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Mercedes-AMG C63 S Review – The Last of a Legend?

  Calvin Fisher


 22 Oct, 2019

The next AMG C63 is rumoured to be powered by a 2.0l four-cylinder engines. Which makes this, the fire breathing, V8 powered AMG C63 S a very special send off.

Carshop Likes:
Everything. I mean, are you kidding me?
What would you like me to complain about, the fuel consumption?
It’s a gem, I tell you.

Carshop Dislikes:
I guess I wish it was rear wheel drive
And then there’s the possible demise of its V8

Let's tear ourselves away from the stats and focus on that chiselled exterior, those bulging muscles and cords of sinew flexing just beneath a taut grey surface, clues to the athleticism below.

In each pumped-up archway you'll find massive AMG hoops shod in performance rubber, with the tyres at the rear having the hardest task of them all. That's right, after exiting that 4.0l engine, the sum of its power and torque may, via the 9-Speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission be sent to the rear wheels mostly – despite it being all-wheel drive, thanks to AMG’s rear axle locking diff.

Here, aided by an electronic limited slip differential and some very clever traction control all those rampant ponies are unleashed and that means the C63 S can be a total hooligan. All this grip means it can’t quite spin, drift or pour white clouds out of its backend and turn the weather from sunny to overcast at the drop of its dual clutch box like its rear-wheel drive siblings can – a pity.

From its barrel-chested twin-turbo heart the C63 S produces 375kW and 700Nm. Enough raw power to jump start a crashed meteor and that’s just great in this day and age.

Sadly, this will probably be the last time we hear this garrulous gravelly soundtrack. I'm hoping that I'm wrong, and that AMG will continue deploying robust, turbocharged V8 behemoths for engines for generations to come, and that they'll continue to have the drifting potential of a 1990s Japanese sportscar paired with the sound of thunder falling down a staircase. But just in case they’re not, please excuse me as I revel in the last action hero AMG ever produced.

Ready to race?

Mercedes-AMG have done a brilliant job of producing a luxurious cabin, with plenty of sporty touches to make you feel firstly at home, but also ready to race. The C63 S is an excellent example of a car that embodies the best of both worlds, the highway and urban cruiser as well as the racetrack and mountain pass destroyer.

To best appreciate the latter, you need to look past the many safety, comfort and entertainment toys and gadgets, locate the driving mode selector and immediately crank that up as high as the sucker will allow – we’re in Sport Plus territory now, pal! That means a whip-crack of an exhaust note, a sharpened helm, the firmest setting on the AMG Ride Control sports suspension and acceleration best described as on a razor’s edge.

This is no hot hatch (yet), and it only takes a couple of stabs at the throttle to humble you. This is a sedan with a hell of a lot of power in its reserves, and so demands your respect. Allow the traction control to accompany you on your mission and it’s a somewhat tamer steer through the apexes, but believe me, there’s still plenty left in the bag to scare you with, in the most delightful way.

And when the tarmac unravels and you have bone-straight asphalt ahead of you, give it a full boot and you’ll be headbutting the horizon in no time at all. And then there’s the noise. The noise!

An out of breath verdict

When the 2000 C55 AMG was released into the wild, enthusiasts were astonished at how competent it was, how it could finally go around bends with the alacrity of an M3 as opposed to the sofa-like demeanour of something more… Shall we say, American?

Fast forward to now, 2019 and you could argue that with its successor, this - the C63 S, they've perfected the eight-cylinder super saloon. I it stirs in you all sorts of feelings, if not your actual viscera. Euphoria, adoration, exaltation, mild amounts of fear followed by copious helpings of the stuff.

And then there’s extreme sadness at the prospect of a world without a V8 powered C-Class, a car that went from mere rival to the BMW M3 to its own institution, a full-blown anti-hero! And while at R1,5million its no cheap thrill - I’d argue that it is in fact really quite priceless, if not a fully-fledged future classic.

Mercedes- AMG C63 S Spec:

Price R1,560,200.00
Engine 4.0 litre V8 biturbo
Power 375kW
Torque 700Nm
Gearbox 9G Speedshift (nine speed automatic)
Driven Wheels AWD
0-100kph 3.9 seconds
Top Speed 250kph (limited)
Average Fuel Consumption 9.9l/100km
CO2 Emissions 227g/km

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