The car rides with insouciant mastery of the road surface
The car rides with insouciant mastery of the road surface

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé, car review: Magnificent car proves cubic inches aren't everything

The new engine may be smaller – but unlike the big old lump, it’s packing twin turbos

John Calne,Autocar
Monday 23 November 2015 13:44
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A 4.0-litre engine is less than 65% of the size of a 6.2-litre engine. So when you learn that that’s what’s happened to the new C63 S Coupé, you may be concerned for its welfare.

Don’t fret, though. The new engine may be smaller – but unlike the big old lump, it’s packing twin turbos. Enter stage right a 503bhp, 516lb cornucopia of thrills.

Like the engine itself, the whole of the transmission is simply superb

There’s a less powerful version too, but we’ve got the S model here and it’s the funky one. Not that either is slow, but if you’re going to do a thing you might as well do it right.

Mercedes C63 S Coupé

  • On sale: Now
  • Price: £68,070
  • Engine: V8, 3982cc, twin-turbocharged, petrol
  • Power: 503bhp at 5500-6250rpm
  • Torque: 516lb ft at 1750-5500rpm
  • Kerbweight: 1800kg
  • Gearbox: 7spd automatic
  • 0-60mph: 3.9sec
  • Top speed: 155mph (limited)
  • Economy: 32.8mpg (combined)
  • CO2/tax band: 200g/km, 35%

As well as a chunk more power and torque, the S gets a smarter diff. Downstream of AMG’s latest seven-speed dual-clutcher is an electronic locker which Merc says operates faster than the mechanical unit in the less powerful car.

Like the engine itself, the whole of the transmission is simply superb. Whichever mode you choose, it changes gear with a speed and precision that can both be described as razor-sharp, and the diff provides a level of grip that feels both enormous and natural.

The new engine lets you make the most of it all, and how. With those two turbos at its shoulder, it sends you surging up the rev range on an irresistible swell of torque. It makes crushing acceleration feel thoroughly matter-of-fact – though if you want to add some spice to the mix, an assault on the rev limiter will reward your eardrums with a noise that smacks of angry predators as you leap forward like a pouncing beast.

You needn’t fear anything as vulgar as being denied your creature comforts

Its handling’s right on the money, too. It rides with insouciant mastery of the road surface, soaking up everything in Comfort mode yet still responding like a good coupé should. Or crank up the dial and it’ll turn itself into a full-on track warrior, all focus and intent.

Not that there’s anything of the stripped-out trackday weapon to it. This is a luxury performance car whose weight has actually grown from the old 6.2-litre days, so you needn’t fear anything as vulgar as being denied your creature comforts.

It changes gear with a speed and precision that can both be described as razor-sharp

The C63 Coupé joins saloon and estate versions of the same package in the Mercedes-AMG line-up, and does rather a nice job of completing the trio. It’s a magnificent car in its own right – and it’ll go down in history as the C-Class which proved that actually, there IS a substitute for cubic inches after all…

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