Two things about the new ultimate C-class, the Mercedes C63 AMG, are downsized. Meanwhile, power, performance and quality leap forwards as Mercedes takes an almighty swipe at the new twin-turbo BMW M3. How do you fight off the world’s most iconic sport saloon? Like this, says Mercedes.
So what’s being downsized for the new Mercedes C63 AMG?
Weight, and engine capacity. The impressive new C-class is around 100kg lighter than its predecessor, thanks to greater use of aluminium underneath, slimmed-down suspension components and a smattering of plastic body panels, with the same treatment applied to the forthcoming AMG hot-rod.
The new C63’s weight should be less than the outgoing version’s 1655kg. Handy, given BMW has made a big noise about its carbon-panelled F80 M3 weighing in at just 1520kg – 80kg less than the old M3 four-door.
A smaller engine? Oh no!
Hold fire. We’re sad to say goodbye to the 6208cc, naturally aspirated V8 that’s in the outgoing C63, but while cubes are fewer this time, you won’t notice.
AMG is switching to a 4.0-litre V8, boosted by two turbochargers. Not only does forced induction push torque beyond the atmospheric V8’s 442lb ft in standard tune, but also it saves V8-power from death-by-EU-legislation. Hurrah!
Forget the paltry 457bhp that the outgoing C63 offers: a basic 2015 C63 should churn out around 485bhp to the rear wheels, and thanks to the relentless tunability of turbos, versions with well over 500bhp will be up AMG’s sleeve in case BMW pops up with a faster M3, or Jaguar presents a 542bhp XER-S.
The same engine strategy will be used in Merc’s upcoming GT AMG supercar. The entry-level GT is expected to use the 485bhp tune, with a hotter ‘S’ getting 505bhp, and 585bhp being reserved for the GT AMG Black Series.
Sounds tasty! What else?
Gearbox duties are thought to be left to Mercedes’ faithful seven-speed automatic, and rear-wheel drive will be standard in the UK. Left-hand drive markets may yet get the choice of an all-wheel drive ‘4Matic’ drivetrain.
Will it look any different from the dentist’s C-class?
Not hugely – the AMG Sport C-class we drove last month gives a good idea of what to expect, what with its fake rear wheelarch vents and flared front bumper. AMG-bespoke jewellery will include a single-spar front grille, an E63-aping front splitter, tiny bootlid spoiler and quad tailpipes with a small rear diffuser – all clearly visible on this close-to-production prototype.
I can’t wait!
Not long now – the new C63 AMG is expected to be revealed at the Paris motor show in September 2014. UK sales will kick off on the eve of 2015, and you’ll need just shy of £60,000 to bag one. A sleeker two-door coupe and a dog-scaring estate variant will follow in due course.
Still want that BMW M3?