This is the new 2011 Mercedes C63 AMG, a facelifted version of the three-pointed star’s hot rod family saloon.
So, more power? And the new twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8, right?
Nope. The power and torque outputs remain unchanged, because under the bonnet is still the same 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 as before. Peak power is 451bhp at 6800rpm, and there’s 443lb ft at 5000rpm, too. Or you can opt for the AMG Performance pack, which slots in the forged pistons, conrods and crankshaft from the SLS supercar, and ups the figure to 480bhp. Red brake calipers and a part-Alcantara wheel are included in the Performance pack, which Merc claims over 30% of C63 customers stump up the extra cash for.
The most significant change is the adoption of Mercedes’ AMG Speedshift MCT gearbox – as found in the CLS63, SL63, etc. There’s no torque convertor, but a ‘wet start-off clutch’, which means more efficient and direct responses. Its default setting is the planet-friendly Controlled Efficiency mode, and together with a new power steering pump, helps drop the saloon’s fuel consumption and CO2 figures from 21.1mpg and 312g/km to 23.5mpg and 280g/km, and the estate’s from 20.8 and 316g/km to 23mpg and 288g/km. And with the new ‘box comes AMG’s Drive Unit with a dial for the gearbox settings.
Other tweaks include a revised AMG bodykit, tweaked suspension, a ‘powerdome’ aluminium bonnet (pictures of the revised C63 AMG sporting a standard C-class bonnet leaked out onto the world wide web last month), the new-look front and rear lights from the recently facelifted regular C-class, the latest round of Mercedes driver assistance and telematics tech, improved cabin materials, plus the obligatory LED daytime running lights and the steering wheel from the CLS63 AMG.
UK sales start in July 2011, and the C63 AMG saloon should cost around £55k – a proper locking differential remains a must-have option.