New Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe 2018 review
Updated twin-turbo Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe gets tweaks inside and out, as well as new box
Subtle improvements across the board mean the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe remains right at the top of its class. The interior is a big step up thanks to the installation of the brand’s latest dual-screen displays, while gentle exterior massaging has left the design looking fresh, too. But it’s how the V8, rear-wheel-drive Coupe entertains and excites that still makes it a stand-out sports car.
UK buyers made a beeline for the 503bhp C 63 S Coupe, ensuring it was the best seller of the eight derivatives available. And as with the rest of the C-Class line-up, the AMG 63 range has now been facelifted.
At this stage in the model’s life, AMG hasn’t gone to the trouble (or expense) of adding 4MATIC four-wheel drive or a mild-hybrid six-cylinder engine. And while nothing is confirmed, it’s unlikely to make any extensive tweaks until the all-new C-Class arrives in a few years.
The changes that have been made to the new C 63 S include an AMG-specific grille, a new front bumper with revised air inlets, and a fresh rear bumper and diffuser. There are also optional 19-inch forged-alloy wheels (the same as fitted to the AMG GT R supercar) that have been optimised for airflow.
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Behind the grille, the V8 turbo produces the same power and torque as the outgoing car, but the gearbox is all new. Out goes the previous model’s seven-ratio auto and in its place comes AMG’s beefier Speedshift MCT nine-speed wet-clutch auto. It still drives the rear axle through an electric diff, but the box offers quicker shifts than before.
Managing those two mechanical components is AMG Dynamic Select (optional on non-S models), offering six drive modes. Slippery is new and is designed for low-grip conditions, while Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual and Race are as before, but have undergone a range of software updates to suit the latest gearbox.
The C 63 S is also now fitted with AMG Traction Control, the nine-stage system first seen on the GT R. It allows you to fine-tune the ESP to be more precise in how it distributes torque to the rear axle. This is serious tech – but then, the C 63 S has never been anything but a serious performance car.
Subtle and brutally effective best describes the C 63 S’s nip and tuck. Never a car lacking in confidence, it builds on the aggressive nature of the original to leave you in no doubt that there’s nothing else above it in the wide-ranging C-Class line-up.
Bar the fitment of new dynamic engine mounts, the untouched V8 is still key to everything the C 63 S does. Even in its mildest settings it settles to a muscular idle and requires very little to remind you that 503bhp is there for the taking. The first time you open the throttle the car takes off unlike any rival and leaves you wide-eyed as it reaches its peak. Factor in the quicker-shifting box, and it delivers colossal performance across the board.
The steering still doesn’t deliver the BMW M4’s deft feel, but select Sport and the C 63 S is a devastating and rewarding sports car on the road. There’s plenty of grip, but not at the expense of balance and control. The new dynamic options allow you to use more of its performance more of the time, too. The outgoing car’s small, rough edges have been smoothed away and now wear an expertly applied layer of polish.
Elsewhere, the C 63 S benefits from Mercedes’ new 12.3-inch digital dials and 10.23-inch infotainment display. The high-end, tech-filled cabin features an S-Class-inspired steering wheel, too.