Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

Flagship Mercedes C-Class Coupe has a thumping V8 powerplant that delivers tyre-shredding performance and a glorious sound

For: 
Performance, V8 soundtrack, luxury cabin
Against: 
Thirsty, firm ride, high running costs

Building on the success of the Mercedes C63 AMG saloon, the Coupe version offers an even more focused driving experience. With 451bhp on tap from a naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8, the Coupe has bags of character and is rewarding to drive. Incredible straight-line pace is offered, and the chassis is tuned to be entertaining in the corners too. The C63 AMG Black is a stripped-out road racer with even sharper responses and wild looks straight from the German DTM starting grid.

Our choice: Mercedes C63 AMG

Styling

4.5

The Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe has received a series of tweaks to set it apart from the standard C-Class Coupe. This includes bulging arches, huge alloy wheels and aggressive bonnet creases. It also receives an F1-style rear diffuser with a set of four chrome exhaust pipes, so there's no mistaking the C63 for a base spec C220 CDI. Sit the C63 Coupe next to a BMW M3 or Audi RS5 and it certainly looks the part. Inside, the C63 gets a set of two-tone leather seats, carbon fibre trim and a part-suede steering wheel. However, if you think the standard car is too dull, Mercedes offers the C63 AMG Black. As well as performance upgrades, the Black Series gains an even wider bodykit, gaping air vents and a huge rear wing.

Driving

4.3

If the styling tweaks don't hint at the C63 Coupe's potential, the rumbling V8 soundtrack will. Firing up the C63 is an experience in itself, as the naturally aspirated, 6.2-litre powerplant crackles and pops with even the slightest blip of the throttle. On the road, the C63 Coupe outshines the saloon with sharper steering, a hydraulic damper system that eliminates roll in the corners and a seven-speed automatic that changes gears in just 100 milliseconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph, and 0-62mph takes just 4.5 seconds, which is identical to an Audi RS5. The C63 AMG Black Series shaves off another 3 tenths, completing the sprint in just 4.2 seconds, and is even sharper in the corners.

Reliability

Practicality

3

The great thing about the Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe is that it's just as practical as the standard car. It has the same 450-litre boot, which is just 25 litres smaller than the C-Class saloon's, and only 5 litres short of the Audi RS5. Inside, there are plenty of cubbyholes and cup-holders and you even get a set of rear seats – although anyone taller than a small child might struggle on longer journeys. Given the high running costs, it’ll take a deep pocket to run the C63 AMG on a daily basis, but aside from that, the Coupe is an extremely usable car.

Running Costs

2

The Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe falls between the Audi RS5 and BMW M3 in terms of price, being slightly more than the ageing BMW. Any car powered by a performance-tuned 6.2-litre V8 is going to be far from frugal, and the C63 AMG manages just 23.5mpg, compared to 26.9mpg for the RS5. Any prospective owners can also expect the C63 AMG Coupe to eat rear tyres for breakfast – even if you leave the traction control switched on most of the time.

Last updated: 31 May, 2012
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