The new Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupes just debuted online — and have rocketed from the bottom of the AMG desirability charts to bang near the top.
The very ancient-feeling CLK has been run into the hills; the villagers are too distracted by its icky design to appreciate even the Clarkson-approved Black Series lately. Even the CLK name betrayed its old-Merc place in the product lineup.
So the biggest new update is a full name change: Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG becomes the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe.
And that just starts a massive mudslide of changes for the all-new platform, powertrain and tech suite.
The top C63-S makes 510 horsepower via a class-exclusive twin turbo V8 engine for a 100kph sprint of 3.9-seconds. Both stats beat the RC-F-matching 467HP of the base C63 Coupe and handily top the standard M4 on ponies and sprint speed.
The M4 GTS for 2016 may top the C63 on the power charts, but expect it to be short-lived reign before the pony war ratchets up again.
Some big style changes versus the C300 4Matic Coupe are visible instantly, with a full dip in gloss black for the A-wing intake, glasshouse and rear diffuser/trunklip spoilers. A longer AMG hood with power bulges ups the aggression of the C63 Coupe nicely, but the real action happens in the fenders. Following the grand widebody tradition, the C63 Coupe has wider front and rear wings — both jumping out about an inch proud of the C300 Coupe.
While mild changes by the ruler, the style is vastly upgrades thanks to more shape in the bodysides. This helps all angles from the front to look more intense and much pricier than any other C-Class. In profile and from the rear quarter angles, the big fender extensions are gorgeous. They banish the lux-cruiser look of the C300 Coupe almost completely by the time you hit the tail angles. Squared quad pipes with active bellow-maker flaps, the S63 Coupe-like taillamps and macho trunk lines are all seriously sexy. They have a very different, and still more plush look, than the M4 and RC-F — but all three now banish the RS5 from Audi to deep afterthought.
A chopped wheelbase versus the C-Class sedan promises more incisive turn-in response for all the Coupes. This new AMG will be a full tail-out madman, though, thanks to its exclusively rear-drive layout. This is a big different versus the standard (rear-biased) 4Matic AWD on most new US AMG’s for 2016. Along with the S65 AMG and SL65 AMG, only the twin-turbo V12 has so far also avoided the AWD guillotine. (As devils advocate, 4Matic has made the E63 etc SOOO FAST and controlled at all times, they make stellar use of their power. This is a big advancement and doesn’t harm the cars’ fun, flickable steering and tail-out manners on command.)
Rear-drive certainly has its merits, however, especially in the drift-master supercoupe market segment. This segment is all about supercar power in streetcar clothes. Mastering and deploying the hugely oversized engines on a work commute is one of the thrills of owning an RC-F or M4, after all. So the driver challenge element is a selling point for RWD, as is the more-pure performance dynamic. On true track battles, we can almost see German’s scoffing at AWD on the Audi’s as cheating.
Wider rubber all around lives within those flared arches, delivering more grip than you might expect thanks to max rubber widths up to 255-series in front and 285-series rubber in back.
A limited-slip differential, AMG Dynamic Selections, Race modes and AMG Rode Control promise a razor-edge controllability of the new C63’s power and speed.
A redesigned suspension is specially tailored to the Coupe to deliver more control in true 10/10ths driving. Same for the active engine mounts: these firm up rock hard around corners and in sport modes to make the car feel sharp on Speedshift upchanges, around corners and for hard launches.Similarly, the dynamic engine mounts can chill out with more flex in comfort mode. These active engine mounts are shared with the C63 sedan in one of their first outings in an AMG. The tech is night and day for the precision throttle feel in the Porsche 911, so another promising class exclusive for the C63.
But what will really move some CFRP from showrooms? The giant engine torque, soulful exhaust bellow and stop/stare design beauty. Pricing and arrival timeframes stateside? No hints yet. We’d put a base price on $62,000 on the predeiction board, with USA sales starting around March of 2016. Loaded like this Driver’s Pack C63 S-Model? A $75k sticker seems likely.
So, friends and colleagues: let us bid adieu to the CLK.
Long live the new C63-S Coupe!
2017 Mercedes-AMG C63-S Coupe