say. Power goes through a seven-speed MCT gearbox; effectively this is a conventional automatic with planetary gears, but using a multi-plate wet clutch instead of a torque converter. At the rear there's an electronic differential that ousts the mechanical diff used in the standard C 63 Cabriolet. The S also comes with a sports exhaust, while both versions get brawnier looks thanks to wider tracks that necessitate flared arches.