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Mercedes-Benz models, news & reviews
By Ben Barry
13 August 2010 07:50
The Mercedes C63 AMG isn’t exactly a common sight on our roads, but if you’d like a little more exclusivity, how about this: the DR520. It’s based on the C63, but fettled at Mercedes-Benz’s Brooklands UK headquarters. Only 20 will be built in either saloon or estate spec, and we’re driving the estate.
Well, DR520 stands for Dyno-Rated 520ps. That means the Brooklands boffins have a rolling road print out tucked in a drawer proving that this C63 makes 520ps, or 513bhp. The base engine is the 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8, which produces 451bhp in standard C63s, and is also found in the E-, S-, CL- and SL63 in 518bhp tune. The DR520 gains the Performance Pack Plus kit that’s a £4.5k option on any C63, plus a new crank and pistons to yield that 513bhp total.
Elsewhere there are whopping great six-pot front/four-pot rear brakes, while Mercedes has wisely stuck with the stock fixed-rate suspension (the optional sports kit is too firm in the UK) but specified the optional (£1560) limited slip differential on our test car.
Minus the diff, the DR costs £63,680, or £9k more than a basic C63. Still, if we were going to spec our own C63, we wouldn’t do it any differently.
It’s incredible. The extra shove isn’t particularly noticeable low-down – where the DR520 feels as flexible and burbly and torquey as ever – but the extra eagerness to wind round the last portion of the rev counter certainly is.
The suspension is firm and well-controlled while still compliant, the steering beautifully weighted and consistent, the brakes endlessly strong, the seven-speed auto gearbox smooth and quick – if not as quick as the oppositions’ dual-clutchers – and there’s a feeling of very high front-end grip with a strong rear bias.
It can but doesn’t need to be – that’s the beauty of traction control and stability control. Leave all the systems on and it’s far from intimidating. Turn them off and it’s hilariously wayward: trickle through a junction in second, then feed in full throttle and the DR520 will ignite its rear tyres, leave a trail of smoke behind and swing from lock-to-lock in a straight line while feeling entirely trustworthy and consistent in its motions. Repeat the process in big brother E63 and it will only just start to lose grip.
It’s a matt wrap. The DR520 starts life with either a gloss white or black paint finish, and the wrap is added at Brooklands. It’s very well applied and, if you don’t like it, you can always remove it later.
Rather than being stealthy, though, we found it drew attention, and it makes the red brake calipers stand out in a very tarty manner.
It’s business as usual with high build quality and user-friendly controls but with an added helping of leather and Alcantara on the dash and seats and some subtle DR520 logos. It looks and feels great.
No question about it, this is the ultimate C63, a car that can morph from family runabout to the most sideways thing on the street without breaking sweat. Shame that the wrap is standard and the diff isn’t – it should be the other way around.
If you can’t get your hands on one of the 20 DR520s, try to spec your C63 as close to this spec as possible.
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Mercedes C63 DR520 Estate (2010) CAR review
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RE: Mercedes C63 DR520 Estate (2010) CAR review
oh yes, gimme gimme gimme. some where in the back of my mind I have a perfectly good excuse for buying this car.I'd black out the badging though.
09 December 2010 17:23
I actually quite like the fast versions of the C-class, and this is obviously one insanely fast car. However, the next C AMG will (or should) get the new, supercharged V8. It will be faster, torquier and probably better than this DR520. In light of that, shelling out 9k more than a standard AMG for this one doesn't quite make sense.
31 August 2010 23:29
I rather think it makes no sense at all andrewmorten. It is a rather brash beastie isn't it? Too extreme for me and probably most that aren't drawn to the three pointed star for what us says rather than what it does.
16 August 2010 06:43
And I have to say... YUM!
15 August 2010 22:37
I have to say, yawn.
13 August 2010 15:40
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