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Mercedes-Benz C63 2013 Review

EXPERT RATING
9
There's a new way by which Australia's economic outlook can now be judged. It's called the Mercedes-Benz AMG index, and if the latest figures are a guide, Australia, you're rolling in it.
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Forget the Big Mac index, which compares economies around the world based on the price of a burger. There's a new way by which Australia's economic outlook can now be judged. It's called the Mercedes-Benz AMG index, and if the latest figures are a guide, Australia, you're rolling in it.

Australians buy more Mercedes-Benz C63 AMGs than are sold in North America each year. Perhaps more staggering is that we not only pay more for them -- largely thanks to Australia's discriminatory Luxury Car Tax, which is 33 per cent of the cost above $60,316 for the 2013-14 financial year -- but we then option them up with all the extras.

Four out of every five Mercedes-Benz C63s sold in Australia last year were ordered with the Performance Pack, which offers a bit more grunt, a bit more grip and a louder bark.

So it was therefore a no brainer, to borrow management-speak, to order up big on the new 507 Edition, named so because it has 507 metric horsepower, or 373kW in modern parlance.

VALUE

Cheeky buggers. The price of the 507 Editions of the C63 AMG sedan, wagon and coupe are exactly $14,507 more than the standard versions (to $169,407, $171,407 and $172,407 respectively).

Whether Mercedes had to round up or round down to land on a price increase with "507" at the end of it is a mystery. It could also just be a coincidence.

The extra loot buys a tonne of grunt, a unique vented bonnet, a bespoke steering wheel, gearshift and seats, a limited-slip differential and a top-speed capped at 280km/h instead of 250km/h. Limited edition wheels and performance brakes round out the package.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

Power increases from 336kW (standard model), 358kW (Performance Pack) to 373kW. Torque also gets a bump from 600Nm to 610Nm.

The result from the 6.2-litre V8 (it's called a "C63" because German regulations insist the engine size is always rounded up to the nearest whole figure) is a brisk 0 to 100km/h time of 4.2 seconds -- trimming 0.2 seconds from the standard car. The seven-speed auto has a beefed up torque converter auto with heavy duty clutches and some other magic dust that basically means it shifts with brutal efficiency.

The Mercedes blurb goes on in quite some detail about the inner workings of the epic engine, which I pretend to understand. It has "forged pistons adopted from SLS Gullwing AMG", "new connecting rods" and a "lightweight crankshaft" (which saves three kilograms, apparently. Personally I would have thought it had enough grunt to handle an extra three kegs, but never mind).

All I know is that the result will pin your ears back (see driving), while the brakes (six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears) will almost pop your belly button back out. Yes, this car could get quite embarrassing if you drive stop-start like a cabbie.

DESIGN

The only visual cues are the discreet cooling vents in the bonnet and the lightweight limited edition alloy wheels. It would be easier to find Wally than pick the 507 Edition, but this is just the way buyers like it.

SAFETY

Well, you certainly have plenty of power under your right foot. And that means… erm, less time on the wrong side of the road when overtaking?

There are of course airbags galore, as well as three stability control modes to make sure you don't get too carried away. What should genuinely not be under-estimated is the enormous grip and predictable handling that will help avoid a prang in the first place (see below).

DRIVING

I'm too scared to ride a motorcycle, let alone a high-powered one. I have tremendous respect for those who can race them at 300km/h -- and anyone with the guts to share the road with idiot car drivers.

Which is why I'm glad cars like the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG 507 Edition exist. Because I reckon it's about the closest I'm going to get to the feeling of a motorcycle while still enjoying the comfort and safety of a car with doors and a roof.

Never before has an accelerator and steering wheel felt like an extension of your arm and legs.

It's one of the most obedient, responsive cars I've ever driven. There's no debate or delay if you want to turn, stop or go. Just make sure you're not indecisive because this car is not for the vague.

It has a level of precision that leaves the car blameless. If you duff a line in a corner or brake too late, it's definitely your fault, not the car's.

The seven-speed auto is superb. Tap the up or the down lever and, provided there are enough revs left in its range without blowing up the engine, it'll shift into it.

There are several modes to suit your level of bravery. It can switch from track weapon to fetching the latest issue of Forbes magazine (well if you download it on your iPad you can't leave it on the coffee table to show-off, can you?) with the press of a button or the turn of a dial.

VERDICT

For those who have everything, Mercedes brings you … more.

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG 507 Edition
Price: from $169,407 plus on-road costs
Engine: 6.2-litre V8
Power: 373kW and 610Nm
Transmission: 7-speed auto
0 to 100km/h: 4.2 seconds

Pricing guides

$23,936
Based on 124 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$16,990
Highest Price
$69,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
C180 1.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $15,400 – 21,670 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2013 C180 Pricing and Specs
C63 AMG 6.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $55,800 – 70,510 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2013 C63 AMG Pricing and Specs
C63 AMG Black Series 6.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $97,200 – 122,870 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2013 C63 AMG Black Series Pricing and Specs
C63 AMG Edition 507 6.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $60,500 – 76,450 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2013 C63 AMG Edition 507 Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
9