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Mercedes-AMG C-Class C63 S coupe 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Tim Robson road tests and reviews the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.

Cashed-up Aussie muscle car fans with a keen nose for a bargain have been snapping up the second-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 S range at the rate of two a day since it launched early last year.

With prodigious performance from a twin-turbocharged V8 engine being channeled to the rear wheels, huge brakes, yet retaining a real-world practicality, the C63 really presents as a sports machine for every day use.

Now, in addition to the excellent sedan and the awesome wagon, the two-door coupe promises to improve the formula even further.

Can the C63 Coupe deliver? In a word – absolutely.

Mercedes-AMG expects the Coupe to account more than half of C63 sales when it comes on stream this month, with a waiting list that’s already stretching out to six months.

We punted the C63 Coupe around Sydney Motorsport Park recently, but the real measure of a car is out in the real world, away from the billiard-smooth surface of a race track. Can the C63 Coupe deliver? In a word – absolutely.

Design

The C63 Coupe is much more than a sedan with the back doors lopped off; in fact, the only exterior parts that cross over are the bootlid, door skins and the roof panel.

Mercedes-AMG have made little concession for rear seat passengers in the Coupe, dropping the roofline over the rear haunches much more aggressively than it did for the first generation version in 2011.

The car has also been pumped up, with the front guards out by 64mm and the rears by 66mm, allowing for the fitment of wider, staggered rubber underneath.

Even the rear view mirrors have been moved from the traditional corner position to the doors.

It’s a car you glance back at again and again, and despite the family resemblance to the other C63s, the Coupe manages to stand well apart.

Practicality

The Coupe is still ostensibly a four-seater (losing one over both the sedan and wagon versions), but the rear space is definitely compromised by that 24mm lower low roofline.

The front seats slide forward automatically when tilted forward, but the aperture is small and the sills are pronounced, meaning that it’s not easy to access.

Being built just for two means the centre armrest can also house a pair of cupholders, while side bins can do the same.

The 355-litre boot does concede 80 litres to its sedan sibling (and 45 litres to regular coupes, thanks to a different suspension arrangement), but 40:20:20 split rear seats give it a sizable cargo area.

Up front, Merc-AMG’s excellent S sports seats do a great job over a 250km test run, while deep door bins with bottle holders are supplemented by useful pockets and another two cupholders in the centre stack.

There are plenty of ways to access the infotainment screen, while the twin binnacle dash and digital screen combo is a simple joy to use.

The column-mounted shifter feels a bit twee in a car with such potential, but substantial alloy shift paddles, a chunky and small-diameter wheel and huge alloy pedals bring performance credo into the cabin.

Price and features

Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific will bring just the top spec S variant of the C63 to Australia, as it does for the other two cars in the range.

It’s thoroughly loaded with kit, so the options list is rather short.

Automatic belt feeders for driver and front passenger, automatically dimming rear-view and driver's side exterior mirror, wood and alloy trim, Garmin satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, four-mode Dynamic Select switch, electric and heated front seats with memory function (seat and mirrors) and keyless entry are also on the extensive specs sheet.

The C63 S Coupe retails at $162,400, which is an $7890 uptick over the sedan; it’s a bit odd, given the two share most of the same mechanical specs and the coupe loses a seat to the sedan. It’s even 75kg heavier.

There are just a handful of options, including no-cost-option wheels and a $9,000 set of front brakes with 402mm ceramic rotors and gold calipers.

An Edition 1 pack nets you sportier seats, a wilder bodykit and the ceramic brakes for $10,500, but it’s only being offered for a limited time after launch.

Engine and transmission 

The ‘63’ part of the C63’s name actually comes from its former powerplant, a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 that churned out 336kW and 600Nm of torque.

It’s hard to believe that it is turbocharged, such is the linearity of its power and torque delivery.

The M156 was a long, leggy beast that could grow hair on chests from a suburb away, but it couldn’t survive in the era of tightening emissions regulations.

In its place is a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged unit that is shared with the AMG GT sports car. It pumps out more power – 375kW – and even more torque – 700Nm – and manages, despite the noise-damping turbos, to sound almost as evocative as the glorious M156.

In fact, it’s hard to believe that it is turbocharged, such is the linearity of its power and torque delivery. There’s a whole lot of mumbo available from just 2000rpm, and it delivers all the way to 6250rpm, howling all the while.

The seven-speed auto is built to handle the twist, and delivers precise shifts when requested. It’s not as laser fast as the best dual-clutch units in the game, but it’s very good.

Combined, it helps the Coupe to dash to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds, and onto a governed top speed of 290km/h.

Fuel consumption

Despite its prodigious output, the C63 can be coaxed into reducing your fuel bill, with a gentle right foot able to achieve a claimed 8.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

Our testing returned figures of around 12 litres per 100km, with, erm, some spirited driving in the mix.

Driving

Over a solid 250km of varied terrain, the C63 S Coupe shone brightly, even when compared to its excellent siblings.

A redone rear suspension set-up and AMG’s incredibly clever electronic LSD offers an incredibly sophisticated, highly reactive ride and handling balance, with a positive and planted front end chiming in as well.

The C63 rides on wider tyres front (255mm on 19-inch rims) and rear (285mm on 20s) than the sedan or wagon, and it keys into smooth and broken tarmac with unfussed alacrity, letting the driver understand the grip on offer more clearly than either the sedan or wagon can.

With 700Nm ready to turn the rear tyres into particle fragments, the Merc responds well to a Sports map with a semblance of traction control left on, though the limits are set impressively high.

The same goes for the dampers; with all other elements of the car turned up to attack mode, having the adaptive shocks in Comfort mode gives an even higher level of ride quality and security.

The standard brakes are simply immense, as well, while the driving position is low slung and beautifully appointed.

Safety

Its safety spec list is particularly impressive, including (amongst other items) a 360-degree camera, active bonnet, adaptive brake with hold function, brake drying function and Hill Start Assist (ABR), nine airbags (front, combined pelvic / thorax bags for driver and front passenger, sidebags for rear occupants, windowbags and kneebag for driver), passive Blind Spot Assist and Collision Prevention Assist Plus.

Ownership

Mercedes-Benz offers a three-year capped service program for the C63, with annual service costs topping out at $1382 for both the second and third-year servicing.

A three-year unlimited kilometer warranty is also offered.

Verdict

There really is something for everyone in the C63 range; from a roomy wagon and an executive sedan to a open-top cabriolet (due at the end of the year) and this, a two-door sports version.

The Coupe is slightly compromised in practicality terms, but it more than compensates with its on-road performance and kerb-side looks. Is it the pick of the three? If you don’t need four doors, and you don’t need to carry a lot of stuff around, then yes, the Coupe is the best rendition of the C63 yet.

What are your thoughts on Mercedes' latest C63 Coupe? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe pricing and spec info.

Pricing Guides

$109,888
Based on 76 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$89,888
Highest Price
$135,000

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
S 4.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $89,888 – 135,000 2016 Mercedes-Benz C63 2016 S Pricing and Specs
S 4.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $89,888 – 135,000 2016 Mercedes-Benz C63 2016 S Pricing and Specs
S EDITION 1 4.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $97,880 – 104,990 2016 Mercedes-Benz C63 2016 S EDITION 1 Pricing and Specs
S 4.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $89,888 – 135,000 2016 Mercedes-Benz C63 2016 S Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Tim Robson
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$95,888

Lowest price, based on 26 car listings in the last 6 months

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