When Mercedes-AMG announced that the new C 63 S would have a turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid engine the hearts of many a motoring enthusiast sunk knowing that our time left with the current AMG bi-turbo V8 was coming to an end. I felt this even more the week I was driving this Brilliant Blue Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé when the news came through that the final editions of this vehicle, the C 63 S Cabriolet and the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ Sedan had gone on sale in Australia in strictly limited numbers.
Hence, I spent my time wisely with the C 63 S Coupé enjoying some of my favourite driving routes with my willing co-pilots. Because one of the joys of this coupé is that it can carry up to four passengers, so if you have children, you can bring them along on your driving adventures. This not only builds the bond between you and them, but them and the vehicle, so that the passion for a multi-sensory driving experience lives on. It’s not all about going fast in a straight line, a performance vehicle needs to nourish your soul in many other ways as well.
The C 63 S Coupé does that from the moment you lay your eyes on it, its proportions are perfection and the shape sensuous. Slide into the snug AMG Performance front seats and take a moment to admire the design elements that surround you. The carbon fibre centre console, the many metal tactile points that your fingers brush over and the DINAMICA suede where you grip the steering wheel. Also note the sweet smell that comes from Nappa leather seats, I can attest that this aroma stays with the AMG for many years.
Push the start button, I guarantee you won’t do this without a smile on your face every time, and awaken the animal both within the C 63 S and you. That initial bellow from the exhausts sets the tone for your immediate future happiness, whether that’s a commute to work or a drive to one of your favourite lunch spots that just happens to be along a very enjoyable road. The V8 settles to a gentle burble that resonates through the entire coupé.
The hand built 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, which drives this C 63 S Coupé produces 375 kW (510 hp) of power and 700 Nm of torque and a plaque is attached showing the name of the person who built your AMG engine. Normally a turbo-charged engine suffers from turbo lag, but not this one because it has a hot ‘V’, what’s that you ask? The turbos are nestled within the ‘V’ of the engine, so the time it takes for them to spool up and deliver their power in response to the input from your right foot is expeditious.
This sleek Coupé will despatch with the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.9 seconds. If you don’t believe this claim from AMG, you can test it for yourself with the on-board Track Pace system that has a drag racing start option. This Mercedes-AMG also has one of the easiest launch control systems that you will ever use. Simply select either Sport+ or Race from the Drive Mode menu, firmly place your left foot on the brake pedal and place an equal amount of force onto the accelerator, wait for the Christmas tree to light up green and release the brake!
This will result in some loss of traction and a squeal from the rear tyres, but other than that the C 63 S Coupé tracks straight as you attempt to hit that 3.9 second target. Apply force to the AMG high-performance ceramic composite front brakes and rapidly pull down through the 9-speed G-TRONIC automatic transmission using the wheel mounted metal gear selectors to come to a stop and repeat the process until you hit your mark.
Accelerate hard in manual gearbox mode and both the speedo and taco flash red as you approach the 7,000rpm red line giving you a visual indication to accompany the aural note from the engine that it is time to shift up. As the speed rises the exhausts announce the engine’s purpose like a Phil Collins on a tom drum solo. My enjoyment of this cacophony of speed and sound did not have as great an impact on my fuel use as I thought it would and for my week, I only used 12.7L/100km and the official combined fuel use is 10.3L/100km.
The mid-life update to the C 63 S Coupé brought with it some features I liked and some I didn’t. I liked that Comfort mode actually became comfortable to drive in. The other drive modes available include Slippery, Sport, Sport+ and Race. Sport+ is still my go-to preferred setting in the C 63 S as I feel that Race mode is only suitable for track use. There is also an Individual drive mode that allows you configure the Drive, Transmission, Suspension and Exhaust to your personal preference.
The update also introduced Track Pace that has a number of pre-programed race tracks to select from (with the C 63 S Nürburgring time on the main page). There are no Australian tracks on the list, but you can program tracks in by driving them and saving into the system. There are many telemetry options that can be displayed or downloaded to your phone for in depth analysis later. You can even include a track graphic, corner info and braking points on the head-up display.
My least favourite additions from the mid-life update were the knobs on the lower part of the steering wheel for changing the exhaust and suspension settings and the drive modes. I think these knobs look ugly and they simply duplicate controls that are already located on the centre console.
The C 63 S Coupé not only has the old school engine that many yearn for, but also some old school interior features as well. Like buttons and switches on the dash and centre console to change the climate settings or navigate the infotainment system. You need to remember that the infotainment screen is not a touch screen and you either use the rotary controller on the centre console or voice control to navigate the menus.
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto can be connected via the USB-A port which is located under the arm rest and your phone will most likely be stored here as the space at the front of the centre console in front of the cup holders was not large enough for my phone to fit properly. The cup holders can be removed though to make a larger space and there is one 12V here as well as wireless charging for the car key fob.
The performance front seats match perfectly with the athletic nature of the C 63 S. Both front seats are heated and have power adjustment for recline, forward/back, seat height front and rear and front leg extension, with these controls located on the door along with the three memory position buttons. On the side of the seat there are controls for the side bolster support and 4-way lumbar support.
The rear seats are not suitable for adults if you are going on a long trip due to the lack of head and leg room. Also car seat selection would need to be carefully undertaken due to the low roof line and it would also be awkward to reach in and buckle a young child up due to the gap between the front seat and the B pillar. But my tween sized children fitted in there fine and were able to let themselves out using the lever on the back of the front seats. There are two central air vents for rear passengers and three rigid, different sized cup holders between the two rear seats.
The boot has a gesture open/close boot lid or you can use the key fob or the button in the cabin to open/close it. The boot has a narrow openly but goes a long way back so there is plenty of room for the weekly shop or bags for that weekend away. If more space is needed the rear seats have a 40:60 split fold mechanism with the manual release located in the boot space or the centre part of the seat can be lowered down to store long items while the two rear seats can still be used. Under the boot floor there is a tyre repair kit and a handy folding carry basket.
Active safety features on the C 63 S Coupé include Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC (adaptive cruise control), Active Steering Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Changing Assist and PRE-SAFE® Plus. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé does not have an ANCAP safety rating.
Passive safety includes nine airbags including 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 combined with 360o parking sensors. You also get auto lights, high beam assist and auto wipers for convenience.
All new Mercedes-Benz vehicles come with a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty and this also includes 24/7 roadside and accident assistance. The service interval for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé is 1 year/20,000km and service plans can be purchased from $3,000 for the first three scheduled services.
Australian roads will soon be a duller and quieter place when the V8 powered Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé is no longer available, and I was so glad I got the opportunity to have one last drive in this very special vehicle. At the time I was told that there were still some examples available to purchase from selected Mercedes-Benz retailers or you may still be able to secure a Final Edition?
The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé price starts at $179,868 plus dealer delivery and on-road costs and as tested this Brilliant Blue C 63 S with the Interior Carbon Package ($2,200), AMG Performance Front Seats ($3,700) and AMG high-performance ceramic composite (front) braking system ($7,900) was $193,668 plus dealer delivery and on-road costs. As I looked back for one final glance of this special Coupé, I blew a kiss goodbye to one of the greatest engines that ever compressed fuel and air together, sparking a million smiles from drivers, passers-by or YouTube viewers alike.
|That bi-turbo V8 engine||Limited availability to purchase one|
|Switches to control climate settings||The knobs on the lower part of the steering wheel|
|The way I feel when I drive a C 63 S||Limited space in rear seats|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.