Content Provided by New Car Test Drive
By Jim McCraw
No company has done more for the cause of the high-performance small car in recent years than Mercedes-Benz, or more specifically, the AMG high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz. The first C-Class to carry an AMG performance package was the six-cylinder C36 back in 1993, followed by the C43, the company’s first V8 effort, in 2000, and in 2005, the C55 V8.
The new model, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, first introduced as a
sedan, uses a completely new front-end design language, with the
bar-and-star grille theme from the SLS gullwing coupe, fat fenders with
6.3 badges, large air intakes, cat’s-eye LED headlamps, and black alloy
The 2012 C63 AMG is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 engine
rated at 451 horsepower and 443 foot-pounds of torque, with a 0-60 time
of 4.4 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz.
For 2012, that same powertrain is available in the coupe body, making it
the most powerful C-Class coupe ever built. It more or less replaces
the previous AMG coupe, the CLK 63 AMG, in the performance coupe lineup.
As with the E63 sedan, there is an optional AMG package that raises
engine power to 481 horsepower, raises the electronically limited top
speed form 155 to 174 mph, and lowers the 0-60 time by a tenth of a
second. In either case, the transmission is a dual-clutch 7-speed
overdrive automatic with four shifting modes and a RaceStart model
selected by a rotary switch on the console.
The AMG package includes a special intake manifold with a titanium gray
cover, AMG high-performance brakes with two-piece front rotors and red
brake calipers, a carbon-fiber decklid spoiler, and an AMG performance
steering wheel slathered in leather and Alcantara.
The chassis under the C63 AMG coupe includes 235/40R18 front and
155/35R18 rear tires, quick-ratio power steering, a special three-link
front suspension, a reinforced multi-link rear suspension, larger front
and rear stabilizer bars, and AMG high-performance brakes. The
Electronic Stability Program has driver-selectable On, Sport and Off
modes for racetrack sessions.
The 2012 C63 interior features an AMG sports steering wheel that has
been flattened on the top and bottom to afford more driving room and
better sightlines to the instruments during spirited driving, special
grip areas, and shifter paddles. The AMG instrument panel is painted in
piano black lacquer and the dashboard and doors feature aluminum,
optional wood or carbon-fiber trims. The AMG-badged sports seats are
covered in a new material called Dinamica, a man-made fabric that
breathes, with MB-Tex side bolsters and horizontal stitching for
The sound system in the C63 is built for pleasant long-distance
cruising, an HD radio with AM, FM, weather band, Sirius satellite, a
single-CD changer, MP3, an iPod and MP3 media interface, an in-dash
memory card reader, an AUX input and USB port, and Bluetooth, all
playing through a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround sound
system, displayed on a 5.8-inch control screen. There will be four
option packages and 11 stand-alone options offered.
On Sale: Late Spring 2011
Pricing: Starting around $60,000
For further information, go to www.mbusa.com/.