Carbon encrusted Coupé

Mercedes-Benz Australia has taken the most attractive German Coupé currently on sale and added a generous splash of Carbon inside and out to create the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé ‘Aero Edition 63’, which is limited to just 63 examples.

Superior elements are already present on the C 63 S Coupé, with the stylish design lines combined with the bombastic ‘63’ AMG engine. The ‘Aero Edition 63’ adds AMG high-performance ceramic composite (front) brakes, plus the Interior and Exterior Carbon Packages. I love the look of carbon fibre; there is something about the black weave that I find very attractive. As for the ceramic composite brakes I have read some criticism of them for being too ‘grabby’ when stopping, but this is not something I agree with and I am very happy to have the extra stopping power and durability.

The hand assembled V8 AMG engine mounted in the front of the Coupé has a 4.0 litre capacity combined with a ‘hot V’ bi-turbo system. ‘Hot V’ refers to the turbocharges being located within the V of the V8 engine. All up the engine produces 375kW of power between 5500-6250rpm and 700Nm of torque between 2000-4500rpm and turbo lag is essentially non-existent.

The addition of the turbos has done nothing to quell the vocal range of this V8 engine and whether I was aggressively upshifting or downshifting through the obedient AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed automatic transmission using the metal steering wheel mounted paddle shifters the Coupé responded with a double barrel round of pops and bangs from the exhausts. I think this to be the most entertaining engine that I have had the pleasure to experience, apart from the V10 Lamborghini and the V12 Ferrari. If a loud exhaust is not something you enjoy then you can tone it down with the exhaust button on the centre console or under the Individual drive mode settings.

The official 0-100km/h acceleration time for the Coupé is 3.9 seconds, which is 0.1 seconds quicker than the time for the equivalent C 63 S sedan, thanks to wider rear tyres of the Coupé. I found the ride of the Coupé to be firmer than the C 63 S sedan and even in dry conditions there was loss of traction in first and second gears and most likely third as well, if you had a long enough straight, thanks to the 700Nm being sent directly to the rear tyres only.

Of course the amount of fun you have driving the C 63 S will have a direct correlation with how often your visit the fuel station to top up on 98RON. The official combined fuel consumption is 10.3L/100km and for my time with the Aero Edition 63 Coupé driving predominantly in Sport+ mode I used 14.1L/100km. You also get Comfort, Sport and Individual drive modes and under Individual mode you can configure Drive, Transmission, Dynamics, Suspension and the Exhaust system to your particular liking.

There cabin smells luxurious, largely as a result of the AMG Nappa Magma Grey/Black with yellow insert seats that are included as standard on the Aero Edition 63. The front seats are super supportive and have an automatic system that extends the seat belt to within your reach, which is very convenient. They are also heated and have power adjustment all-round including lumbar and side bolster support, with the driver getting additional side bolstering on the bottom half of the seat as well. The seats are adjusted by controls on the door, which is a great feature because you can see what you are moving as well as feel it. Once you have found the perfect position you can save it, along with your steering wheel position, on one of the three memory settings.

The steering wheel was my favourite addition of carbon fibre on the Coupé because I found the smoothness of the carbon combined with the DINAMICA microfibre to be very sensual and added to the pleasure of driving the Coupé. I am still not a fan of the two knobs located on the lower part of the steering wheel and think they are an unnecessary duplication of controls that you already have on the centre console. But I must be getting used to them, because when I next drove my AMG, I went to adjust the Drive mode on the right hand steering wheel knob, but it wasn’t there.

I also find the rest of the steering wheel controls to be too complicated. Yes, the thumb pads do work well for navigating the central screen and driver’s dash, but there is just too much going on and I prefer a simple steering wheel design. The voice control button on the Coupé has an androgynous face, unlike many car brands which have a masculine silhouette, and the voice control system works well for making phone calls and setting a destination on the sat nav.

The C 63 S Coupé has the older style Mercedes-Benz infotainment system, but with upgrades like 64-colour ambient lighting and my favourite feature, the Track Pace app. I have yet to try Track Pace on a race track, but it provides you with racecar-like telemetry for almost every parameter you can think of that can be downloaded to your smart device and analysed at a later date overlaid on a track map so you can see where you are losing time. Also in the head-up display, in addition to regular features like map guidance and speed, you also get a track graphic, with braking points on corners, your delta time and your absolute lap times.

