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Road Test

Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG

by Stephen Walker

12th September, 2008

Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG 
Image copyright: Next Car Pty Ltd 
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Just to mention the term 'AMG' is enough to grab the attention of performance car enthusiasts, especially those with a leaning towards prestige performance cars.

AMG is the Mercedes-Benz 'tuner'. The company commenced operations in 1967, making it one of the 'pioneers' in the brand enhancement business.

Over the years, AMG has manufactured some real classics. One of my favourites is the 190 E 3.2 AMG from 1987. It forged itself a successful career on Europe's race tracks.

Today, AMG is an integral 'arm' of the expanding Mercedes-Benz conglomerate. AMG 'stamp' their perspective on many of the Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, including the new and highly regarded C-Class.

One of the newer AMG models to appear in Australia is the said C-Class sedan. Known as the C 63 AMG, this high performer comes equipped with a standard V8 which is anything but standard.

And it's this high performance model which is the subject of this road test.

The AMG-tuned V8 provides the driver with 336 kW of power and a whopping 600 Nm of torque. This is certainly enough to put a smile on the 'dial'. During our drive programme, we took the time to appreciate the aural symphony which is harmoniously presented at around 4,000 rpm when you kick-down and settle back to respect the 'command performance'. The symphony is short-lived though, because you rapidly reach the speed limit when you're dealing with the sort of power provided by this well-tuned 6.2 litre V8.

On the road, the rear-wheel drive C 63 AMG fits into an urban environment equally as well as it fits an open road. As indicated, the performance speaks for itself, with a nice howl when the revs are up. But around town, the exhaust note is discreet. There will never be complaints about the acceleration. Mercedes suggest 4.5 seconds is the given rate for 0 to 100 km/h. There is no need to seek verification of this figure, as I'm willing to accept it. One thing is certain, we don't test figures on public roads. But I can confirm the rate of acceleration is astonishing. The handling is excellent, the firm ride is appreciated and is gentle on the occupant's bodies. Grippy Continental tyres were fitted to the test car.

Inside, the comfy seating upfront is best descibed as cossetting. It provides a suitable ambience for such a car. Integrated head restraints are a feature of the great seating arrangements upfront. In the rear, there is room for two average sized adults. Automatic up and down is a feature of the power windows. The steering wheel position adjusts electrically, a very welcome feature.

The long list of luxury and sporty appointments includes sunroof, satellite navigation, bi-xenon headlights, heated front seats, leather seats, 3-zone automatic climate control, 450 W sound system, six airbags, folding function for exterior mirrors, light alloy wheels, electronic stability programme (ESP), seven speed automatic transmission (with paddles for those who enjoy such devices) and much more.

Fuel usage, on the combined cycle, is rated at 13.7 litres per 100 kms. The powerful C 63 AMG uses 98RON premium unleaded petrol. The fuel tank capacity is 66 litres.

The Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG is priced from $144,365 (RRP). At this price, the C-Class rocket is well-priced amongst other high performance German cars. This niche of the prestige segment is highly competitive. But only one car offers buyers a three-pointed star.

Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG 
Image copyright: Next Car Pty Ltd 
Click on the image for a larger view

As the highly respected AMG name continues its growth, Mercedes-Benz is reaping the rewards with exposure and sales. The AMG tweak of the C-Class sedan is a superb use of resources because it adds value to both AMG and the Mercedes brand in general.

Sure, the Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG looks good. The subtle, yet menacing, good looks are all part of the German way of saying 'look at me'. The styling certainly speaks loud enough to grab attention. During our brief 347 kms in and around Melbourne and the Yarra Valley, we just couldn't help but notice that we were noticed. With a discreet exhaust note, it seemed to me that only the styling could grab attention. Certainly my driving style doesn't attract attention, although I do still come to a halt at 'stop' signs.

Our only complaint with the C 63 AMG was our continual accidental knocking of the menu control button on the centre console. Either my left arm operates on 'free range' mode too often or the button is positioned oddly.

But that said, all the good things about this car make this performance car a highly desired piece of machinery. The interior comfort and ambience, together with the driving dynamics and performance are particularly pleasing. Yet the exterior is discreet.

Clearly, the Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG is all about performance and image. It's not so much a promise, it's more a guarantee. And we proved it!

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Other Mercedes-Benz content: here.

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