Accomplished super-saloon — but the changes aren’t worth the extra over a regular C 63
Matt Burt
9 August 2010

What is it?

Where do you go next when you’re already in the realm of saloons with the thick end of 500bhp?

Exclusivity. That’s precisely the tactic being employed by Mercedes, whose DR520 – an uprated version of the C 63 AMG – is being offered in a run of just 20 cars. And if you want one you’ll have to go to Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands, because its Specialist Vehicles division came up with the idea and it’s the only dealer that will sell you one.

You’ll need deep pockets, because at £62,430 the DR520 costs a full £9995 more than a regular C 63 AMG. For that you get an uprated engine with forged pistons, new connecting rods and a revised crankshaft, producing 513bhp and 479lb ft – an increase of 59bhp and 37lb ft.

Mercedes also throws in a matt paint finish (black or white), a carbonfibre boot spoiler, matt-finish front grille, bespoke alloy wheels, Alcantara sports seats and dash, and AMG’s Performance steering wheel – clad, naturally, in Nappa leather and yet more Alcantara.

What's it like?

On the road the DR520 feels as rapid as you might expect – but not day-and-night quicker than a regular C 63. The 6.2-litre V8 remains a peach, despite the mods, and its soundtrack is considerably more appealing than a BMW M3’s. Merc’s seven-speed automatic transmission just about avoids getting in the way of fun, too.

The DR520 has improved body control and a little more crispness on turn-in than the regular car. It’s a modest gain, but one that appears to have been achieved without too many sacrifices in ride quality.

The DR520 is stiff, but not unacceptably so for something with this car’s high-performance credentials. The fabulously supportive seats play their part, too, holding you firmly in place on B-roads but keeping you comfortable enough on motorways.

Should I buy one?

This is a compelling, rapid saloon, then, with an astonishing engine and a capable chassis. But the trouble is, so is the regular C 63 AMG. All of the DR520s will find customers, I’ve no doubt of that. But the smart money will be divvied up thus: £53k on a regular C 63 AMG and £10k on fuel.


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Mercedes-AMG C 63 DR520

Price: £62,430; Top speed: 187mph; 0-62mph: 4.1sec; Economy: 21.1mpg; CO2: 319g/km; Kerb weight: 1730kg; Engine: V8, 6208cc, petrol; Power: 513bhp at 6800rpm; Torque: 479lb ft at 5000rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd auto

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11 August 2010

I think this car is just about good value. The mechanical upgrades are exactly the same as a standard car with the performance package plus (a £5K option) and AMG 19" wheels (an extra £1490 over the standard car). So for the extra £3500 over a PPP version of the standard car with AMG wheels, you get 33HP, 36LB/FT, an extra 37MPH, 0-62 in 4.1 plays 4.4 (we are talking GT3 levels of acceleration and we now have a C-Class that will break the 4s 0-60mph - think 3.9s for 0-60), a fully bespoke alcantara interior and of course the exclusivity of only 19 other cars on the road the same as yours. £3500 has never been such good value!!

I always prefered the C63 to the M3 (even though I know the M3 is ever so slightly dynamically superior), but the C63 just gives a nicer, more exclusive feeling and that crazy engine. Also, I wouldn't sink my money into an M3 as it depreciates a lot quicker and there are far too many on the road for exclusivity.

Just don't mention the Nissan GTR for the same price, as that's a different story!

11 August 2010

Hard one to judge this. It offers E63 power in a smaller lighter car and is £10k less than the E-Class, but it offers more power than the regular C63 but for an extra £10k.

11 August 2010

Can't agree that the C63 depreciates slower than the M3, I wouldn't say there's much in it all, judging by advertised prices. The worst depreciator I ever had was a C32 AMG, some very bad memories of getting out of that car after 2 years ownership.

12 August 2010

[quote CAT3]I think this car is just about good value.[/quote]

Absolutely - especially when you look at the price of regular Merc options. 10k will not actually buy you that much out of the options book in any German car. That said though the base car really is very very good

13 August 2010

The reason I'd choose this is because it unblocks the artificial restrictions MB have put on the standard C63. All this "modification" does is allow the engine to produce the same power it does in other cars (E63, CL63, S63, etc.). It's one of my pet hates when a manufacturer strangles an engine to produce lower output for marketing reasons.

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