The Coupé comes standard with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and to connect to the infotainment system there are two USB ports and an SD card under the arm rest. At the front of the very attractive carbon fibre centre console there are two cup holders, one which contains a wireless key charger and one 12V outlet. I think the combination of the carbon fibre and the brushed aluminium trim used in the cabin was a very nice look.

The sloping roofline of the Coupé results in limited headroom for adults sitting in the back seats. Legroom for adults is also very tight and I found getting in and out was difficult, but my children told me the rear seats were comfortable to sit in. For younger children there are two ISOFIX/two rear tether child seat restraint points and it easy enough to get a car seat into the Coupé. However the sloping roofline may impede some car seats, so you should investigate this carefully if you are intending to regularly have children in the back. Also if there were two car seats in use, then vision in the rear view mirror would be significantly reduced.

Between the two rear seats there are three rigid drink holders and there is additional small storage cubbies on either side of the seats. Rear passengers get central air vents with on/off control only and there are no USB or 12V outlets in the back. It also sounded like there wasn’t much sound proofing under the Coupé and my children told me the road noise was loud in the back seats when I was driving on rough roads.

The boot is a very good size in the Coupé, so packing for a road trip or carrying the weekly shop would be something easily accomplished. The boot has gesture open and push button close, but I couldn’t find a boot release button on the exterior of the car, should the gesture open decide not to work, but there is a boot release on the key fob and within the cabin as well. You do not get a spare tyre; just a neatly packaged tyre repair kit and I loved the fold up shopping basket under the boot floor. It is great for placing a small shop or other loose items into so that they do not roll around in the back of the boot. I could also see myself taking it into the supermarket and loading a small shop directly in and then carrying it into the house when I got home. But just like your reusable bags you would need to remember to put it back in the boot for next time.

Driver safety aids on the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé include Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, PRE-SAFE PLUS, and Active Lane Change Assist. Combined these systems work very well and make motorway driving less of a chore. I also found that the AMG had excellent speed sign recognition technology that even picked up road work speed signs with ease.

Passive safety includes nine airbags with front, combined pelvic / thorax bags for driver and front passenger, side bags for rear occupants, window bags, and knee bag for driver. The Coupé also has an excellent 360o view camera that cutely pops out of the Mercedes-Benz emblem at the rear of the car. The C-Class Coupé does not have an ANCAP safety rating, but it does have a Euro NCAP rating of 5-stars (2014).

From the 1 March this year all new Mercedes Benz passenger vehicles sold in Australia come with a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty that includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The service intervals for AMG 63 variants is one year or 20,000km whichever comes first and new car buyers can select to purchase an upfront service plan that covers the first three services for their vehicle. For the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S  Coupé this costs $3,800, saving $900 over the standard capped price servicing cost or if you choose to cover your new C 63 S for the first five services this would cost $6,550.

If you drive your AMG on a race track and your vehicle is presented with a concern and it is found that the cause of that concern is attributed to the way it was handled during the track day that particular failure might not be covered under manufacturer’s warranty. Normally you would be able to get your race track fix in Mercedes-owned vehicles as part of their Drive Days. But due to COVID-19, Mercedes-Benz Australia had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel all Driving Academy events in 2020 and have not been able to replace them with something suitable, given all the different (and constantly changing) restrictions across Australia. In saying this, they are totally committed to providing a full year’s programme of Driving Academy events for 2021, as long as restrictions allow and they should be able to confirm this with their customers early on in 2021.

The ‘Aero Edition 63’ package enhances the already distinctive Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé and it is competitively priced at $188,600 plus dealer delivery and on-road costs. Want to know why I believe it’s so good? Then visit your preferred Mercedes-AMG retailer or the only dedicated AMG dealership in Australia, AMG Sydney to drive one for yourself and I am sure you will understand.

ProsCons
Carbon fibre elements added to the already stylish CoupéSpirited driving will result in high fuel use
The charismatic AMG V8 engineRear wheels struggle for traction under hard acceleration
Track Pace app telemetryLimited room in the rear seats

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine