Merc goes Black for 380kW C-Class
FEROCIOUS: The 380kW Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series certainly looks the part. Image gallery
The most powerful C-Class yet – the Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series – is preparing to strike, extending the orgy of AMG launches enthusiasts have recently been able to salivate over.
Taking its cue from the world of motorsport and designed for track-driving enthusiasts, this C-Class is beefed up with an adjustable AMG coil-over sports suspension and composite fade-free brake system. Items such as AMG's track package (with sports tyres and active rear-axle transmission cooling) and an aerodynamic package (with a front splitter and adjustable carbon-fibre rear aerofoil) can also be ticked on the options list. Of course, this Black Series' 380kW, 6.2-litre V8 engine is not anything to scoff at, either…
With 620Nm of torque at its disposal, this is the most powerful C-Class of all time, gobbling up the 0 – 100km/h sprint in 4.2 seconds and boasting a top speed electronically limited to 300km/h.
Visually, the C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series takes its cue from the SLS AMG GT3 customer sports cars with its imposing arrow-shaped front section, oversized air intakes and two openings in the aluminium bonnet to aid heat exchange.
CAN YOU HEAR IT?: The C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series' quad tailpipes emit the roar from its naturally-aspirated V8.
Wider tracks on the front and rear axles have necessitated wings that are wider, too, by 28mm on each side – at the front – and 42mm at the rear. Black inserts on the restyled AMG side skirts and air inlets at the wheels convey the Black’s sense of purpose when viewed in profile, as 19" AMG light alloy wheels fill out the flaring wheel arches.
These wheels, said to be at least 11kg lighter than comparable rims, allow for a lower unsprung mass that also heightens the suspension and steering feedback.
The view from behind also captures race fantasies with a black diffuser, a quad-piped AMG sports exhaust and a body-coloured bootlid spoiler to reduce lift on the rear axle.
The torque-happy M156 naturally aspirated engine has been bolstered for its application in the two-door with its lightweight forged pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft all proven on track in the SLS AMG.
The V8 is mated to AMG’s Speedshift MCT seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with four modes, a double-declutching function and Race Start launch control. In the Sport Plus and Manual transmission modes, gear changes can be performed in a lightning 100 milliseconds.
AMG’s sports suspension with its coil-over arrangement and modified torsion-beam stabilisers offers different settings for the driver to set the car up to his personal preference. The standard rear axle differential ensures top traction in a race-track environment with locking for both acceleration and deceleration, while the three-stage ESP system takes care of the rest. It can be set to Sport Handling Mode or turned off entirely.
BARE NECESSITIES: AMG bucket seats and a missing rear bench help to keep the Black's weight down.
As for braking, this AMG’s ABS system is completely retuned with larger composite discs (390 x 36mm up front and 360 x 26mm at the rear) with red-painted six- and four-piston calipers adding a touch of colour.
Of course, the AMG experience will not be complete without the appropriate interior embellishments, including two bucket seats, a performance steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles, and contrasting red seatbelts, stitching, armrests and door panels. The C 63 AMG Coupe Black Series’ rear seats have been omitted as a weight-saving exercise, although the car can be ordered as a four-seater.
The European market launch will take place in January 2012 and first cars are expected to arrive in South Africa by March 2012.