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AMG's 'old' V8 for 'new' C63 coupe

2011-03-22 14:31

COUPE KINGMAKER: CLS-inspired headlights work well with AMG fascia upgrades. Contrasting black roof very similar to BMW’s composite option on the E92.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Model C63 AMG Coupe
Engine 6.2-litre V8
Power 336kW (358kW)
Torque 600Nm
Transmission Seven-speed MCT
Zero To Hundred 4.4 sec (4.3 sec)
Top Speed 250km/h (280km/h)
Since 2007, if you required a two-door V8 German sports car with seating for four, there was only one choice – BMW’s superlative E92 M3.

For years the Munich brand's V8 compact supercar reigned supreme, until Audi launched its RS5 in 2010.

More powerful by 22kW, Audi’s V8 powered mid-sized coupe appeared to all intents and purposes to be the ultimate naturally aspirated German V8 sports coupe - combining near supercar pace with a remnant of practicality.

CRAFTING A PERFECT V8 COUPE

While BMW and Audi busied themselves with the task of redefining what constituted an authentic V8 German compact sports car, Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division viewed proceedings from a distance. Its Affalterbach’s engineers detailed the necessary notes as a litany of comparative tests paired the M3 and RS5 off against each other, highlighting the individual strengths and weaknesses of each.

After scouring the AMG parts bin, engineers and product planning specialists formulated Mercedes-Benz’s response – the C63 AMG Coupe, set to be revealed (publically) at the New York auto show in April.

This latest product offering from Mercedes-Benz is, essentially, a C63 AMG sedan sans the rear doors.

Detailing the new C-Class coupe’s styling with some regulation AMG design embellishments (a more defined front splitter, side air intakes, power dome etched bonnet, five-spoke AMG alloys and rear diffuser) this spiritual successor to the original CLK 63 is not simply a warmed-over C-Class coupe.

Although its three-link front and multi-link rear suspension is carried over from the current C-Class platform, engineers have increased the track at each end, dialled-in more negative camber, added more-substantial anti-roll bars and finessed spring and damper rates for the C63 AMG coupe application. Why? Well, to cope with the burden of performance visited upon this latest AMG derivative by the company’s signature V8 engine, its legendary 6.2-litre M156 V8.

MUSCLE-CAR MENTALITY: The cabin environment may borrow heavily from Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class but beyond the veneer of civility there is 358kW waiting to launch the C63 coupe very sideways indeed…

M156 LEGEND CONTINUES

Although many thought Merc’s SLS supercar would be the very last AMG to feature this naturally aspirated V8 powerhouse, the C63 coupe (and its revised sedan sibling) will ensure the legend lives on a little while longer.

AMG will offer the C63 coupe’s V8 in two states of tune: a standard version will feature similar outputs to its sedan sibling (336kW/600Nm) and an optional AMG Performance package adds some trick bits from the SLS.

Modifications to the 6.2-litre V8 in Performance Pack trim revolve around SLS AMG-sourced forged alloy pistons which run off a lightweight crankshaft via new conrods. The ECU unit has been recalibrated to cope with the change in piston speed take-up and inertia thanks to the three kg weight-saving courtesy of these new SLS parts; the result is a power peak of 358kW.

Harnessing the C63 AMG coupe’s flood of power is Mercedes-Benz’s seven-speed Speedshift MCT transmission, incorporating launch control.

Find a high-friction surface and the C63 AMG should stop most digital timing devices at 4.4 seconds measured over the 0-100km/h sprint; the Performance package trims a tenth off that time and bumps top speed from 250km/h to 280km/h.

The AMG treatment extends to the C-Class coupe cabin by virtue of the brand’s newfangled steering-wheel design (finished in Alcantara if you option the Performance package), whilst semi-bucket seats (trimmed in a breathable synthetic fibre) accommodate the front passengers.

More powerful than either BMW’s M3 or Audi’s RS5 by quite some margin (in Performance Pack trim) the new C63 AMG Coupe shows, yet again, that Mercedes-Benz has a wonderfully simple logic when configuring performance cars to trump its rivals – bring the biggest gun to you have, even if it's a knife-fight…

Check out the new product advertising for C63 AMG coupe in the video below- shot on location in Cape Town, as you'll notice by the Franschhoek pass and Misty Cliffs segments.
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