► The two-door coupe C63 model
► Tested in 503bhp C63S form
► Same thunderous V8, playful chassis
Despite an ever-expanding product portfolio in all sorts of market segments, the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe is one of the two pillars of AMG, standing alongside the AMG GT, reckons boss Tobias Moers.
The bonkers version of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe stands for everything the company holds dear – very dear: big V8, incredible sound, rear-wheel drive. And being blooming quick. But while AMGs of the past have been great at making lots of noise, they were often doing it while shredding tyres in a pendulous mess while sharper handling cars such as BMW M3s and M4s disappeared into the distance.
No longer, says Moers. This new car, he reckons, is faster, sharper, tighter. Oh, and still very, very noisy.
So what’s new about the C63 AMG Coupe?
AMG has replaced all the bodywork other than the roof, doors and bootlid of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, and shoehorned in the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 already seen in the Saloon and Estate versions of the C63 in two states of tune: 503bhp for the S version (£67,525) and 470 for the cheap one (£60,615). But then it has tweaked it further to ensure the Coupe stands apart and ahead of even those cars.
Chiefly, a Coupe-specific 12-link rear axle and axle carrier which pushes the wheels a further 25mm out, and Moers claims this new set-up at the back makes it even more agile than the other two.
Tucked away within the C63 Coupe is a bespoke Bosch stability and traction control software system designed to deliver the gargantuan levels of power more sympathetically to the ham-fisted driver. Should be handy then.
Read CAR's review of the four-door C63 saloon here, and watch our on-track video review here.
So what’s it like to drive?
Anyone fearing that the switch to turboed power from the glorious old naturally aspirated unit need not worry. With a sub-four-second 0-62mph time the S challenges the GT S in a straight line and Moers reckons it would even show the previous extreme Black Series model a clean pair of heels.
Despite the move to turbocharging, the power delivery doesn’t feel especially peaky, coming in smoothly, and furiously, through all seven gears. It feels fast in that way that only really seriously quick cars do: it accelerates in a way that shocks, then seems to dollop on a load more speed just when you think it might be all over. At this point you might well be hanging on for dear life, thinking it’s all rather excellent, but terrifying at the same time.
Especially so since on our two-day test drive it refused to stop pouring with rain for even a minute, throwing some fog in to the mix as well for added peril. But from what we could glean between the sheetwater was that the steering is precise and accurate, it has vast braking power (underemployed by our mostly part-throttle cowardice), with decent traction in a (very) straight line while feeling less niggly than a wet-weather-running BMW M4.
Nevertheless, all the fancy computing power in the world can’t tame those rear wheels if you get all modern and throttle-mashy in a corner. In any of the modes (Comfort, Sport, tail-happy Sport Plus or very tail-happy Race), the tail still wanted to get through the bend first, and would only behave with smooth, slow-in, fast-out power, applied in a straight line. This is still very much a big-bore AMG rather than digital supercoupe in character.
The wide track, dynamic engine mounts and active suspension help to remove most, if not all, pitch and roll as well as shocks from roads, while monstrous 479lb ft peak torque at only 1750rpm shovels it easily along from lower speed. Wonderful thin, nicely crafted sports seats pin you in place too.
Does it still sound like an AMG, though?
Many are getting a bit angry about some car makers’ sound enhancement tricks using speakers and the like, but AMG refuses such artifice for the C63 Coupe. In Comfort mode there’s a pleasant, distant boom, but by Sport Plus and Race evil has been unleashed. It sounds utterly fabulous, a chainsawing scream joined mid-range by endless bellowing explosions, and in the UK all models will come with the extra-noisy three flap sports exhaust as standard. On lift off, the cackling is hilariously un-PC, and happens at any speed. This is handy, because we did 46mph most of the time…
So the big question: is it better than a BMW M4?
Sadly, the weather made that impossible to judge. But what is apparent is this: the Mercedes-AMG C3 S Coupe is a glorious thing: beautifully made, fabulously quick and it makes an epic noise. A true AMG.