Mercedes-AMG C63 S Saloon 2018 review

Mercedes-AMG C63 2018 first drive review hero front

Facelifted Mercedes-AMG C63 doesn’t need a power hike to retain its dominant status and effusive charm among the super-saloon crowd

When the current Mercedes-AMG C63 was introduced in 2015, the car had more power than any of its direct super saloon rivals. More torque, too, and it was the only car of its kind with a V8 engine.Fast-forward three years and, despite plenty of activity in the C63’s model niche (and ignoring the similarly priced but soon-to-be-discontinued Lexus GS-F and left-hand-drive-only Cadillac CTS-V), it can still make outright claim to two-out-of-three of those titles and assert shared ownership of the third. This mid-life facelifted version of the car certainly didn’t need any more grunt. For the record, neither has it got any.What is new is to be found slightly further downstream of the 4.0-litre ‘hot vee’, where the old C63’s seven-speed torque converter automatic gearbox has been chucked out and a new nine-speed ‘box (featuring a wet start-up clutch instead of a torque converter) has moved in. Further downstream still, AMG has junked the mechanical slippy diff of the lower-powered C63, fitting instead the torque-vectoring ‘eDiff’ (formerly the preserve of the ‘S’ models) to both C63 derivatives.There’s a new multi-modal brake-based torque vectoring set-up on the car called AMG Dynamics, as well as a nine-stage traction control system which will be familiar to owners of the Mercedes-AMG GT-R. The car’s suspension and steering systems have been subject to a few gentle tweaks, too.If you want the full-fat AMG experience in your C-Class, however, only the C63 S gives you the car in its most purposeful specification: with the dynamic engine mounts that, AMG claims, have such a big influence on handling precision; a new design of 19in wheel; GPS track telemetry; AMG Performance seats and a top speed increase from 155 to 180mph. Likewise, you only get that new traction control set-up as standard on a ‘C63 S – and that’s true whether you plump for a saloon, estate, coupé or cabriolet.Ah yes, the body styles. None of the C63’s rivals offer so much choice on those, which seems to me another sizeable advantage for a driver’s car that, as we’ve already covered, isn’t short on selling points. Mercedes UK sells more C63 coupés than anything else and when you look over all four derivatives in the pitlane of a German circuit, it’s easy to see why that might be. The coupé’s a low-slung, swollen-arched, beautifully curvaceous car, and it’s available with an aerodynamic styling kit that takes its visual appeal even further beyond that of its siblings. It’s also got wider tracks, wider wheels, a lower body profile and firmer suspension tuning than the saloon – although, interestingly, it’s 65kg heavier than the four-door.We drove both C63 S saloon and coupé and actually preferred the former, for reasons we’ll come to.

Source: Autocar Online

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