Were you to sit blindfolded in the driving seats of both a regular C-Class Coupé and a C63, and then attempt to figure out which was which on touch alone, the microfibre-clad steering wheel and firmer, torso-hugging seats would give the AMG away in an instant.

Past these points of immediate contact, though, the two very different strains of C-Class remain largely identical in terms of their interior topography. Three circular air vents sit just below a dashtop-mounted screen, and the central fascia still houses the controls for the climate controls and shortcut buttons for navigating the infotainment. The rotary control wheel for the infotainment also remains where it was, positioned just behind a large storage compartment on the transmission tunnel.

Simon Davis

Simon Davis

Road tester
Digital cockpit has a pair of controls between the steering wheel spokes. The ability to adjust every changeable dynamic parameter on the fly is useful

The C63 S Coupé comes equipped with Mercedes’ older Comand infotainment set-up, only with a new 10.25in display replacing the old 8.4in unit, and a high-resolution 12.3in digital cockpit instead of traditional analogue dials.

Satellite navigation, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all included as standard, and it uses a layout that has won plaudits before. Ergonomically speaking it works well enough today, although it is beginning to feel in need of a comprehensive update to the overall architecture.

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Maps aren’t quite as detailed as they are on newer systems, and there’s a more noticeable amount of lag when switching between menus – particularly on start up. That said, the new 12.3in digital cockpit is clear and easy to read and easily customisable thanks to touch-sensitive thumb pads on the steering wheel.

Our test car came equipped with the £2595 Premium Plus package, which, among features such as a 360-degree surround view parking camera and panoramic glass sunroof, adds an excellent Burmester surround sound system. Not that you’ll tire of the V8 soundtrack, of course.

It’s a cabin impressive for the richness of its materials, if only sporadically. The Alcantara-like covering on the steering wheel immediately transfers a sense of the C63’s performance pedigree to the palms of your hands, but the quality of the plastic switchgear doesn’t always befit that of an upmarket, near-£80,000 car. The Artico false leather on the dashtop and doors was also a particular point of contention for our testers, who felt the C63’s asking price at least warranted genuine leather as standard.

Of course, while the coupé bodystyle comes with considerably more kerb appeal than the saloon or estate, it’s never going to be quite as practical. We measured 800mm of head room and 650mm of leg room in the second row, which will be enough for children if not quite enough for an adult to sit comfortably (or to access, for that matter). Its 355-litre boot is reasonably spacious, but at 455 litres the BMW M4’s is even more accommodating.

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