Mercedes C63 AMG Estate

Family carriers have never been so much fun...

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

There’s more to the C63 AMG than sledghammer pace. Its scenery-shrinking performance and roaring V8 soundtrack are joined by sharp handling and an engaging rear-wheel-drive chassis. The revised styling of the C-Class and improved interior provide added appeal. Better still, the latest model is cleaner and more efficient than before, although fuel consumption of 22.9mpg won’t win any green awards. It’s expensive, but if you want the ultimate go-faster family holdall, look no further – neither BMW nor Audi offers a direct rival to this brilliant compact executive estate.

If you grew up with a poster of the Lamborghini Countach stuck to your bedroom wall, you will be amazed by the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate. Here is a model that can carry an entire family in comfort, yet has the pace to humble one of the most revered supercars ever produced.

It first arrived in 2007, but after Mercedes revised its C-Class line-up recently, the changes have now reached the high-performance variant. And AMG’s engineers have clearly lost none of their sense of humour.

On the outside, you can tell the newcomer apart from lesser models thanks to its quad exhaust tailpipes, fresh AMG headlamps and distinctive alloy wheels.

Lift the bulging, more heavily sculpted bonnet, and you’ll find the heartbeat of the C63. Its naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 produces 451bhp – enough to blast the Mercedes from 0-62mph in an amazing 4.6 seconds. These stats would leave any Seventies supercar struggling to keep up – but the C-Class is no stripped-out high-performance special.

Inside, you get the same improved cabin as other cars in the range. This means high-quality switchgear, a neatly integrated COMAND screen on 
the dash and plenty of technology.

Yet there’s more to this model than hi-tech gadgets and dragster pace. The new four-mode, seven-speed automated manual box is perfectly suited to the engine, and the handling provides the agility, responses and grip we’ve come to expect from the AMG brand.

Since the advent of the SLS and E63 AMG saloon, the tuning arm’s models have enjoyed a new-found finesse – and the C-Class is no different. Grip the chunky suede-rimmed wheel and the revised set-up delivers instant responses and impressive grip. The estate arrows into bends precisely, while the retuned suspension provides tight body control, limiting roll effectively. As a trade-off, the low-speed ride is firm, but the rewards are worth it when you find a stretch of twisty tarmac.

And when the road opens out, you can begin to enjoy the savage pace of the incredible engine.

Its low-rev burble gives way to a throaty roar as the revs rise and the scenery blurs. Turn off the stability control, and it’s easy to provoke the kind of lurid tailslides you simply don’t expect from a compact executive estate...

But the C63 AMG is no ordinary machine. It deserves wallspace in any teenage car fan’s bedroom.

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