Tweaked Mercedes-AMG C 63 bares its teeth
Sharper style, more gears and greater fun for updated C 63
Mercedes-AMG has revealed its updated C 63, promising an even sharper, more involving and more distinctive driver's car than before.
Available as a saloon, estate, coupe and cabriolet, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 is set to maintain its very singular appeal. While it wrestles for the same performance-crazed buyers as the BMW M3, Audi RS4 and their coupe stablemates, the AMG experience has long been about savage power above all else. The latest changes, though – particularly the AMG Dynamics software – promise greater agility and more scope for 'creative' driving.
As well as being more willing to follow your lead on the road, the C 63 now offers easier access to its many driving modes and configurable settings, without taking your eyes from the road or your hands from the wheel. There's added style to back up the extra substance, too, with subtle changes and more personalisation options inside and out.
Updated Mercedes-AMG C 63 design
Never a shrinking violet, the latest C 63 has a reprofiled lower front bumper with an 'A-wing' lower apron that emphasises the car's width. The grille is AMG-specific, with chrome vertical louvres and aero-optimised 10-spoke, 18-inch or 'five twin-spoke' 19-inch wheels are fitted.
The rear end has been subtly updated with redesigned chrome tailpipe exits and a more prominent diffuser – given more emphasis on the more powerful C 63 S. Aerodynamic optimisation has played a part in the design of the rear, with improved air flow claimed for the C 63's 'lateral air curtain', as well as the body-coloured bootlid spoiler. The estate has a roof spoiler instead.
If you want an even more purposeful look for your C 63, you'll find it in the coupe's optional AMG Aerodynamics package. This brings a track-influenced front splitter and a spoiler lip with integral Gurney flap and more prominent skirt inserts, as well as a boldly contoured rear bumper with a gloss-black aerodynamic diffuser.
The C 63 now offers far more personalisation inside. Black 'Artico' man-made leather is standard, but soft nappa leather can be chosen in combinations of black, white, grey and red, and there's now the option of magma grey and black with yellow top-stitching. Diamond-stitched leather in saddle brown and black or white pearl and black is optional on the saloon and estate models. As before, 'AMG Performance Seats' can be chosen; these offer active cornering support by pneumatically adjusting the support cushions.
The standard trim is piano black with contrasting aluminium accents, but you can now choose anthracite open-pore oak wood and open-pore walnut, or a blend of aluminium for the doors and black open-pore ash wood for the centre console. Alternatively, a racier atmosphere can be provided by special AMG trim in either carbon fibre and aluminium, or lightweight matt silver fibreglass.
The C 63 now sports the latest evolution of Mercedes' cockpit control system, which includes touch buttons on the steering wheel to supplement the central rotary controller and voice command system. The steering wheel itself has been redesigned, wrapped in soft nappa leather with perforated grip areas and a flattened bottom section, with a contrasting microfibre fabric section on the C63 S. An all-microfibre or microfibre and carbon-fibre combination are optional.
The new touchpads aren't all that's hi-tech about the latest AMG steering wheel – additional controls can be added to the right and left spokes, complete with their own displays, with the purpose of directly accessing the AMG driving modes or other customised setup configurations, minimising the need for your hands to leave the wheel.
Engine and gearbox
Key to any AMG is its engine, and the C 63's fearsome 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol hasn't been fiddled with – it still offers 469bhp in the C 63 and 503bhp in the C 63 S. There's a new nine-speed AMG Speedshift automatic gearbox, though, and it's claimed to shift gears with greater immediacy than its seven-speed predecessor.
Unlike many automatic gearboxes, the manual mode really does live up to its name and won't automatically change up when the engine reaches its rev limit. Acceleration from 0-62mph is quoted as taking 4.1 seconds for the C 63 and four seconds dead for the C 63 S, while the C 63 S Coupe drops the time to just 3.9 seconds.
The 'AMG Dynamics' menu, meanwhile, is integrated with the car's engine, transmission and traction-control system and goes beyond the standard drive programs of slippery, comfort, sport, sport+, race and individual. There are four further modes that activate automatically depending on how the car is driven – including a tantalisingly-titled 'master' mode within the race programme. When unlocked, it allows higher yaw rates and increased slip from the rear differential to enable extra agility when the car is under the control of a talented driver.
The 12.3-inch digital dashboard incorporates AMG-specific modes, which allows warm-up temperatures, power output, mechanical settings or G-forces to be displayed, along with a race timer. The optional AMG Track Pace system – standard on the C 63 S – promises another dimension of trackday fun, with track layouts, lap and sector times displayed, joined by braking points if you add the optional head-up display.
The track layouts come courtesy of its data-logger system, which can monitor and record up to 80 data sets – including speed, acceleration and braking – 10 times a second, providing the kind of data that racing drivers enjoy. The data can be presented as a track overlay, enabling you to see where you gained or lost time on a given lap. Slightly mischievously, as well as well coming pre-loaded with known circuits such as Spa and the Nurburgring, the system also allows you to save your own circuits.
Mercedes-AMG C 63 price and on-sale date
There's no word yet on when the updated C 63 will reach UK showrooms, but it's expected that any increase in price will be modest. The C 63 saloon currently costs £62,415 and the more powerful C63 S version £69,175.